Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

NRA sues state shortly after Rick Scott signs gun-control measures

OPINION: I respect guns and responsible gun owners. I also support common sense Cutting through smoke
Kenny Thornton | 11 March, 2018, 22:00

The bill, which passed this week with bipartisan support, raises the minimum age for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21 and imposes a three-day waiting period for most purchases of long guns.

Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law Friday, the first gun control legislation enacted in the state after the Parkland school massacre on February 14.

The school safety bill signed by Gov. Rick Scott includes a voluntary guardian program. In a statement Thursday, NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer called the bill "a display of bullying and coercion" that would violate Second Amendment rights and punish law-abiding citizens.

But with families of the students, teachers and coaches killed supporting the legislation, Moskowitz said it was critical that the Legislature and governor take action.

Until Friday, it was not clear if Scott would sign the measure that cleared the Florida legislature on Wednesday after three weeks of debate, during which emotions ran high.

For some shooting survivors who demanded an assault weapons ban, the measure didn't go far enough.

"This bill is not flawless, and sadly it will not bring back the 17 lives lost in the horrific school shooting, but the safety of our children is not a political issue, it's simply the right thing to do", she said.

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As the Trace reported, 67 members of the Florida House and Senate with "A" or "A-plus" ratings from the gun rights group voted for the bill. Under the guardian program, teachers and school employees who underwent law enforcement training would be able to carry handguns, provided that their districts opted in.

Fred Guttenberg, the father of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg who was killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, holds up an print out of an National Rifle Association (NRA) ad as he pleads with Democratic senators to do something about gun violence.

She said she wants Scott to veto the money for the guardian program when he receives the budget.

Five legislators seeking statewide office voted against it, as did the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. "But there's a piece in there that we're concerned about - arming educators in schools". "And that's healthy in our democracy", Scott said.

After Scott came out against arming teachers in schools, state Republican leaders amended the bill to exclude those school employees who work exclusively as classroom teachers from being part of the "school marshal" program. But supporters of the legislation said it represents a needed compromise.

The law, passed by Republican legislative leaders and a number of Democrats, marks a major shift for a state known as a laboratory for gun rights legislation, including legal protections for people who use guns in self-defense and an expansive concealed carry law. "And there's a bill before us that is not flawless", she said. The indictment also included 17 counts of attempted murder.

The measure doesn't impose any restrictions on assault-style weapons or high-capacity gun magazines, priorities of numerous parents and students at the high school, where the accused murderer, Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 rifle to commit the carnage. Prosecutors could seek the death penalty if Cruz is convicted of first-degree murder. Prosecutors have not announced a decision.

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