BROWARD COUNTY (CBSMiami) — Broward County Commissioners want an outside investigation into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting, stricter gun laws, a new building, and a memorial.
Wednesday, the commission approved plans to hire an outside consultant with mass casualty expertise to conduct an independent review investigating all aspects, before, during and after the shooting.
“The biggest priority we have as an elected official is for the health and safety of our residents. We have that duty. We have that obligation and I think we, as a Commission, need to know what failed so we can take action,” said Vice Mayor Mark Bogen.
“Somebody needs to give us a report that’s going to be unimpeachable and impeccably done, open and transparent. I want them to tell us what the mistakes were and more importantly, tell us how this is going to be prevented again in the future. From what I’m seeing so far, there were some ways that this might have been prevented. I think we owe it to the victims and we owe it to the residents and visitors of Broward County,” said Commissioner Michael Udine.
The Board also approved the creation of a task force to review and evaluate the after-action reports of all agencies and entities connected to the shooting.
“I think we are in a unique position to do that. We have connections with all of these different entities and I think it’s up to us to figure out how to coordinate information that comes in, to look at ways that we can share information, and to look at where the log jams are,” said Mayor Beam Furr.
The Commission passed two separate resolutions stating they favor gun control laws and want the classroom where the freshman building where the shooting occurred to be demolished and replaced.
“We can’t pass an ordinance, because we’re prohibited by state law from passing gun control regulations, but we can pass a resolution stating the measures that we support,” said Mayor Furr.
The gun law resolution includes consideration of a ban on assault weapons, restrictions on the amount of ammunition and number of firearms an individual can purchase, restrictions on firearms modifiers, the establishment of a state gun registry, mandatory reporting of all firearm sales to law enforcement, requiring an earned permit for an individual to purchase a firearm, and the establishment of a universal background check system throughout the state of Florida for all firearm sales.
The Board also encouraged supplemental funding for mental health services programs and a provision that requires a completed background check before a gun can be purchased or transferred.
“There’s no one solution. We need to combine mental health services, school safety measures and sensible firearm reforms,” noted Commissioner Nan Rich.
Commissioners also asked the Florida Legislature to appropriate the necessary funds to demolish and rebuild the freshman building where the shootings took place and to fund a memorial.
“This is money that should come from the state on an emergency type basis so that children don’t have to go back in that building,” said Commissioner Udine. “I want to make sure that funds come from Tallahassee for proper removal of the building and a memorial.”
Broward Commissioners directed the County Attorney to analyze the limitations placed on local governments when it comes to passing gun regulations and report back to the Board on actions that may be permissible under existing laws.
“I realize that we are precluded from making any regulations regarding arms and ammunition. However, there’s been discussion on whether we have the authority to determine if gun shows can be held on county property or if gun shops can be more regulated. So this is a motion to direct the county attorney to determine what, if anything, we can do,” said Vice Mayor Bogen.
“I don’t think the public even realizes that there’s not a lot that we can do on the local level and it’s really unfair,” said Commissioner Udine.
“The County Attorney should look as broadly as possible,” said Commissioner Steve Geller. “Let’s find out what we can do.”