After emotional debate, Florida Senate barely passes new gun law – here’s what’s in it

After emotional debate, Florida Senate barely passes new gun law – here’s what’s in it
The Florida state Senate passed new regulations on gun sales Monday while expanding mental health spending and allowances for some teachers to carry guns on school premises. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Florida state Senate passed legislation about guns after an emotional debate Monday that focused on the horrible school shooting on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Here’s what they passed.

The legislation passed 20-18 and included new gun restrictions, but also made allowances for teachers to carry guns on school premises.

The bill places an age restriction of 21 years from 18 on the purchase of rifles, and also implements a waiting period for the same weapons. While gun rights advocates didn’t like that provision, gun control advocates didn’t like that teachers would be allowed to carry guns in schools, even though that part of the bill was weakened for passage.

“Do I think this bill goes far enough? No! No, I don’t!” said Democratic Senator Lauren Book, who advocated for a ban on AR-15 rifles.

“My community was rocked. My school children were murdered in their classrooms,” she said. “I cannot live with a choice to put party politics above an opportunity to get something done that inches us closer to the place I believe we should be as a state. This is the first step in saying never again.”

CBS News listed other provisions in the bill the Florida Senate passed:

In addition to the gun restrictions and arming some school personnel, it would create new mental health programs for schools, improve communication between schools, law enforcement and state agencies, create a task force to look at mistakes made during mass shootings nationally and then make recommendations on how to continue to improve law, and establish an anonymous tip line where students and others can report threats to schools.

The bill now goes to the Florida state House of Representatives for consideration.

Here’s a local news report on the debate and gun bill: