Florida Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Teachers to Carry Firearms in the Classroom

After ten days of passionate debate, the Florida House has passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act by a vote of 67-50. This bill will in some ways tighten gun regulations, but it will also allow teachers to carry concealed weapons while on school property. Over the weekend, FL Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law, something he previous said he wouldn’t do.

A full breakdown of what the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act includes is as follows:

  • Raising the age to purchase a firearm in Florida from 18 to 21
  • Banning the sale or possession of bump stocks in Florida
  • Imposing a three-day wait period on firearm purchases in Florida, while allowing for a few exceptions
  • Providing law enforcement officers more authority to seize weapons from individuals that deem to be mentally unwell or individuals they deem to pose a significant and obvious threat
  • Allotting additional funding to go towards mental health services in Florida as well as additional funding to go towards placing armed resource officers in schools
  • Allowing teachers and other school staff who wish to do so to carry a concealed weapon on school property and creating a firearms and safety training program for these teachers and staff to undergo

Interestingly enough, it is this last provision of the bill that was the biggest sticking point for the Republican governor Rick Scott. Scott has continuously voiced his opposition to arming teachers ever since President Trump first floated the idea in a meeting on how to stop mass shootings.

The Guardian program – the name of the program in the bill that will arm teachers – has faced opposition from a number of others in Florida as well, including Paula D. Wright, Chairman of Duval County School Board, who said, “School districts cannot handle the liability of the Guardian Program. Florida legislators have taken the Pontius Pilate approach regarding ensuring our children — our most defenseless — are safe.”

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act is a bittersweet pill for supporters of the Second Amendment to swallow. On the one hand, additional funding for mental health services and armed school resource officers is something that is long overdue that actually might be able to make a difference in stopping school shooters without having to infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens in any way.

Likewise, enabling school teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons could also prove to be a major deterrent to school shooters, and many of the concerns about this program are largely overblown.

However, some of the other provisions in the bill will be a little more difficult for supporters of the Second Amendment to stomach. There is zero data to suggest that raising the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 will curb mass shootings in any way. In fact, since 2009 there has only been one mass shooting carried out by an individual between the age of 18-20 who acquired his firearm legally, and even still there’s little reason to believe that he would not have been able to acquire his weapon in some other way if the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act had already been in place.

This as well as requiring a three-day waiting period on all firearm purchases will do precious little to stop mass shooters (who normally plan their heinous acts months in advance) and will make it more difficult for law-abiding, vulnerable citizens to defend themselves.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, though, is the provision which allows law enforcement to seize firearms from individuals they deem to be a threat. Infringing on a person’s Second Amendment rights without due process is a slippery slope and is way too much authority to give to any one law enforcement officer.

Nevertheless, many are calling the bill a step in the right direction, supporting both the provisions backed by gun rights groups that the bill contains as well as the provisions backed by the gun control crowd. Only time will tell if the bill makes any real difference in curbing mass shootings in Florida.

Let us know in the comments section how you feel about Florida’s new gun control bill.

~ American Gun News

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29 Responses

  1. I think it stinks …Scott being pressured to do something shows his lack of backbone. He’s handed a Senate seat that could have flipped from Democrat Nelson right to him. The FBI failed, Sheriff Israel failed, the school resource officer failed, the school failed etc….and the NRA and legal gun owners (including those 18-20) are NOT the problem. And isn’t it strange that adults who indoctrinated these students for years had people right there to organize and PAY for their protests. Too many coincidences


    1. Waiting periods and age limits are only “feel good” measures and will have no effect. The worse part is the abandonment of due process. That IS a slippery slope from which there will be no recovery.

  3. Florida is nullifying the 2nd amendment little by little. This is how it happens. The 2nd amend. is still in the Constitution, but each state is chipping away at it. No one is mounting a counter offensive to the well organized, well financed media campaign to ban all firearms eventually. Florida’s Republican governor has caved to the” Crisis of the moment ” The problem in Florida was everyone warned officials that Cruz was a problem, but no one did anything about it. It is easier to blame an inanimate object(firearm) rather than its misuse by a person with a problem. Penalizing legal lawful citizens will do nothing to stop this kind if behavior. Sadly. , many Republicans are buckling to the pressure from the liberals whose real goal is to disarm Americans, but do nothing about criminals(see Chicago)

  4. I have made a decision. I will not tolerate sacrificing my rights as a result of actions of criminals and lunatics. Any future firearms I may acquire will be around regulations. If that makes me a criminal, so be it!

  5. It’s about time at least one state has the sense to pass this type of bill. President Trump should man up and do the same on a Federal level.

