Florida legislature passes law allowing teachers to be armed

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Florida legislature passes law allowing teachers to be armed

Editor: Johnathan Meyers | Tactical Investor

Miami, United States – The Florida House of Representatives Wednesday passed a law that restricts some access to guns while paving the way for a program allowing teachers and school employees to be armed. The “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” passed the state Senate a day earlier and will now be sent to the governor to be signed into law, weeks after a school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland.

The legislation passed by 67 votes to 50, House Speaker Richard Corcoran said.

Republican Governor Rick Scott has not indicated whether he would veto the law — but he has previously expressed opposition to US President Donald Trump’s call to arm teachers.

America’s long-moribund gun control debate was revived by survivors of the Parkland shooting, who a day after their school was attacked launched the “Never Again” movement. Full Story

Florida governor signs ‘school safety’ bill that could arm teachers

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into state law new gun restrictions ─ and a provision that allows teachers to arm themselves ─ crafted in response to the February killing of 17 people at a suburban high school.

The measure — dubbed the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” — raises the age to buy all firearms to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, allows trained school workers to carry handguns, provides new mental health programs for schools, and restricts access to guns from people who show signs of mental illness or violence.

“Every student in Florida has a right to learn in a safe environment. And every parent has a right to send their kids to school knowing they will return safely at the end of the day,” Scott said. “Today I am signing bipartisan legislation that will help us achieve that.”

The new law marks a rare act of defiance in Florida against the National Rifle Association, which wields considerable influence there and has supported Scott, a Republican.

The NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, said it was disappointed with the new law’s age restriction and waiting period.

“This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” the NRA-ILA’s executive director, Chris Cox, said in a statement. “Securing our schools and protecting the constitutional rights of Americans are not mutually exclusive. Instead of looking to the root cause of this premeditated violence, the gun control provisions in this law wrongly blame millions of Floridians who safely and responsibly exercise their right to self-defence.” Full Story

The Florida legislature’s push to arm school personnel

The Republican-held, typically pro-gun Florida legislature is weighing some gun control measures after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. But the bill also includes a program that gun control advocates hate: arming teachers in the state’s schools.

The proposed legislation would also raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 and impose a minimum three-day waiting period for gun purchases — alongside an opt-in “school marshal” program that would train and arm teachers in Florida schools.

Florida has been a trailblazer on pro-gun legislation. The state’s concealed carry law in 1987became a national model. So did its 2005 “stand your ground” law. If Florida’s state legislature bucks the National Rifle Association to pass new restrictions on gun purchases, it would mark a significant shift. But history suggests other states could also see its program to train teachers to carry firearms as another policy worth adopting.

So advocates face a trade-off: modest gun control measures at the cost of more weapons, not fewer, in schools. Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a former Parkland vice mayor, described the dilemma to the Associated Press:

“It doesn’t go far enough, and now it goes too far in other areas. But the NRA opposes it and I will not vote with the NRA.”

A school staffer who enters the program, among other things, must get a mental health screening, and receive training for things like firearms safety, classes in firearm precision and discretionary shooting, and active-shooter training.Full Story

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