The Latest: Florida Senate passes restrictions on gun sales
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the deadly shooting at a Florida high school (all times local):
The Florida Senate has passed a school safety bill that would place new restrictions on rifle sales, allow some teachers to carry guns in schools and create new school mental health programs.
The Senate voted 20-18 Monday for the bill that’s a response to the Feb. 14 school shootings in Parkland that left 17 people dead.
Few, if any, senators were completely happy with the legislation. Many Republicans don’t like the idea of raising the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 or creating a waiting period to purchase the weapons.
Many Democrats think the bill didn’t go far enough because it doesn’t include a ban on assault-style rifles or large-capacity magazines.
The Senate amended the bill to put limits on which teachers could participate in a proposed program to carry guns in schools.
Florida’s House has not yet taken up its version of the bill.
The Florida Senate voted to name a program that will allow some teachers to carry guns in schools after an assistant high school football coach who was killed in a February school shooting.
The Senate amended its school safety bill Monday to limit which teachers could volunteer to go through law enforcement training and carry guns in schools. Any teacher who does nothing but work in a classroom would not be eligible for the program, but teachers who perform other duties, such as serving as a coach, and other school employees could still participate.
The amendment names the program for Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead. He has been hailed as a hero for shielding students during the attack.
The families of the 17 Florida high school massacre victims called on the Legislature to pass a bill they believe would improve security at the state’s schools.
Reading a statement outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Monday, father Ryan Petty implored the legislature to pass Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal that seeks adding armed security guards, keeping guns away from the mentally ill and improving mental health programs for at risk teens.
Petty’s 14-year old-daughter Alaina was killed in the Feb 14 shooting, along with 13 schoolmates and three staff members.
Students attending a Florida high school where 17 people were shot and killed may be exempt from the state’s high-stakes standardized tests.
State senators Monday voted to exempt students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from having to take the annual reading, writing and math tests given each spring to most students in the state.
The measure was attached to a contentious education bill that includes a new private school voucher program for bullied students.
The Broward County school’s students would still be allowed to take various tests if they wanted.
The measure would also ensure that the school retains its current “A″ grade under Florida’s school grading system.
The Florida Senate has agreed to advance a bill that would increase school safety and restrict gun purchases following a rare weekend session in the wake of last month’s shooting at a high school that killed 17 people.
Legislators debated dozens of amendments to the 100-page bill Saturday before approving the measure for a Monday vote.
The Republican-controlled Senate rejected Democratic proposals to ban assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, along with a proposal to strip language from the bill to create a program to arm teachers.
Some GOP senators opposed it because they don’t agree with raising the minimum age to guy a rifle from 18 to 21.
Lawmakers are scrambling to take some kind of action before the annual session ends Friday. The House has yet to take up its version of the bill.