  6. I have a concern about law enforcement being able to take someone’s gun without due process.
    I have not seen or heard any guidelines for law enforcement to follow on what constitutes a threat.

  7. Sanford L Korschun – Nothing should remove

  8. NO mentally incompetent person should be armed. CONFISCATION ,HOWEVER, should require ( 1 ) a FAMILY MEMBER request, or a health professional directive, AND ( 2 ) an order signed by a judge.( judges are available 24 hours a day) .
    ( 3 ) Firearms to be held in safe keeping until a hearing determines final disposition.

    Many 18–19– and 20 year old young men are avid hunters, RABBIT, SQUIRREL, Dove ,DUCK,GEESE, DEER ETC.ETC. They should NOT be disbarred as a class. Individual determination would be appropriate .

    WILLING school personnel should be vetted, interviewed, and best candidates SELECTED. AFTER police procedure training in FIREARM USE, SAFETY protocol, situational recognition, AND FIRST RESPONDER obligation /responsibility. THEN LICENSED, REQUIRED CARRY ON PERSON while on SCHOOL PROPERTY.–NEVER IDENTIFIED, EACH 6 MONTHS REFRESHER COURSE, INCLUDING DESIRE TO CONTINUE TO SERVE,

    NO ONE KNOWS the persons who are ARMED . LET the evil minded thugs try to determine that fact.

  9. Florida just passed this law to cover up the inadequacies of their schools safety efforts. If you want to do something then demand all school have bullet proof glass at their entrances that are locked after a given start time of school. Entrances to be monitored in real time by camera and viewed by an armed security officer. If schools refuse cut federal funding until they do.

  10. Waiting period = prior restraint. This bill does nothing to enhance safety and is just a gun grab. The armed teacher’s portion doesn’t arm teachers. requires an extensive amount of trianing, permission from the local sheriff, and permission of the local head of the school board which boils down to – it ain’t happening.

  11. The first three mean I’ll never visit, let alone live in, Florida – all three are in direct violation of the spirit of 2A (and I’m sure we”ll eventually see how the Supreme Court responds). The fourth, we’ll have to see how it’s implemented. It’s a fine line, getting weapons from the mentally ill, but not taking them from someone that just has someone that hates them (like an ex), and claims he’s a problem just to use the sate against him.

  12. I’m not in disagreement with the summation as written in the article.
    In order of appearance…
    1) Don’t know that a 21 y.o. is that much more stable that an 18 y.o. ( I have college age kids). Either you’re capable of proper use and care or you’re not, at any age.
    2) I’ve never felt the need for one, so I can’t comment on this.
    3) As long as my CWP qualifies me for an exclusion, no issue. If not, what DOES qualify?
    4) There needs to be some SERIOUS definition of what this could entail! What criteria has to be met to “deem” individuals mentally unwell or a significant and obvious threat.
    5) Great idea!
    6) See comment #1. Just because you’re a teacher, doesn’t make you qualified to judge a life and death situation. So, safety and usage training, and a functional psychological evaluation would seem to be in order here.

  13. Please let me know what the Florida teacher have to do in order to carry in the class room

  14. What happens if it is the Teacher that goes Trumposis on the classroom. These laws are not the whole answer

  15. None of these emotion filled gun laws will stop the next killing except an armed citizen with a gun period.

  16. These actions taken only limits the ability of law abiding citizens and not a criminal bent on committing crimes Our 2A is granted by god not a bunch of libtard govt officials looking to take away our right to own firearms AR does not mean assault rifle it stands for Armalite Rifle All the libtards do is lie about that meaning Stop lying and tell the truth This law will not stop crime I have joined the NRA because of these liars who misrepresent gun ownership to represent our 2A rights

  17. Do other civil rights have a three day waiting period before they can be exercised?

  18. This is for Governor Rick Scott,

    My name is GySgt. Lew Souder, a Retired Marine. I’m sick and tired of hearing people (Social Media, Anti-Gunners, Liberals and the Democrats) referring to the AR-15 as only an Assault (Automatic Weapon) Rifle. This is a Grave Misconception.
    The people should be informed that the AR-15 was designed in the 50s by a company, ArmaLite Rifles, as a Semi-Automatic Hunting Rifle (Not a full Automatic Rifle). The rights, of the Rifle, were sold to Colts MFG. in 1959 who redesigned the internal mechanisms to make it an Automatic Assault Weapon, which is similar to the M16.
    The AR in the AR-15 does not stand for Assault Rifle – It stands for the company, ArmaLite, who first designed it. Also the age limit, for buying a gun/rifle, should not be changes, 18-21 is OK. The waiting period of 3 – 4 days is crazy. Background Checks should be at least one month with input from all Law Enforcement/Mental Agencies of problem people, for people to be checked. Two more things: 1. Arming Teachers is not the answer. 2. Beef up the schools – make them more Secure..
    I hope that you will find a way to inform the readers of this important information.

