New Florida Gun Laws Compromise Between NRA and Parkland Survivors

The laws grant both sides some of their requests, but leave no party completely happy.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that will change Florida gun laws by increasing gun control in Florida.

The bill, which was passed on March 7, introduces new regulations that are controversial in their compromise between the preferences of the NRA and the preferences of survivors of the shooting in Parkland Florida.

The bill legalizes guns but will institute precautionary measures with the goal of encouraging security in schools and promoting public safety.

Scott took time to consider the bill. He said he would take time as well as speak to families before signing.

The law establishes several new regulations.

In the name of public safety, the new Florida gun laws will raise the legal age to buy guns to 21, extend the three-day waiting period for gun purchases to rifles and create a guardian program in schools that will allow teachers and school employees to carry guns.

It will also provide mental-health programs, a hotline to report gun threats anonymously, increase connections between law enforcement officials and schools and ban bump stocks that allow people to use guns with an automatic fire setting.

However, the bill does not align with the plans for Florida gun laws that survivors of the shooting were looking for.

The guardian program and the authority given to teachers and employees to carry weapons in schools is a responsibility some employees would prefer was not on their shoulders.

However, some are only focused on the safety of the children, even if it means a controversial compromise between the NRA and the views of survivors.

The recent release of 911 calls from Marjory Stoneman High School are another testimony to the chaos and stress that the survivors experienced during the shooting.

In an interview, Joanne McCall, the president of the Florida Education Association, focused on a way to keep children safe.

“If guns are the appropriate answer, then we owe it to our children to provide appropriate numbers of professional, trained law enforcement personnel … whose work assignment is to protect students and staff,” she said.

New Florida Gun Laws Compromise Between NRA and Parkland Survivors
The newest Florida gun laws forbid bump stocks, but allow certain teachers and school staff to carry firearms (Image via Study Breaks)

Although the legalization of guns in Florida does align with the preferences of the NRA, the restrictions that the bill would legalize do not. The compromise between the NRA may provide more conflict than the creators of the bill were looking for, as it does not align with either view. However, it was written with the intent of promoting safety.

The different views about what constitutes safety are one of the reasons why the change to the law is so controversial, as well as the personal losses that have pushed so many to advocate for specific views on gun control.

Before the law was passed, Florida State Rep. Jared Moskowitz gave a speech and talked about his connection to the shooting.

He had enrolled his son in a writing class that occurred near the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.

“That writing class was going on in Parkland on the afternoon of Feb. 14 around the corner from Douglas and that class was taught by Jen Guttenberg. You see, she lost her daughter, Jaime, while she was teaching my son how to write. She put my kid in a closet when her daughter died. I wanted to say thank you at the funeral. I didn’t know how to do that,” he said.

Gabriella Evans, Northern Arizona University

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Gabriella Evans

Northern Arizona University

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