Florida Senate Passes Gun Control Bill

After the deadly school shooting a few weeks ago, many states have been implementing new gun bills. Florida recently passed a bill that will allow certain teachers to carry guns on school grounds, and restricts the age and gun buying process for those living in Florida.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act passed 67-50. Republican Governor, Rick Scott, now has 15 days to sign the bill. Scott said he will review the bill “line by line” before he will sign it. Scott went on to say “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 thier own political self-interest to do the right thing for the safety of our schools.”

The Florida senate debated relentlessly before passing the bill. Both sides had concerns about parts of the bill. Republicans were concerned about raising the gun buying age from 18 to 21, and about the delayed process restrictions. Democrats were concerned about arming teachers inside of schools, and whether it would be beneficial or not. Many on both sides thought the bill wasn’t all-inclusive, and didn’t answer all the issues at hand. Some say there should have been a ban on assault-style rifles that have been used in many of the recent shootings around the United States.

The bill allows only some teachers to be armed on school premises. Those who are solely in a classroom and teaching all day will not be eligible to carry a gun in the schools. Others who are teachers, coaches, and function throughout the school in other roles will be allowed to go through law enforcement training. The ability to carry on school grounds also extends to those in the military and those already serving as law enforcement officers.

While there were a lot of emotions and high tensions about the bill, many are saying that this bill is a step in the right direction, to actually insight change and make a real difference. In addition to the heightened school security and gun regulation laws, this bill will add mental health programs to schools and improve communication between schools, law enforcement, and other agencies involved in school shootings.

This is of course not the final straw in the gun debate, but many argue that this is the right direction for the future safety of the country.

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