These are the gun bills Florida lawmakers are debating after the Parkland massacre

Nearly two weeks after a 19-year-old with mental health issues used an AR-15 style rifle to slaughter 17 students and...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 1:58 AM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 1:58 AM

Nearly two weeks after a 19-year-old with mental health issues used an AR-15 style rifle to slaughter 17 students and teachers at a high school in Parkland, Florida, state lawmakers are considering several bills on gun safety, access to assault rifles, mental health and school safety.

The legislative session ends March 9, so any new laws would need to pass by then. Here's a look at the new proposals and their progression through the state legislature:

Create processes for taking guns from mentally ill

Senate Bill 7026, also known as The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, passed the Florida Senate Committee on Rules on Monday.

The act sets up processes for law enforcement agencies and courts to follow that would keep firearms away from those with serious mental health issues.

The act also prohibits a person under 21 from purchasing a firearm, except in the case of a military service member or law enforcement or correctional officer. The act also bans the sale of bump-fire stocks within the state.

In addition, the bill creates the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. And it requires district school boards to formulate and prescribe policies and procedures for active shooter situations, according to the bill's description.

Senate Bill 7026 passed the Rules Committee on Monday and is next set to go to the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. If it passes that, the bill would then go to the Senate floor later this week, according to Katie Betta, deputy chief of staff of communications for the Office of Senate President.

Keep victims' addresses private

This Senate bill would focus on victims of mass shootings and public records requirements.

According to the Florida Senate website, the bill would create an exemption from public records requirements for the address of a victim of an incident of mass violence.

"The availability of such information has allowed people to take advantage of the victims or their families by subjecting the victims or their families to media intrusions at their homes and other unwelcome intrusions into their privacy," according to the bill's text.

"Therefore, it is necessary that the address of victims of incidents of mass violence be protected to ensure that persons affected by such incidents are not harassed, taken advantage of, or otherwise subjected to additional pain and suffering."

SB 7024 passed the Rules Committee on Monday, according to the Florida Senate, and is scheduled to be taken up by the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

Ban bump stocks

Separately, the Florida House Appropriations Committee passed a bill on Tuesday that will now go to the House floor.

House Committee Bill PCB APC 18-06, a 67-page proposed bill, would set up a commission to investigate the Parkland shooting, ban sales of guns to people under 21, ban bump stocks and more.

Some proposals, including the option for teachers to arm themselves, failed before the committee. An amendment to the bill to ban assault weapons, as well as an amendment for mental health background checks on those licensed to carry a weapon, also failed. However, a ban on the sale and possession of bump stocks was adopted.

Two other related bills, PCB APC 18-07 and 18-08, deal with open records issues. PCB 18-07 would create several public records exemptions for a person reporting criminal activity, confidential meetings of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Commission, and for information on school marshal appointees. PCB 18-08 would exempt victims of mass violence from public records laws.

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