Posted by 12 March 2018
After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there has been an intense debate in the state – and the nation -- over gun laws. From national figures to the students from the high school, attention has been focused on what Tallahassee will do on gun control.
As a result, in early March legislators approved measures that would stiffen Florida’s gun laws and provide more armed security at schools. Gov. Rick Scott signed the legislation into law soon afterwards.
Here are the provisions of this new gun control legislation:
- Mandate a 3-day waiting period for purchasing most rifles and shotguns
- Prohibit anyone under 21 years of age from purchasing rifles or shotguns (individuals under 21 are already banned from purchasing handguns)
- Ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to mimic the firing pattern of fully-automatic rifles
- Allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from people accused of being a threat and set up a judicial process to challenge these confiscations
- Provide funding to arm some school employees and train them
Florida legislators also considered a bill that would ban so-called “assault weapons,” but that bill failed to gain support from a majority.
The passage of gun control legislation in Florida, a Republican-controlled legislature, is a departure from recent trends. States that have enacted significant gun control bills recently have been where Democrats have the majority in legislatures, such as in Maryland or Connecticut. Most of the Democrats in the Florida legislature voted against this legislation because they did not think it was strong enough.
The National Rifle Association quickly filed suit to block enforcement of the provision that restricts gun purchases to those over 21 years of age.
Do you support raising the age for purchasing rifles and shotguns? Should law enforcement be able to seize guns from people before courts determine them to be a threat?