by Al Bloomfield
Friday, March 9, 2018
TALLAHASSEE – On Wednesday, March 7, 2018 the Florida House of Representatives approved by vote of 67 to 50 Senate Bill 7026 – a gun and school safety bill which would raise the age to purchase firearms in Florida to 21, prohibit the sale or possession of “bump stocks” (which allow semiautomatic firearms to fire faster), impose a three days’ waiting period for most firearms purchases, create new mental health school programs, and establish a controversial “guardian program” allowing some school employees to carry handguns on school campuses (with law enforcement training) but only in school districts that vote to join the program.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, a conservative Republican plutocrat, has repeatedly stated that he does not support arming teachers. Instead, the governor has advocated the adoption of a policy of establishing at least one law enforcement officer per public school as well as one for every 1,000 students who attend a Florida public school. Mr. Scott has tried to get Florida legislators to adopt his proposal. However, on Friday, March 9, 2018, he signed into law – as is – the act into law.
SB 7026 comes in response to the Ash Wednesday Massacre – a mass shooting on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 innocent people (mostly teenagers) were murdered by an intruder using a bump stocked AR 15 semiautomatic rifle.
The alleged shooter was former student, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. On Wednesday the alleged mass murderer was indicted on 34 counts of premeditated murder, 17 in the 1st° and 17 in the 2nd°.
Sources of information for this report included NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Ocala Star Banner.
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