Some teachers to be armed as gun control bill passes in Florida
The minimum legal age to buy a gun in the state was also raised from 18 to 21.
Certain education personnel will be able to carry arms in schools in Florida after a gun control bill was passed in the state’s House of Representatives on Wednesday.
In the wake of last month’s shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, in which 17 people were killed, the gun control bill was passed by a vote of 67-50 in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Under the terms of the bill, a voluntary armed ‘guardian programme’ for schools, named after Aaron Feis, a coach who died while shielding students during the shooting in Parkland last month, will allow school personnel to be armed, subject to school district approval and specialist training.
Classroom teachers, meanwhile, will be excluded from carrying arms unless they have a background in the security forces.
The bill will also see the legal age for buying a gun raised from 18-21 and a three-day waiting period will apply to all gun sales in the state.
The legislation does not ban the sale of assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle used in the Parkland shooting, although it does ban devices that modify a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one and increases powers to seize or ban guns in cases where there are mental health concerns.
Having already been passed by the Senate, the bill will now go the state governor before being passed into law, although, according to CNBC, Governor Rick Scott, who has repeatedly said he doesn’t support arming teachers, declined to say whether he would sign the legislation, promising to thoroughly study the bill and to talk to the families of the victims of the Parkland shooting before doing so.
Unless vetoed by Scott, the bill will automatically become law within 15 days.