Democrats made their opposition to armed teachers clear on Wednesday.
Every member of the Florida House’s Democratic caucus voted against a gun and school safety bill that would create a voluntary state-wide program under which selected school staff would be allowed to conceal carry on campus, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Despite Democrats’ opposition, the bill passed 71-42 in the Republican controlled chamber, following the state Senate’s passing of the legislation Tuesday. The bill has been sent to the desk of Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
The compromise bill also contains measures that would restrict gun ownership in Florida, including an age requirement of 21 to buy firearms and a 3-day waiting period for purchases.
In addition, the bill would boost security and place a police officer in every school. Police would be able to confiscate guns from people determined to be a serious threat to themselves and others, the Times reports.
The bill will not ban “assault weapons” as many pro-gun control advocates have urged. Instructors who work only in a classroom setting would not be able to carry guns, but coaches and support staff would, the Sun Sentinel notes.
The detail was added to prevent opposition from Gov. Scott, who is against arming teachers. Democrats have criticized the prospect of letting teachers carry on campus, arguing it would endanger students.
Florida Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), an African-American, said arming teachers “puts children that look like me, look like my child, in harm’s way,” Orlando Weekly reported.
Scott has not said whether he will sign the legislation, which has been blasted by the NRA for limiting Second Amendment rights and by liberals for not including enough gun control.
President Trump congratulated Florida lawmakers for the legislation soon after it was passed, according to CBS Miami.
The state “passed a lot of very good legislation last night,” he said in cabinet meeting Thursday.