The House on Monday voted 84-28 on a Senate bill (SB 4), which now includes a measure that would allow state universities or colleges to be sued if students or others intentionally disrupt or hinder a campus speaker.
The amendment names the program for Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the February 14 shooting that left 17 dead.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) suggested that his chamber would not take up gun reform this week, and will instead take up a banking bill. No further amendments were anticipated, and the bill was expected to pass, according to a spokesman for the speaker's office, Fred Piccolo.
The bill automatically becomes law within 15 days unless the governor vetoes it.
After visiting the Parkland school Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she wants to hear suggestions to improve school safety from students who survived the shooting.
The bill under consideration represented both a break with the NRA on gun sale restrictions and a partial acceptance of its proposition that the best defense against armed criminals is the presence of "good guys with guns". Democrats' efforts failed Tuesday to strip the bill of language that would create a program to arm some teachers and school employees who complete law enforcement training. Each school district would decide whether to opt in. Other exceptions would be made for teachers who are current or former law enforcement officers, members of the military or who teach in a Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps program.
The carve-out for teachers was aimed at winning support from Governor Rick Scott, a Republican and staunch NRA ally who nevertheless is opposed to arming teachers. And it excludes classroom teachers, he added.
Also included in the bill is a school guardian program, that would allow specially trained school personnel, including teachers, deputized by county sheriffs to bring guns to schools.
Democrats said the measures were not sufficient.
Galvano said there are other ways to improve school security, as well. And many pro-gun rights Republicans didn't like the idea of raising the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and to create a waiting period on sales of the weapons. Lauren Book, who helped more than 100 Douglas High students travel to Tallahassee and meet with Scott and lawmakers, sobbed as she described the horror scene at the school, where students' backpacks, papers and bicycles -- and Valentine's Day flowers - were a stark reminder of the carnage that had taken place the day before.
Another key provision would raise the minimum age for all gun purchases in the state to 21. Already, they have lobbied state lawmakers in Tallahassee, spoken with President Trump and persuaded many companies to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. The $400 million package includes more than $100 million for mental health screening and services and at least $25 million to raze and rebuild the building where 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz, who had a lengthy history of mental health problems, used an assault-style rifle to slay teachers and students at the school he once attended.
Cruz had a history of mental issues, numerous encounters with police and was expelled from Stoneman Douglas previous year for disciplinary problems, according to authorities.