Florida’s House of Representatives has passed a controversial school safety bill that would allow teachers to carry guns on campus, Reuters reports.
The bill with the aim of preventing massacre on campus, was passed on Wednesday following the deadly high school shooting in Parkland.
Reuters reports that out of the 112 Rep members, 47 voted against the bill while 65 voted to pass the bill after hours of debate. Florida’s Senate had earlier passed the bill with 22 against 17 votes last week.
Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law, thereby, enabling schools to arm their teachers in class. However, such teachers are to undertake and pass a 144-hour compulsory training course.
Reuters reports that on 14 February, 2018, a former student armed with rifle opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others.
President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association have argued that an armed teacher could provide the best defense against a shooter bent on mass murder.
Opposition leaders, however, questioned whether the solution to gun violence should be the presence of even more guns, and warned of the danger of a teacher misfiring during a crisis or police mistaking an armed teacher for an assailant.
If signed into law, all schools will be required to place at least one armed staff member or law-enforcement officer in each classroom.
The bill also imposed a three-day waiting period for gun purchases and raised the age limit for buying rifles from 18 to 21.
Although security personnel were allowed to carry weapons on campus before now, guns were, however, banned from classrooms.
Sponsors of the bills argued that school shootings often erupt too quickly in classrooms for law enforcement agencies to respond.
“Already, school teachers in 40 of Florida’s 67 counties have enrolled for the 144-hour course,” a Spokesman for the Florida’s House of Representatives said.
Sourced from Reuters.