During an emotional call-to-action on the Senate floor Monday, Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, asks fellow Senators to join her in voting for the school safety package.

Say nothing in life is ever perfect but bill will help …. Opponents say it is filled with half-baked ideas not fully vetted.


The Florida House resumed debate on a school safety proposal Wednesday morning that allows some school employees to carry guns on campus. The massive proposal also would restrict access to weapons for those under 21, increase police authority to confiscate guns, and spend $400 million on school security and mental health.

The package, cobbled together in less than three weeks after a Valentine's Day massacre at a Parkland high school, has created divisions among Republican and Democrats and people on both sides of the gun debate.

Last month, survivors of the attack led thousands of protesters in a march on the Capitol demanding a ban on assault weapons and universal background checks for all gun purchases.

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Both items, however, are not included in the legislation being discussed and may make the bill unpalatable to Democrats, some of whom are calling for a special session to deal with the issue.

On the other side, some Republicans may turn down the measure because of its three-day waiting period and the minimum age for gun purchases, additions which are opposed by Second Amendment advocates.

Together, those opponents on opposite ends of the spectrum could doom the bill.

But parents who lost children at Parkland and members of the Broward County delegation in both parties say there is too much good in the proposal to vote it down.

Two of those parents lobbied lawmakers and reporters Wednesday morning as the House began the debate.

"There is enough good in the middle of this bill that everyone can agree on,” said Ryan Petty, whose 14-your-old daughter was among those killed at Stoneman Douglas High School. “What we asked the Legislature to do (is) focus on the things you agree on and not the things you disagree with."

Reporter James Call can be reached at
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