The Florida Senate is debating a bill imposing restrictions on gun sales ahead of a vote Monday, the first such restrictions in decades.
The legislation, which narrowly cleared the state Senate on Monday, was spurred by the February 14 killing of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, and the extraordinary lobbying campaign mounted by young survivors of the massacre.
She also would have liked a ban on assault-style rifles, like numerous students who traveled to the state Capitol to ask lawmakers to go even further to stop future mass shootings.
The limitation, however, does not apply to classroom teachers of a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program or current service members; and current or former law enforcement officers, according to the bill. School boards and sheriffs must both agree to implement the program for it to go into effect.
"He used his body to protect those students". Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, offered an amendment that would exclude from the program "individuals who exclusively perform classroom duties as classroom teachers".
Perhaps the most controversial proposal is a measure to arm some teachers, despite the opposition of Gov. Rick Scott.
"The goal is to make sure the instructional personnel who are in the classroom can not participate in the program", said Sen.More news: LeBron James Congratulates Kobe Bryant On His Oscar Win
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The "Fix NICS" bill would penalize federal agencies that don't properly report required records and reward states that comply by providing them with federal grant preferences.
The 20-18 vote came after three hours of often emotional debate.
Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was formally charged Wednesday with 17 counts of first-degree murder, which could mean a death sentence if he is convicted. Lauren Book, who helped more than 100 Douglas High students travel to Tallahassee and meet with Scott and lawmakers, sobbed as she described the horror scene at the school, where students' backpacks, papers and bicycles -- and Valentine's Day flowers - were a stark reminder of the carnage that had taken place the day before.
A spokeswoman for the governor said Mr Scott, who was endorsed by the NRA and received its highest rating for supporting gun rights, would review the bill in its final form before deciding whether to support or oppose it. They say they don't want to do it. "No, I don't. But what I disagree with more is the idea of our allowing the great to be the enemy of the good".
"This is still part of that same theme of taking safe zones and putting guns in them", said Sen. "Their will is clear". The bill would implement federal school-threat assessment protocols created to prevent school shootings.
Hoyer, speaking to reporters, also called for votes on assault weapon restrictions, broader gun-sale background checks and banning "bump stocks" that can increase the firing capacity of a weapon. "That we've gotten somewhere", he said. I can't do that. It didn't dawn on me when I went to the school and saw where he had dragged himself out of the building and died in front of the door, it never dawned on me, well, what if he had a gun. "Because 14 months from now, when we're back here ... the pressure will be reduced and the NRA will be omnipotent again". Republican Sen. Bill Galvano said he asked for and received the approval of Feis' family to name the program for him. "When it becomes law, things will start changing". But he said Democrats will try to force action on gun control after the student-led March for Our Lives rallies across the country on March 24, "when when our Republican friends see that they're just against the nation". "We listened and we're trying". "We don't have all the answers, but we're giving it our best, and we will keep giving it our best".
"If this was a secret ballot, this program would be out of the bill", Moskowitz told House members.