Hundreds headed to Tallahassee for hearings on gun legislation

Hundreds headed to Tallahassee for hearings on gun legislation

 The Florida Senate scheduled its first legislative hearing on the new gun legislation today.  An estimated thousand people state-wide hopped on buses and traveled all the way to Tallahassee overnight, to rally for gun reform and a permanent ban on automated assault rifles.

Governor Rick Scott unveiled his school safety “action plan”... which includes 450 million dollars to improve school safety and 50 million for mental health.

Scott wants to put a law enforcement officer and a mental health counselor in every school. He also wants to ban the possession or purchase of firearms by anyone under the age of 21. One hour after the governor unveiled his school safety plan, leaders of the Florida legislature announced they had a plan of their own. Senate President Joe Negron says it does NOT include a ban on assault rifles

The legislative plan would ban sales of guns to anyone under the age of 21. It would impose a mandatory three day cooling off period on gun sales and ban “bump stocks.”

It also includes a program to arm teachers who are certified law enforcement officers, which the Governor’s plan does not. They would be known as “school marshals”. Angie Gallo, legislative chair for the Florida PTA… doesn’t support the House and Senate leadership’s plan to arm teachers… she says, do one job at a time…

The PTA calls the governor’s school safety plan a “step in the right direction.” Patricia Brigham of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence says so-called “military style weapons” like the AR-15 need to be banned, not age restricted.

The head of the League of Women Voters says some of the governor’s ideas reflect common sense.  They think the  overall proposal is still inadequate.   

Meanwhile, Treasure Coast Congressman Brian Mast wrote an opinion piece for the NY Times where he announced his support for an assault weapons ban.

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