Florida lawmakers debate school safety changes after Parkland school shooting

Florida lawmakers debate school safety changes after Parkland school shooting

The Bradenton Republican announced Friday that the Senate would forgo a Friday meeting and instead return to debate the school safety provisions Saturday morning.

Teachers could take up arms under wide-ranging measures dealing with mental health, school safety and gun access that are headed to the floor of the Florida House and Senate after passing through final committee hearings Tuesday.

After the Senate unanimously passed S.221, a bill that allows authorities to obtain an on-the-spot warrant to seize guns from individuals deemed to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others, a House committee Thursday night decided changes were in order. Republican House members are torn between voting against the powerful National Rifle Association, which opposes the bills, or against a measure framed by GOP leaders as essential for making schools safer.

In the Senate bill, volunteer teachers and staff would complete 132 hours of firearm safety and proficiency training, and need to keep refreshing that training. Galvano said the delay will also give the Senate time to "line up" its bill with a plan that could be passed by the House without revisions.

And he talked about the failures to protect schoolchildren, from the school resource officer onsite to federal officials' inability to pass gun reform. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar bill late last evening.

Student survivors and family members spoke vehemently in favor of an amendment that would ban assault - style weapons which grew particularly heated and the amendment ended up failing. "You could have avoided it and you didn't, and I commend you for that".


The measure drawing perhaps the most controversy in the Florida Legislature's quickly drafted bill in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting is the so-called "school marshal" program - a program that could lead to armed teachers in schools.

During testimony from John Campbell, executive director of the Department of State's Attorneys and Sheriffs, Sears said he realized the bill was not "perfect", but felt that it had made appropriate concessions in the name of compromise. "I mean I'd still be spending money on whatever I want, but it would have been nice to know how to better spend my money", Deveni Gibson, a student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, said.

But this is a signature bill for The Speaker of the House Republican Richard Corcoran from Land O Lakes just north of Tampa.

"I think they should have that option", she said.

Oliva said he met with some of the parents after the House proposal was amended, and they did not share Schulman's reaction. Another $67 million would go toward creating the marshal's program.

Stennett said she anxious that enacting a Stand Your Ground law would encourage impulsive use of lethal force, potentially endangering innocent people and the public.

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