TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida Senate will now take up a wide-ranging school safety package Saturday instead of Friday.
The bill, drafted after the deadly mass shooting at a Broward County high school, includes provisions to arm teachers, strengthen school security measures, raise the age on access to rifles and increase mental health funding in schools.
Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, sent out a memo announcing the floor session, saying the bill's sponsor, Senate President-designate Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, wanted “additional time to work on this important issue.”
"Holding a sitting on Saturday is the best option for both working within our existing rules and affording this legislation the serious time and consideration it deserves," Negron said in the memo.
The bill has drawn criticism from politicians and activists on both sides of the aisle:
- Gun lobbyists, including the National Rifle Association, oppose the legislationbecause it raises the age from 18 to 21 for the purchase of all guns and imposes a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases.
- Gov. Rick Scott opposes the portion of the bill that would create a "school marshal" program to arm and deputize teachers and other school staff members.
- Several Democrats - and multiple survivors of the shooting - oppose the legislationbecause it includes the marshal program and doesn't include a ban on assault weapons.
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