Florida lawmakers pass bill that would allow school staff to carry guns

Tallahassee, Florida (CNNThe Florida House on Wednesday passed legislation that would impose new restrictions on firearm sales and allow some teachers and staff to carry guns in school.

Spurred by the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act passed 67-50. It now goes to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who has 15 days to sign it.

The bill evolved over 10 days of impassioned, often contentious debate in Florida's majority Republican House and Senate, as lawmakers rushed to pass something before the legislative session ends on Friday.

For some shooting survivors who wanted an assault weapons ban, the measure didn't go far enough; for some Republican lawmakers who opposed stricter measures on gun ownership, it went too far.

Scott expressed reservations about provisions to arm personnel and institute a three-day wait period to buy guns. Earlier Wednesday, he vowed to review the bill "line by line" before signing it. "The group that I'm going to be talking to -- the groups that I care most about right now because it impacted them so much -- is the families," Scott said.

Speaking on behalf of the 17 families who lost loved ones in the shooting, Ryan Petty, whose daughter was killed, urged Scott to sign the bill.

"We know that when it comes to preventing future acts of school violence, today's vote is just the beginning of our journey. We applaud the members of the Florida Legislature that courageously voted against their own political self-interest to do the right thing for the safety of our schools."

What the bill says

The final version includes the following measures:

- Raise the age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18;

- Require a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases, with some exceptions;

- Ban the sale or possession of bump fire stocks, which allow a semiautomatic weapon to fire more like an automatic weapon;

- Give law enforcement more authority to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit or otherwise a threat;

- Provide additional funding for armed school resource officers and mental health services.


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