TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) —Next week will mark one month since the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland.
For the all the heartache the community has experienced, Friday was a step toward ensuring it never happens again.
There are many who are saying what was passed by the Florida legislature is not enough but they are also saying it’s a start.
In front of families who lost their children in Parkland last month, Governor Rick Scott signed the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act – the product of weeks of heartache, lobbying, and a national movement.
“Every student in Florida has the right to learn in a safe environment and every parent has the right to send their kids knowing that they will return safely at the end of the day,” Gov. Scott said.
Afterward, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was killed in the school shooter pledged to keep fighting for more reform in other states.
“I wish I could tell you that I’m happy but how could we be happy. We buried a sister and I buried my daughter. To me, this is a start for us,” Pollack said.
The bi-partisan bill goes into effect immediately and will limit access to guns.
Students who rallied for the reform are thrilled. Sophie Aoioung-ch, a junior at Majorie Stoneman Douglas said “I definitely think it’s a step forward. There is a lot that still has to be done.”
Still, she would like to see background checks.
In addition to raising the minimum age to 21 to purchase a gun, bump stocks will be illegal, and all gun purchases will have a three day waiting period.
- Every school in Florida will now have an officer assigned to it.
- All schools will now be required to do a schoolwide active shooter training every semester.
- Nearly $100 million is being allocated to fortify schools with metal detectors, bulletproof glass, steel doors and upgraded locks.
- A new “FortifyFL” app will be created to allow for anonymous tips on school threats.
- More than $100 million has been set aside to expand mental health services.
- The bill establishes a task force to investigate what went wrong on February 14th and provide more solutions.
- Finally, the most controversial element may be the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, that will allow school staff to carry firearms. Teachers are excluded and the volunteer program requires the school board and sheriff’s office both to sign off on it. Both Miami-Dade and Broward both have said they will not participate.
Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the bill does a lot of good.
“Overall, we think there are some great things in the bill. It is not a perfect bill but it is a good start. Applaud the governor. Applaud the legislature for that,” said Runcie.
Roughly an hour after the ink had dried on Florida’s new gun reform, the first in 22 years, the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed a federal lawsuit.
The NRA said the ban on gun ownership under the age of 21 “violates the fundamental rights of thousands of responsible, law-abiding Florida citizens and is thus invalid under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.” (The right to bear arms and the right to equal protection.)
The lawsuit argues women are disenfranchised the most because “females between the ages of 18 and 21 pose a relatively slight risk of perpetrating a school shooting.”
The governor, who prior to Friday had a top rating by the NRA, seemed unmoved.
“I’m sure there are NRA members that agree with this bill and NRA members that don’t agree with this bill. I’m going to do what is common sense,” Scott said.
The bill also includes $25 million to tear down the 1200 building where the shooting occurred and replace it with a new facility. There is also a million dollars for a permanent memorial to those who died in Florida’s deadliest school shooting.