Gun control activists scored a huge victory this week. Florida’s legislature approved a controversial gun safety bill Wednesday. The deep-red, gun-loving state is the first to impose serious restrictions on rifle sales since the devastating Parkland, Florida high school shooting.
The NRA is furious. Florida Republicans voted for a host of measures that the group has been lobbying against for years. The bill raises the minimum age to buy rifles to 21 and imposes a lengthy waiting period before the purchase can go through. Bump stocks, the device used by Stephen Paddock in the Las Vegas mass shooting, are now banned.
“There is a cultural divide in this room, in this state and across the country. And there’s a bill before us that is not perfect,” Rep. Kristin Jacobs said.
Most of the bill focuses on school safety. It creates a protection program that will see school districts and police departments working together to keep students safe. Trained employees will be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus.
The bill also establishes new mental health programs for troubled students. It received bipartisan, but not unanimous support.
“I just can’t imagine that Nikolas Cruz can commit such a heinous crime and then as a result we tell, potentially, a 20-year-old single mother living alone that she cannot purchase a firearm to defend herself,” a Republican Congressmen complained.
19-year old Nikolas Cruz massacred 17 people on a high school campus last month. Prosecutors are considering going after the death penalty.
Florida activists didn’t get everything that they’re clamoring for, but they accomplished a lot. A few years ago Republicans would never have agreed to raise the age limit for rifle purchases. A lot of conservatives still believe that it’s unconstitutional.
The Florida bill is likely just the first in a long string of gun control measures about to come into effect across the country.
(Source: Daily Mail)