NRA files federal lawsuit to block new Florida gun law

Faith Castro
March 12, 2018

But for others, the "school guardian" program was a deal-breaker.

Florida's Broward County school district is believed to be the first to stop accepting NRA money after a gunman killed 17 people at one of its schools February 14.

He said the bill, which was written since the shooting, balances "our individual rights with need for public safety".

"It's an example to the entire country that government can and has moved fast", he said.

But the governor said Friday he and others had to compromise, acknowledging that the gun regulations went too far for some and not far enough for others.

"Neither the 3-day waiting period on all rifles and shotguns, raising the age from 18 to 21 to buy any firearm, or the bump stock ban will have any effect on crime".

The program is voluntary for state school districts, and any school employees who carry a weapon will have to undergo 132 hours of law enforcement training with the county sheriff's office, pass a background check, and take additional diversity training.

Scott has said several times that he's against arming teachers but legislators approved the program anyway. And that's why a lot of these schools say they've been glad to accept the money in the past. Donna Corbett, a Democrat on the school board in southern Indiana's New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation, said she never heard about $65,000 that went to a JROTC program at one of the high schools.

Immediately following the nation's second-worst school shooting, students, parents and teachers from the Parkland school flooded the Capitol, pleading with the Scott and the Legislature to act.

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Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was among the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said he was asked to stay in Tallahassee in order to meet with Scott on Friday. "It's a baby step, but a huge step at the same time".

Yet the gun control measures passed this week no doubt come as an unwelcome shock to the NRA, which has long found support among Florida Republicans. "It's nowhere near what we want, but it's progress and uplifting to see". "You should be proud".

But it marked, for a Republican governor, a rare break with the National Rifle Association. The bill also creates a new program that would allow some school personnel to be armed. She objected to the new waiting period, age limits, and the ban on the possession of bump stocks.

"This blanket ban violates the fundamental rights of thousands of responsible, law-abiding Florida citizens and is thus invalid under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments", it states. It also creates a so-called guardian programme enabling some teachers and other school employees to carry guns.

"I'm going to review the bill line-by-line, and the group that I'm going to be talking to, the group that I care the most about right now, because it impacted them so much, is the families", Scott told reporters Wednesday. The governor can not veto individual items in the bill itself, but he does have line-item veto power with the budget.

"The safety that we're teaching, the good citizenship that we're teaching here, those are the things you don't hear about", said Gunnery Sgt. Jim Flores, a JROTC instructor at Cibola High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We should work together to make our schools safe for our kids.

Mr Scott said he remained dissatisfied with the guardian provisions as adopted in the Bill, but signed it nonetheless, saying it would enhance school safety overall.

"[The NRA] wanted this bill to fail because they know that if we leave here with gun control, this will be a wind behind the sails of those kids as they march into Washington, D.C.", said Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, a graduate of Stoneman Douglas. The 19-year-old Parkland shooter had bought his mass murder weapon legally. In the brief hearing today, Nikolas Cruz stood with his head bowed as he appeared via video conference.

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