About 20 protesters participate in a die-In on the fourth floor rotunda of the Florida Capitol, in Tallahassee, March 6, 2018, as they continue to push for an assault weapons ban.
PHOTO CREDIT: Scott Keeler/The Tampa Bay Times via AP and ABC News
Yesterday, lawmakers in Florida passed a gun-control bill in response to the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, FL three weeks earlier. The passing of this bill is a major victory for the youth leaders in Parkland who have been passionately advocating for stricter gun laws.
The bill meets a mix of demands from those fighting for gun control and those protecting gun rights. The legislation would raise the minimum age to purchase any firearm from 18 to 21, it would create a three-day waiting period on gun purchases, and it would ban “bump stocks” which modify guns to make them fire faster, similar to military-style automatic weapons. The bill would also fund school police officers and mental health counselors while allowing local school districts and sheriffs to arm certain school personnel.
While it’s not perfect, the students of Parkland urged their lawmakers to sign it in quickly as it makes progress in the fight for safer schools and stricter gun control. The bill is lacking bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but what it does accomplish goes up against much of what the NRA lobbies for. The Governor of Florida still needs to approve the bill, which is not certain as he hasn't yet said if he will sign the bill into law.