Upon the Florida Senate’s rejection of a ban on assault weapons, they went in a surprisingly different direction. Instead, they voted for a measure that will arm certain teachers.
This decision comes just weeks after 17 people (students and teachers) lost their lives to the deadliest high school shooting yet.
In addition an amendment seeking to ban assault weapons (and attached to a wider bill) did not go through on Saturday, thanks to a party-line vote. The ending vote was 20-17 against the ban on assault weapons. Meanwhile, only two Republicans (and all 15 Senate Democrats) were in support of the amendment.
The expectation is for the full bill (known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act) to pass the state Senate before heading to the Florida House.
Jaclyn Corin, a student of Stoneman Douglas, wrote a tweet saying that the ban’s rejection broker her heart, but that she and other students will not allow this to stop their movement against assault weapons.
Upon hearing the news, David Hogg – a fellow Stoneman Douglas student – sent a tweet saying, “Elections are going to be fun!” Hogg has been quickly becoming one of his high school’s most passionate activists against assault weapons since the mass shooting.
According to Yahoo! News:
Also, an amendment to remove a provision to train and arm some teachers failed.
The bill raises the minimum age to buy a rifle or a shotgun to 21 from 18 and bans the use, sale or possession of bump stocks, which were used in the Oct. 1 shooting deaths of 58 people in Las Vegas. The device effectively turns semi-automatic weapons into automatics.
The bill includes $400 million in funding for schools to address mental health issues, the Herald reported.
Nikolas Cruz, the accused 19-year-old killer who was expelled from Stoneman Douglas, had a history of run-ins with the law and school officials. 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.