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Florida Senate rejects ban on assault weapons, votes to arm teachers

07 March 2018

Andrew Pollack, the father of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, who was killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting on February 14, says changing federal gun laws is just "not achievable" and the focus should instead be on strengthening school safety. "If we all focus together, one nation, no political affiliation, we could work together and make the schools safe, and then go fight it out". Democratic lawmakers attempted to put the gun restriction into a bill, SB 7026, that would invest money in mental health and school safety programs. Mr. Corcoran would like to appeal to President Trump's voter base in his party's primary, and he has backed the armed-teacher program enthusiastically, calling it a "game changer".

Scott was set to meet Wednesday morning with his Cabinet.

The sweeping bill also includes a requirement that all schools must display the words "In God We Trust" under a measure passed by the Florida Senate.

In a rare Saturday morning session, the state lawmakers considered a short-term ban on the assault-style rifle used to slaughter 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month. Other school personnel would be eligible to participate.

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Lawmakers changed part of the bill that has garnered the most criticism - a program to arm school employees who would protect students from an active shooter.

Shortly after the Senate limited which teachers would be allowed to be armed, the governor's office called the move "a step in the right direction", but by Tuesday night, Scott's office had restated his opposition. "I would ask us to begin reflecting on their lives and the bravery that was shown on that day".

Boyd said while legislation should help, it's important for people in domestic violence situations to get help.

The Senate bill also provides almost $400m to pay for school safety and mental health initiatives, along with new powers for police to take guns from those involuntarily committed or deemed a danger to themselves.

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The House's legislative session is scheduled to end on Friday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said McConnell "seems to be afraid of the issue". Just two Republicans, state Sens. Galvano has been negotiating with one of Corcoran's chief lieutenants, House Rules & Policy Chairman Jose Oliva, and Gov. Rick Scott for more than a week on the legislation.

Swift action in the Republican-controlled Tallahassee statehouse, where the National Rifle Association has long held sway, signalled a possible turning point in the national debate between gun control advocates and proponents of firearms rights enshrined in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. "We need a ban on assault weapons and these high-powered magazines".

Senators rejected a last ditch effort to find common ground, voting down an amendment which would have removed both the Marshal Program and the gun control provisions in the bill. The Broward County school system and sheriff's department have been criticized for not acting on red flags on Cruz's mental health problems and potentially violent behavior.

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Florida Senate rejects ban on assault weapons, votes to arm teachers