Florida Gun Control Measures Head to Governor\'s Desk

 Katelyn Newman

A BIPARTISAN PACKAGE OF gun control measures awaits the signature of Florida Gov. Rick Scott three weeks after a fatal shooting in which 17 students and teachers were killed at a high school in the state.

Passing in the Florida House of Representatives late Wednesday in a 67-50 vote, the package raises the legal age for buying rifles from 18 to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period on all gun sales and bans bump stocks – attachments that enable rifles to fire faster. It also would allow for the arming of some school employees through a $67 million voluntary "marshal" training program. Additionally, the bill allocates more funding for school security measures and expands state funding for mental health resources to students.

But some have noted that the $400 million gun control and school safety bill does not include significant regulations on guns themselves. It doesn't ban high-capacity magazines or assault-style weapons like the one used in the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Nor does it strengthen background-check protocols in gun sales, for which Parkland students, lawmakers and President Donald Trump have voiced support since the shooting. A proposed amendment to the bill for a two-year moratorium on the sale of AR-15s – originally embraced by the state legislature – also was rejected.

Scott said Wednesday prior to the House vote that he had not yet decided whether to support the bill. If signed by the Republican governor, the legislation will represent the first successful gun control measure to pass in the Sunshine State in more than 20 years. If Scott does not sign it – but doesn't veto it, either – the bill will automatically become law within 15 days.

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