From the Miami Herald:
Three weeks after the Parkland murders, an emotionally raw House gave final passage Wednesday to Florida’s first gun restrictions in three decades and approved $400 million for mental health and school safety.
The vote by a deeply divided House was 67-50 after a debate that lasted nearly eight hours. . Once the bill passed, lawmakers saluted and waved to the visitors’ gallery and Andy Pollack, whose daughter Meadow died in the massacre.
The gun and school safety bill (SB 7026), which earlier cleared the Senate on a precarious 20-18 vote, goes to Gov. Rick Scott, who said he will consult with Parkland families but declined to say whether he will sign or veto it.
“When a bill makes it to my desk, I’ll do what they don’t seem to be doing in Washington,” Scott said. “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.”
Scott restated his opposition to arming school personnel but did not say whether he will sign the bill or veto it.
All 17 grieving Parkland families signed a letter calling for passage of the legislation.
“More needs to be done and it’s important for the country to unite in the same way the 17 families united in support of this bill,” Pollack said after the vote. “I’m a father and I’m on a mission. I’m on a mission to ensure that I’m the last dad to ever make a statement of this kind.”
Pollack asked supporters to join him on the web site RememberMeadow.com.
Scott reiterated his opposition to arming school personnel, but did not say whether he will sign the bill or veto it.
“I’ve been clear. I don’t think we ought to be arming teachers,” Scott said.
Under the legislation, anyone buying a firearm from a licensed dealer must be at least 21 years old and wait three days before obtaining a weapon, and Florida would have the first statewide program that allows trained school personnel, except those who exclusively teach, to carry guns.
After so many failed attempts, so many “thoughts and prayers” and whiffing at real gun control, this is progress. No, it’s not everything — c’mon, ban the damn semi-automatic weapons already — but in this state and with the power of the NRA aimed at the backs of every state elected official who supports the bill, it’s a good start.