Florida Gov. Rick Scott Signs Compromise Gun Control Bill

Faith Castro
March 12, 2018

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican long allied with the NRA, signed the legislation earlier Friday after the Republican-controlled statehouse narrowly approved the measure.

The governor's statement notes that the three-day waiting period includes exceptions for "the purchase of rifles and shotguns by law enforcement officers, correctional officers, active duty military members and all members of the Florida National Guard and United States Reserve Forces".

Denyse Christian, hugged her son Adin Christian, 16, a student at the school, at a makeshift memorial outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Feb. 19, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"I was very much against guns", she told NPR, "but I live rurally where hunting guns and guns to protect yourself are pretty commonplace".

Republican Gov. Rick Scott hasn't said if he'll sign the bill.

Wells Fargo said it plans "to engage our customers that legally manufacture firearms and other stakeholders on what we can do together to promote better gun safety for our communities", according to a Bloomberg report published Wednesday.

"When it comes to preventing future acts of horrific school violence, this is beginning of the journey", Montalto said. "It's nowhere near what we want, but it's progress and uplifting to see".

The bill was signed into law in the presence of some Parkland survivors and their families, while some of the student campaigners from the school welcomed it as a good first step. "This time must be different".

The marshal program, which was renamed the "guardian program", was one of three objections opponents used to try to kill the bill. "Let's harden the schools and make sure this never happens again". The most awarded to a single district was $230,000, given to Roseville schools near Sacramento, California, which say much of the funding went toward ammunition and gear for trap-shooting teams.

It also argues the bill breaches the 14th amendment's equal protection clause by banning law-abiding citizens between 18-21 from buying guns. The answer to all three is yes.

SB 7026, dubbed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, will toughen gun control in several ways - but would also allow some teachers to be armed. School boards and sheriffs would have to agree to implement the program for it to go into effect. Staff members could volunteer for the program, but classroom teachers who exclusively perform instruction would be blocked from the program. It also creates a so-called "guardian" program that enables teachers and other school employees to carry handguns.

Calling the program "scary", black legislators objected that it would endanger minority children who are more likely to be punished at school.

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Counties opting out of the provision to arms teachers could redirect those funds to hire more school officers, Scott said.

"We had to make a choice".

A slew of new proposals have come out of Congress and the White House in the weeks since 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Enforcing that part of the law will pose a challenge to law enforcement personnel and the courts, but the intent is commendable and a workable implementation strategy is necessary.

"So, in the totality of things, the guardian program is optional".

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, seen on February 19, where 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

On the other side of the aisle, the new regulations on purchasing firearms - the first gun restrictions approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in almost two decades - divided the GOP caucus.

The NRA, which has helped usher laws easing gun regulations through the Legislature for the past 20 years, slammed the new law as a "punishment of law-abiding gun owners". "So Gov. Scott obviously has a hard time keeping his word".

"We filed a lawsuit against the state for violating the constitutional rights of 18 to 21 year olds", said former NRA president and lobbyist Marion Hammer, as cited by USA Today.

The bill isn't what numerous shooting's survivors, or the school's students, wanted - they said it doesn't go far enough. "You know, when I was younger, the organization seemed to be primarily focused on gun safety and hunters' rights". But, we should not insult or disparage each other.

Ron Severson, superintendent of the Roseville Joint Union High School District, says no parents have raised concerns over the funding, but administrators may reconsider it in the wake of the Florida shooting.

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