The Florida gun bill spurred by the Parkland school massacre is just one signature away from becoming law.
Senate Bill 7026, dubbed the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act," would toughen gun control in several ways -- but also includes a controversial provision that would allow some teachers to be armed.
If Gov. Rick Scott signs the bill into law, it would:
- Raise the age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18;
- Require a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases, with some exceptions;
- Ban the sale or possession of bump fire stocks, which allow a semiautomatic weapon to fire more like an automatic weapon;
- Give law enforcement more authority to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit or otherwise a threat;
- Provide additional funding for armed school resource officers and mental health services; and
- Enact the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which would allow some teachers to be armed if both the local school district and local sheriff's department agree.
That last item was named after the coach who shielded students from bullets with his own body and died in the Feb. 14 massacre.
But there are several caveats to that program:
- Teachers who "exclusively perform classroom duties as classroom teachers" won't be allowed to carry guns on campus, unless they have military or law enforcement experience or if they teach a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program;
- The program is voluntary; no one will be required to carry a gun; and
- Qualified staff members who want to carry a gun must take 144 hours of training.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.