NRA files lawsuit over Florida gun control law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Signs Gun Bill Arming Certain School Staff Into Law

Gov. Scott signs school safety bill in wake of Parkland shooting

Almost a month after 17 people were killed in a horrific Florida school shooting, the state's governor, Rick Scott, signed a gun safety bill Friday that raised the minimum age to buy a gun but also allows some teachers to be armed.

The NRA suit, filed in the Northern District of Florida, focuses on the part of the law that raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18.

Among the compromise bill's other provisions are a ban on "bump stocks" that modify semi-automatic rifles to fire at a high rate, new funding for school mental health programs, and a school guardian program that would arm some school employees. But the NRA shouldn't think, the gun lobby shouldn't think that this is the end of the response to what happened in Parkland.

The complaint says the law violates the second amendment of the United States constitution, which governs the right to bear arms.

Given Florida's sorry history and Republican control of the legislature, it is not surprising - albeit still disappointing - that lawmakers were unwilling to meet some of the bolder demands of the Parkland students, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was among those killed, said more needed to be done, but there's enough good in the bill that it should pass. At least eight states allow, or do not specifically prohibit, concealed weapons in K-12 schools, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The NRA argues people who are 18 years old are considered adults "for nearly all purposes and certainly for the purposes of the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights".

Florida's Republican governor and supporter of the NRA, Rick Scott, has voiced his endorsement of the proposal to raise the legal age of gun buyers to 21.

"This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual", Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

Proof lies in the Florida legislature's vote for new firearms regulations and other gun-violence prevention measures.

Such a provision was included in the Florida package enacted on Friday.

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As for schools, it would create a so-called guardian program enabling school staffers with law enforcement training and school district approval to carry concealed handguns on campus.

He does not support arming teachers. The bill left only non-teacher staff eligible to participate, such as administrators, guidance counselors, librarians and coaches.

President Donald Trump has voiced support for the idea, also espoused by the NRA.

"If there is no punishment, we'll continue to roll them", he said.

"To the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, you made your voices heard", Scott said. Similarly, the three-day waiting period for a handgun purchase did not apply to rifles.

The organization also contends federal law already prevents many Americans 21 or younger from buying certain types of guns.

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old former student accused in the school massacre, faces 17 counts of murder and attempted murder.

Florida's Broward County school district is believed to be the first to stop accepting NRA money after a gunman killed 17 people at one of its schools February 14.

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