The state of Florida has been ground zero for much of the current gun debate. That’s not surprising since Parkland happened in their own backyard. However, the “Gunshine State” appears to be slipping more and more toward the gun grabbers, with gun control legislation gaining traction that never would have happened before Parkland.
Now, the state braces for a final vote on gun control legislation before the end of this session.
The Florida Senate is moving forward with a gun control bill. A final vote is expected in the chamber today.
With just a week left in the legislative session, time is running out for lawmakers to respond to the tragedy in Parkland. So, lawmakers gathered to hammer out the details of the bill in a rare weekend session. A full vote is expected on Monday, March 5th.
The bill is called the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.
The measure in its current form raises the age to buy a rifle or a long gun to 21 and establishes a three day waiting period for rifle sales. It also sets aside $400 million in funding to invest in mental health services, harden schools by adding metal detectors and bulletproof glass, and creates a program that will allow teachers to be armed.
Now, it’s entirely possible that this will collapse like the assault weapon ban that was narrowly defeated last week in the same chamber. However, that bill was only narrowly defeated, and it’s entirely possible that some lawmakers may figure this is a less invasive bill and vote for it.
Of course, it should be noted that pretty much nothing in this bill would actually stop the next Parkland shooter in the grand scheme of things. While raising the age limit would create a hiccup, it probably wouldn’t actually prevent such an attack.
Instead, it’ll make it impossible for some adults to have the means to protect themselves. After all, people age 18-20 still have rights, but if you prevent them from owning both handguns and long guns, you’re essentially arguing that they’re second-class citizens, unworthy of exercising their constitutionally-protected rights.
Should Florida pass such a law, expect it to be challenged. I can’t think of a single justifiable reason to deny anyone the right to keep and bear arms just because they’re a little too young. Especially since this is the same age category that makes up the bulk of our armed forces.
You know…the people who the government hands full-auto weapon to on a regular basis.
There’s literally no reason to do something like this. Waiting periods accomplish nothing, raising the age limit is constitutionally questionable at best, and while increased mental health spending and hardening schools are probably smart moves, tying them to such controversial measures makes them politically suspect at best.
For Floridians, this may be the last chance they have to prevent a travesty of a bill from becoming law. They need to call their state senators right away and make sure they know not to support this one.