The Florida House approved a sweeping school safety and gun reform bill Wednesday that would raise the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle and allow certain school staff members to carry weapons.
The bill now to goes to Gov. Rick Scott, who has supported many of the provisions in the bill.
State lawmakers drafted the bill, which passed 67 to 50, in response to the mass shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Seventeen people were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire inside the school.
After the vote, lawmakers gave Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the shooting, a standing ovation.
Major provisions in the bill include:
- A ban on bump stocks, a piece of equipment that make semi-automatic weapons fire faster
- Raising the age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21
- $400 million for school security and mental health programs
House spent more than seven hours debating the plan to arm school employee on Wednesday. Meanwhile, dozens of college students held a "die-in" protest inside the capitol building.
The marshal program is supported by the National Rifle Association and President Donald Trump. Initially, the bill would allowed all school employees including teachers in classrooms to carry weapons, but the bill was watered down after protests from law enforcement, educators and students.
Many of the survivors of the Parkland shooting have been outspoken opponents of the marshal plan. Instead, they have advocated for a ban on semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 rifle used by gunman Nikolas Cruz. Repeated attempts to introduce a semi-automatic weapons ban in the bill failed in both the Senate and the House.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.