Florida Senate narrowly passes controversial gun bill

US school students at a Washington rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Parkland High School

US school students at a Washington rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Parkland High School

"More needs to be done, and it's important for the country to be united in the same way the 17 families united in support of this bill", Pollack said after the vote.

"This is a unsafe bill for people of color, particularly, I believe, young black and brown boys, young black and brown girls, black and brown teachers, males and females. They've been shouting it into their ears writing letters, talking to congress and senate alike and frankly I can't believe they haven't heard yet", Deitsch said.

A little less than three weeks after the unthinkable unfolded at their Florida high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas students will appear at one of the most famous performance venues in the world.

The legislative session is set to end this Friday.

"My community was rocked. I can't vote to put more guns in schools, in the hands of teachers or others", Farmer said.

"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", Fant said.

"This is the first step in saying never again".

On Monday, they called on the Florida Senate and House to support Gov. Rick Scott's plan for school security and mental health initiatives.

Scott "is against arming teachers", said Lauren Schenone, a spokeswoman for the governor.

"Our message is simple: We must be the last families to lose loved ones to mass murder in a school". Carly Novell, editor of the school's newspaper, said DeVos had little interaction with students and teachers during her hourlong visit. They said that explicitly.

The Florida Senate voted to name a program that will allow some teachers to carry guns in schools after an assistant high school football coach who was killed in a February school shooting. 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.

But that provision was amended in the Senate to generally exclude classroom teachers from the plan to allow school staff to carry firearms. In its final form, the bill barred classroom teachers from the initiative with the exception of those who are JROTC instructors, former law enforcement, or military. The program, named after a Marjory Stoneman Douglas coach who scarified his life in order to protect students during the shooting on February 14, would allow county sheriffs the choice of arming and training school staff how to respond to and prevent an active shooter scenario.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday the House will take up a bill creating a federal grant program to train students, teachers and school officials how to identify and intervene early when signs of violence arise.

Students from Stoneman Douglas High School were in Cape Coral asking for changes to the state's constitution.

Sen. Bill Galvano, the bill sponsor, said the "Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program", would honor the coach "who used his body to shield students from bullets" and "in doing so, lost his own".

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