Florida Gov. Rick Scott, flanked by Florida legislators and family members of the Parkland school shooting victims, is applauded Friday before he signs the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act in the Governor's office in Tallahassee, FL. PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Wallheiser / AP via The Star
On Friday, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the state’s first gun control bill in more than 20 years. The bill raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns and bans bump stocks, which allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire. It also creates a “guardian program” that would allow some teachers and school employees to carry guns after undergoing extensive training.
“It’s an example to the entire country that government can and has moved fast.” ~ Governor Rick Scott via CNBC
While the bill is not perfect, it was a compromise and a step in the right direction. The students of Parkland, FL were also asking for a ban on assault-style weapons, such as the AR-15 rifle that was used by the gunman at their school. The Governor wasn’t convinced about the guardian program but it is not mandatory and the choice is up to local school districts and sheriff offices if they want to participate in the program.
“When it comes to preventing future acts of horrific school violence, this is the beginning of the journey. We have paid a terrible price for this progress.” ~ Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina was killed in the shooting, via The Star
Almost immediately after the Governor signed this historic bill into law, the National Rifle Association (NRA) sued the State of Florida saying this bill is unconstitutional. They claim that raising the age limit to 21 violates both the 2nd Amendment and the 14th Amendment.
With the signing of this bill, the Governor sent a message to the country that the NRA will no longer have such a strong influence on politics especially when it comes to the safety of our schools.