Saturday, 15 December, 2018

NRA files lawsuit over Florida gun control law

Dr. Judy Gilreath Dr. Judy Gilreath
Melinda Barton | 10 March, 2018, 22:36

Rick Scott signs the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act in the governor's office at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., Friday, March 9, 2018.

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow died, made his own comments to reporters while standing with his teenage son Hunter.

It also marks Mr Scott's break with the National Rifle Association, and the group's powerful lobbyist called the bill "a display of bullying and coercion" that would violate Second Amendment rights and punish law-abiding citizens. Survivors of the shooting spearheaded a new movement of gun law reform activism that has challenged the National Rifle Association's grip on the Republican party.

On Wednesday, Nikolas Cruz was formally indicted on murder charges over the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb 14.

The governor has supported the bill since its formulation.

"Today should serve as an example to the entire country that government can and must move fast", Scott said in remarks before the signing, surrounded by survivors of the shooting and their families.

While standing with families of the victims from last month's shooting, Scott backed the bill as a way to prevent future massacres. "We have paid a awful price for this progress".

The legislation also excludes proposals to ban assault weapons like AR15 and other semiautomatic rifles.

It extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns and bump stocks that allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire.

Scott, a Republican who received the NRA's endorsement as governor and its highest rating for supporting the rights of gun owners, said the bill represented a compromise balancing concerns on both sides of the gun debate.

School resource officer Scot Peterson, who officials say waited outside the school building as the shooting unfolded, initially oversaw his colleagues' response to the shooting.

Earlier Friday, Scott hailed the "historic legislation" that would help ensure that "every student in Florida has the right to learn in a safe environment".

"I ask that you not only vote yes but do so proudly because I think that this is a budget that has everyone in the chamber's fingerprints on it", he said.

Teachers, meanwhile, called on Scott to use his line-item veto power to zero out the $67 million set aside for the program to train and arm school employees. The student organizers want everyone to feel they can participate, Cotrone said, including students of different viewpoints, and staff members. "And that's healthy in our democracy", he said. "This is a time for all of us to come together, roll up our sleeves, and get it done", he said. It should have been obvious that we needed to do something after Parkland. The state law is being dubbed the Marjory Stoneman #Douglas High School #Public Safety Act.

He added: "It's a baby step, but a huge step at the same time".

President Donald Trump congratulated Florida lawmakers, saying they "passed a lot of very good legislation". SB 7026 also prohibits gun ownership by people mental health problems and expands the three-day waiting period that had applied only to handguns to now include long gun purchases.

The organization also contends federal law already prevents many Americans 21 or younger from buying certain types of guns. While the NRA supports arming teachers, the Florida teachers union is opposed to the program. The governor can not veto individual items in the bill itself, but he does have line-item veto power with the budget.

That program only commenced, however, with each school district's permission. In the brief hearing Friday, Cruz stood with his head bowed as he appeared via video conference. His attorneys have said he would plead guilty in return for a life sentence instead of the death penalty. Prosecutors have not announced a decision.