Florida lawmakers pass school-safety bill in rare session

05 March, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Carmen Reese
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The bill includes provisions to boost school security, establish new mental health programs in schools, and improve communication between schools, law enforcement and state agencies. President Trump has said he wants stronger background checks, gun access restriction for the mentally ill and the ability to arm teachers.

The Florida Senate will now take up a wide-ranging school safety package Saturday instead of Friday. After the vote, Senate President Joe Negron, a Republican, asked senators to take their seats.

Two out of three adults in the United States want stricter gun laws, CBS found in a poll conducted a week after the tragedy.

Senators voted 21-17 to defeat amendments to add the ban and moratorium to the bill. While crafted by Republicans, some GOP senators still opposed it because they don't agree with raising the minimum age to guy a rifle from 18 to 21 or requiring a waiting period to buy the weapons.

Any bill that comes from the legislature would ultimately have to be approved by Governor Rick Scott, who has said that he opposes the "school marshal" portion of the bill.

"The substance of our bill is still the same", Galvano said. A statewide Quinnipiac University poll conducted last week said 56 percent of voters oppose the idea and 40 percent support the giving teachers firearms. It would still be up to the school districts to decide whether to participate and sponsor teachers to undergo training.

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Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez of Miami was among several Democrats who argued that the high-capacity weapons are not needed for civilians.

Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez called assault rifles "weapons of war created to kill efficiently and effectively ... and then they're modified for civilian use by a $17 billion industry".

The Republican-led Senate also killed compromise measures, such as a ban within five miles of a school, a moratorium on assault weapons, or even a moratorium just on the AR-15, the type of semi-automatic rifle used in the Stoneman Douglas shooting.

The fleeting prohibition came on an unrecorded voice vote, in which lawmakers shouted yea or nay, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Lee became the most vocal critic of the plan, trying and failing to remove both the gun control elements and the plan to arm school personnel calling them "a bumper sticker for November". "And I, for one, wont be going home trying to pretend that I did something trying to solve the problem".



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