A vote for gun control in Florida Senate | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A vote for gun control in Florida Senate

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 7:06 AM

LYING IN WAIT: NRA lobbyist Marion Hanmer will be working the Florida House to stop a remarkable piece of gun control legislation that just passed that state's Senate. - THE NEW YORKER
  • The New Yorker
  • LYING IN WAIT: NRA lobbyist Marion Hanmer will be working the Florida House to stop a remarkable piece of gun control legislation that just passed that state's Senate.
Kid power made a difference in the Florida legislature, with the passage of meaningful gun control legislation by the Senate.

The bill didn't go as far as some wanted, but it went farther than the NRA wanted. The gun lobby undoubtedly is lying in wait to kill the bill in the House, where a veteran NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer has long called the shots on the most gun-friendly (and thus dangerous, thanks to Stand Your Ground) state in the land.

But here's what the Senate bill, passed 20-18, would do:

* Raise the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21.

* Require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases.

* Ban the sale or possession of bump stocks, which can make a semi-automatic weapon function like an automatic.

* Give law enforcement more power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit or a threat.

* Provide additional money for armed school resource officers and mental health services.

* Prevent teachers whose duties are solely in the classroom from carrying guns, with an exception for former law officers and military and then only after 144 hours of training and with the approval of both a school district and the local sheriff.

The survivors of the Florida massacre want more. I get that. But passage of this legislation would be a remarkable achievement, particularly in Florida, and would be well worth emulating in Arkansas.

You may laugh now, at that last sentence.

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