Gov. Rick Scott signs school security and gun bill


The National Rifle Association (NRA) has filled a lawsuit in an attempt to block new legislation that will place stricter controls on the sale of guns in Florida.

Until Friday, it was not clear if Scott would sign the measure which cleared the Florida legislature on Wednesday after three weeks of debate, during which emotions ran high.

The law was enacted in the wake of the Valentine's Day shooting death of 17 students and teachers at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, allegedly by a 19-year-old former student who authorities said legally bought the AR-15-style rifle used in the attack.

Florida's embrace of gun restrictions came as Congress remains mired in partisan divisions on the issue and as other states, from IL to Vermont, consider whether they ought to tighten the rules on gun ownership in the wake of the Parkland attack.

An NRA lobbyist has called the bill "a display of bullying and coercion" that violates the Second Amendment and punishes law-abiding citizens.

Survivors of the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School welcomed the new law with caution.

Bondi also lauded the students of Stoneman Douglas, many of whom have called for tougher gun laws. "I still think law enforcement officers should be the ones to protect our schools". But officials in many other districts say they have no plans to back away. It extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns and bump stocks that allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire.

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Florida lawmakers approved the legislation earlier this week with the state House voting 67-50 to approve the bill and the state Senate passing it by a 20-18 vote.

"This bill is not flawless, and sadly it will not bring back the 17 lives lost in the horrific school shooting, but the safety of our children is not a political issue, it's simply the right thing to do", she said.

The program is voluntary for school districts, and any school employees who carry a weapon will have to undergo 132 hours of law enforcement training with the county sheriff's office, pass a background check and take additional diversity training. The Florida legislature blocked that proposal last month. And the state teachers' union asked Scott for a veto, saying the proposal allowing more than 200,000 school personnel to qualify to bring guns on campus would "do more harm than good".

This article has been updated with more details on the Florida law.

The NRA opposes raising age limits to buy weapons or imposing new waiting periods. Nikolas Cruz faces 17 counts of murder and attempted murder.

An analysis of the NRA Foundation's public tax records found that about 500 schools across the country received $7.3 million from 2010 through 2016, mostly through competitive grants meant to promote shooting sports.

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