(National Sentinel) Sensible: The Florida Senate has rejected a ban on so-called “assault” weapons and instead passed a measure that would allow some teachers to be armed in response to the latest school shooting which took place in Parkland on Valentine’s Day.
The gun ban measure failed on a largely party-line vote, though two Republicans joined all 15 Democrats in supporting the ban. The final tally was 21-17, according to the Miami Herald.
The full bill, which is called the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, is expected to pass the state Senate Monday, on its way to the House.
In addition, the bill allows for some teachers to be trained in the handling of firearms and armed while in class.
Also, the bill raises the minimum age from 18 to 21 to buy a rifle or a shotgun while banning the use, sale or possession of bump stocks. Those were used by alleged Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock to kill 58 people on Oct. 1. Police and the FBI are still investigating and have not yet announced a motive.
The Florida bill also includes $400 million in funding for schools to address mental health problems, the Miami Herald reported.
It’s not clear whether Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, will sign the legislation. He has said he does not support arming teachers, but he also said he was not in favor of banning specific weapons.
He had called for $500 million in new spending to ‘harden’ schools, provide each one with an armed police presence, and raise the legal age to buy a long gun from 18 to 21.
In a press conference, Scott detailed plans to “prohibit a person from possessing or purchasing a firearm if there is stalking, cyber-stalking, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or domestic violence.”
Admitted Parkland killer Nikolas Cruz, 19, was expelled from Stoneman Douglas. Reports noted that he had a history of encounters with law enforcement personnel and school officials.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Dept. has been criticized for failing to act on Cruz’s obvious mental health issues and violent behavior.
Some lawmakers and members of the public have also criticized the FBI for failing to act following two very specific tips that Cruz was armed, violent and planning an attack.
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