gun control

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

Demanding change and promising their generation would make it happen, students walked out of schools across South Florida and the country on Wednesday — one month after 17 students and teachers died in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The final public hearing of Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission on Tuesday included a new push to let voters decide if Florida should ban assault-style weapons.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

At South High School in Columbus, Ohio, students stepped outside in frigid weather and said 17 names, releasing a balloon for each one.

In Orange County, Fla., 17 empty desks sat in the Wekiva High School courtyard. Students sang — "Heal the world, make it a better place."

A prominent Republican donor says he is among those launching a new group aiming to pressure Congress to enact what he calls reasonable gun legislation.

The political and legal fallout from Florida Gov. Rick Scott's decision to sign a sweeping gun bill into law following a school massacre was nearly immediate as the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit to stop it and political candidates in both parties criticized it.

The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit over gun control legislation Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed, saying it violates the Second Amendment by raising the age to buy guns from 18 to 21.

Associated Press

After consulting with the families of Parkland victims, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed new gun restrictions in response to last month’s massacre that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Scott, a Republican who has long enjoyed the political support of the National Rifle Association, approved a three-day waiting period for the purchase of all firearms and raising the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 — changes the NRA opposes.

Andrew Pollack
Associated Press / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott will meet Friday with the families of victims of last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, raising expectations that he will sign into law a sweeping school-safety measure that sparked veto requests from critics on both ends of the gun-control spectrum.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says the state’s pending school marshal program is the “first-of-its kind” in the nation.

And the Congressman representing Parkland said mass shootings went up 200 percent in the decade after the national assault weapons ban expired.

WUSF's Steve Newborn gets to the bottom of these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

When the bell rings at Chicago's Sullivan High School on the city's far north side, it's a familiar scene. Hundreds of students pour into the hallway heading to their next class. What's also becoming increasingly familiar is the presence of two uniformed police officers in the hallway keeping watch. The school resource officers often chat with the students passing by and Sullivan's principal Chad Adams says the officers provide a higher level of security for the school and much more.

Associated Press

The Legislature’s new plan to arm school employees as a last line of defense to an active shooter might never get tested in Florida’s biggest school districts.

Officials in 10 of the state’s largest systems, which educate nearly 60 percent of all Florida school children, said they have no intention of giving teachers or other staff guns to carry into classrooms.

On a 67-50 vote, the Florida House passed the gun safety bill, already approved by the Florida Senate earlier in the week. Governor Rick Scott won’t say whether he will sign the bill, now heading to his desk. He says he’ll weigh input from those who lost loved ones in last month's mass shooting at a South Florida high school.

The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has renewed calls among many conservatives for heightening school security. But others say that approach misses the point, and risks undermining both the learning environment and trust between students and faculty by making schools feel like prisons.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz discussed gun control at a roundtable Monday alongside students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the school that killed 17 people, Wasserman Shultz said state and federal legislators must act.

“We have to ban semi-automatic assault rifles. We have to ban high-capacity magazines. And we have to make sure that background checks are universal,” said Wasserman Schultz.

The Florida Senate on Monday night passed a comprehensive gun control and school safety bill crafted in response to the Parkland shooting by the narrowist margin.

Before passing the bill 20-18, the Republican-led Senate scaled down the plan for allowing teachers to be armed. Under the new version, people who are “exclusively” classroom teachers would not be allowed to carry concealed firearms unless they’re in the military or law enforcement. Other staff would still qualify.

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