A little over a year after the Parkland school shooting, Florida’s House of Representatives has a passed a bill to allow teachers to carry guns in schools.
What We Know:
- On Wednesday, May 1, the Florida House of Representatives voted 65 to 47 to pass the bill. The bill was then approved in the Florida Senate with a vote of 25 to 17. To become law, the bill still needs to be signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
- This new bill will replace the guardian program that was that was created last year after the Parkland school shooting. The old program allowed school staff to carry guns with the exception of teachers that only performed classroom duties.
- The new guardian program will require teachers to pass a 144 hour training program before being allowed to be armed. According to Reuters, 40 of the 67 counties already have employees from schools enrolling in the training.
- Once the bill is finalized, districts will have the choice to allow teachers to carry guns in school or not. Broward County, where Parkland is located, is among the districts that will not be arming their teachers.
- Ryan Petty lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting and he supports the bill. According to Petty, “School districts need the flexibility to choose as they figure it out for themselves what’s the best way to protect kids on there districts.”
Based on reporting by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Florida will be among at least nine other states that have decided to allow employees to carry guns on school grounds.