Fla. Senate approves arming school personnel, gun sales restrictions
The Florida State Senate on Monday passed legislation that would slap new restrictions on rifle sales as well as authorize the arming of some school personnel just weeks after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
The state Senate voted 20-18 on the bill, which would also establish new mental health programs in schools.
The legislation also raises the minimum age to purchase rifles from 18 to 21 and establishes a waiting period of three days for buying firearms, with some exceptions.
The bill does not include a ban on large-capacity magazines or assault-style weapons.
The state’s House of Representatives has not taken up its own version of the legislation.
The legislation in the Senate occurs just weeks after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly opened fire on students and staff with an AR-15 rifle.
The shooting reignited the national debate on gun control, with many of the student survivors of the attack calling for new restrictions on gun sales.
While legislation has been moving in Florida’s capital, action on the issue on Capitol Hill has seemingly come to a halt.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested that his chamber would not take up gun reform this week, and will instead take up a banking bill.
President Trump told lawmakers that he supports a plan to “take the guns first, go through due process second” last week. But the White House backtracked on those comments Monday.
“The president thinks we need to expedite the process. He wants to make sure that if somebody is potentially harmful to themselves or other people that we have the ability to expedite that process,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
“Still want to have due process, but we want to make sure it is not tied up for months and months and months, and someone that could potentially be dangerous is allowed to have a gun without us being able to expedite that process.”