Florida House of Representatives Chamber
Gov. Rick Scott
Slide Fire SSAR-15 MOD
Update (March 9, 2018; 3:53 p.m.): Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed SB 7026 into law.
A sweeping Florida bill, SB 7026, that would increase gun restrictions has passed through the state Senate and House of Representatives, sending it to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott (R) for signature. The bill was approved less than a month after the Parkland school shooting in Florida.
Florida Bill SB 7026
The measure raises the minimum age for firearm purchases in the Sunshine State to 21. It also bans bump stocks. The bill defines bump stocks as “a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.”
SB 7026 also calls for a three-day waiting period for all guns, with some exceptions. In addition, it allows law enforcement to petition a court for a risk protection order to seize firearms for up to a year from a person who “poses a significant danger to himself or herself or others.” An LEO who takes a person into custody for an “involuntary examination” would be allowed to seize and hold a person’s guns and ammo for up to 24 hours after that person is released, if that person doesn’t have a risk protection order against them. Moreover, a person who has been deemed “mentally defective or who has been committed to a mental institution” would be barred from owning a gun until a court determines otherwise.
Furthermore, SB7026 allocates money toward the creation of the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program. This program would allow trained volunteer school personnel to carry firearms on campus. A “guardian” is required to complete 132 hours of firearm training and safety. He or she would also have to pass a psych evaluation. They’d also have to pass drug tests and complete certified diversity training.
The bill is careful to say that a “guardian” has no authority to act in a law enforcement capacity “except to the extent necessary” to stop an active shooter on school property. It also stresses that classroom teachers may not participate in the Guardian Program. That limitation, however, doesn’t apply to JROTC classroom teachers; current service members; and a current or former LEO.
School districts have the option of deciding whether or not they want to participate in the Guardian Program.
SB 7026 passed through the Senate in a 20-18 vote on Monday. It made it through the House of Representatives yesterday in a 67-50 vote. Of the 76 Republicans in the House, 57 voted in favor of the bill and 19 voted against it. Of the 41 House Democrats, 10 voted yes and 31 voted no, Politico reported.
The Florida bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who hasn’t indicated whether or not he’ll sign it.
“When a bill makes it to my desk, I’ll do what they don’t seem to be doing in Washington,” Scott said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m going to review the bill line by line, and the group that I’m going to be talking to, the group that I care the most about because it impacted them so much, is the families.”
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