NRA Says New Florida Gun-Control Law Punishes Law-Abiding Gun Owners

Frederick Owens
March 11, 2018

Police and law enforcement officers show their support as students arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the first time since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, US, February 28, 2018.

Legislators spent hours on a sweeping gun and school safety bill that they passed earlier this week and which was signed into law Friday by Gov. Rick Scott.

Supporters defended the bill, saying that most school shootings, which have occurred with a frightening frequency in the United States during the past few years, are committed with handguns.

"It's an example to the entire country that government can and has moved fast", Scott said. "I said at the beginning of this process less than three weeks ago that we have to be very careful as we balance our individual rights with our need for public safety".

The National Rifle Association is expressing disappointment after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a gun control bill that was written after a mass shooting at a high school killed 17 people.

According to CNN, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow died in the most recent shooting said the bill may not be ideal, but it's better than nothing. He doesn't support arming teachers, however, and had wanted lawmakers to adopt his own $500 million proposal to put one or more law enforcement officer in every school.

Locally, it's unclear on if area school districts will opt into the voluntary program.

TRY, TRY AGAIN: A bill to require Florida high school students take a half-credit course in financial literacy again fails to make its way through the Legislature. "Ultimately our goal is to have an SRO in all of our schools, and two in our larger high schools".

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"We know we did the right thing", said Panthers executive Shawn Thornton, who helped arrange the Cup visit.

The new Florida law raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18, bans the sale or possession of bump fire stocks, gives law enforcement greater power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit, and provides additional funding for armed school resource officers. Many students view the Parkland shooting as part of inaction by lawmakers to curb access to guns.

"The division is now working with our administrators to develop plans that meet both the division's responsibility to provide a safe, secure learning environment for all students while recognizing the rights of students and staff as outlined in the division's Student Conduct Code and the School Board Policy Manual", said spokeswoman Katherine Goff. He initially opposed the measure that would allow staff members with training to carry guns, breaking with President Donald Trump's position.

Better to disarm the few who are risky with stricter gun laws than leave that massacre-potential simmering away for the sake of those who'd like to keep their guns.

A Florida bill to tighten gun controls has been approved by the state's second legislative body - now only a veto by the Governor can stop it becoming law. "It doesn't include key components like expanding universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and it doesn't even accomplish what Scott himself said he would do". And 67 Republicans with A ratings from the NRA voted for the bill, according to an analysis by The Trace.

The Florida Senate narrowly passed the bill Monday.

"We don't plan to penalize students in any way", spokeswoman Michelle Price said.

"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.

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