Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Republican Florida governor bucks NRA to pass sweeping bipartisan gun bill

Republican Florida governor bucks NRA to pass sweeping bipartisan gun bill

Rick Scott (R.) doesn't think all NRA members will oppose the legislation, which raises the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 and installs a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases, among other measures.

Under caveats to the "guardian" program, teachers who "exclusively perform classroom duties as classroom teachers" won't be allowed to carry guns on campus, unless they have military or law enforcement experience or if they teach a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. "It's a baby step, but a huge step at the same time".

Florida lawmakers approved the legislation earlier this week with the state House voting 67-50 to approve the bill and the state Senate passing it by a 20-18 vote. Scott had received top marks from the lobbying group in the past for supporting gun-rights measures and his new stance reinvigorated the gun-control movement. They have to say what they need the money for and how they're going to use it.

A cap and shirt are displayed at the booth for the National Rifle Association (NRA) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. It also claims that the law especially infringes on young womens' rights, as these "pose a relatively slight risk of perpetrating a school shooting [or] a violent crime of any kind".

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Meanwhile, teachers, parents, black lawmakers and other critics are blasting the bill for a controversial provision that would allow specially trained school personnel, including teachers, to bring guns to schools.

"In response to the signing of the bill, several students told CNN about their excitement". The initiative also would allow local sheriffs to "appoint certain volunteer school employees as school guardians" who would then be required to undergo 132 hours of firearm and safety training.

"How am I not surprised" at the NRA's lawsuit, wrote David Hogg, one of the students from the Parkland school who have turned to campaigning since the shooting.

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was among those killed, said more needed to be done, but there was enough good in the bill that it should pass.

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It includes $400 million to increase funding for school resource officers, mental health programs in schools, metal detectors and bullet-resistant windows in schools and for new child welfare investigators.

Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi said the changes were "the right thing to do". The governor can not veto individual items in the bill itself, but he does have line-item veto power with the budget.

"Because we were in session, and being in session in an election year, those two forces combined and something had to happen", he said. We should work together to make our schools safe for our kids.

The Broward County school superintendent has already said he doesn't want to participate in the guardian program. In the brief hearing today, Nikolas Cruz stood with his head bowed as he appeared via video conference. The indictment also included 17 counts of attempted murder.

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Cruz's public defender has said he will plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table and sentence him to life in prison instead.

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