  19. Amazing how a group of adults in attempting to satisfy a large group of well funded student activists, just with great fanfare passed a law that would have had NO impact on the murders at the school. Those punished are those who had nothing to do with the incident. If any 18-21 year old voters in FL vote for this Governor as he tries to be a senator are making a huge mistake. He is a slime filled politician. While I don’t own a bump stock I am irritated that the legislature can ban be having one. Feel good democrats and weak spined Republicans have done this. State legislators….I hope all lose their jobs.. As for Scott….you lost my vote and I will do what I can to encourage every voter I know in Florida to not support you.
    The problem about the incident is that Mental Health Posers, The Broward County sheriff’s organization, and the FBI all fell down on the job. And what happens? Scott and his merry band of dullards pass the law that reinforces the position of these incompetent outfits in protecting the school. Talk about missing the target? Tallahassee must really fertilize dumbness

  20. I believe that a the day wait should not be universally applied. For example a person may have been threatened and needs immediate protection. Also schools should be locked and metal detectors used, however this will need to be adjusted for students may have metallic objects in their backpacks which are normally taken to school. Any one wanting to enter the school at an odd time must be met by a responsible person in the school and decision made whether he or she is to enter.

  21. Since Florida now has a 3-day waiting period, that should exempt Florida gun dealers from the requirement to use the National Instant Background Check system. The State has taken over the background checks from the Federal Government, and this will speed up checks for people in the other 49 states. What’s that? You say they still have to use the Federal system? THEN THE WAITING PERIOD IS SIMPLY ANOTHER UNCONSTITUTIONAL INFRINGEMENT OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT, JUST LIKE THE AGE REQUIREMENT. Thank God for the NRA and the federal lawsuits.
    I am an old man. When I served in Vietnam, the draft laws were noticed by everybody. Those draft laws are still on the books. No one notices them now because the Draft Quotas (the number of people drafted) are set at zero. In any National Emergency, those Quotas can be raised, and people 18 years old and over can be drafted again. 18 is the age at which one becomes liable for involuntary military service (including being trained in and required to use firearms). If Drafted, you either find an exemption (HA) serve or go to jail. Jail is safer than serving. Who would be willing to serve in the military for a government that only trusts him/her to carry firearms under government orders?

  22. The oligarch’s have betrayed their oath to the American public, it does not matter if they are Republican or Democrat, or any other party. They took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States of America, not a reinterpretation of. The old worn out cry, is that these documents were written when the technology of firearms was the musket, this is a moot point and has no basis or foundation.
    Our Four fathers who constructed these documents had more intelligence in the tip of their little fingers than the entirety of the Republican/Democratic parties combined.
    Once the unraveling begins, it is hard to stop. 1.) Bump Stocks, etc., etc. ……………. Until there are no components to construct firearms of any sort not even a musket. Everyone involved in these knee jerk responses should be voted out in the next election cycle. The oligarch’s have LIED again and do not deserve the positions that they have been elected to.
    Any teacher willing to participate in firearms training should exercise their Second Amendment Rights, and should not be impeded by these self-indulgent politicians, that are protecting no one with their poor decision’s.
    Political Oligarch’s=Do What I Say, Not What I Do. ………………………………….

  23. Ok so you saying an eighteen year old can’t purchase a gun,so all the eighteen year olds that’s in the military in Florida are not aloud to touch a gun until there 21 so now who’s going to protect the country

  24. How many instant felons do we have out there with bump stocks at home I wonder?

  25. Get rid of the gun free zone signs. What idiot put these into law? That person needs to go to prision for all the killings that had happened in these so called safety zones. What an idiotic person would ever think the signs would deter anyone that wants to kill someone. DUHHH!!!!!

  26. No words written on paper and “Blessed” by the majority stop someone from breaking those laws. When an armed person is shooting at people, only another person with a gun can stop them. Of course there are exceptions to this. Bow and arrow, etc.
    When will the liberals stop with their laws? All they do is waste money on paper! Example is “Obama Care”. Nobody read it, and those that did couldn’t define the rules. My doctor’s lawyer said he couldn’t spend weeks trying to read and interpret it, and the doctor couldn’t afford to pay for him to. No doctoring would ever get done, just constantly be reading the “Law”, and still not knowing what it meant. NUTS!
    Armed good guys are the only solution! Unless you want you kids strip searched and bags examined every time the enter the school?

  27. “A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.” —- Daniel Webster

    Daniel Webster would not have approved of what the spineless governor acquiesced to.

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