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Fla. Gov. Rick Scott signs bill allowing guns on campuses

March 9, 2018 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed new gun measures that, in part, will allow some high school personnel to carry weapons on campus.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The bill narrowly passed the senate earlier this week before clearing the house and landing at Scott’s desk. Included in the bill is the creation of a new program that will train some school personnel to carry guns. Full-time teachers are exempt, but the language allowed for counselors and coaches to be among those carrying firearms.

The Sun Sentinel reported that on-campus personnel who want to carry a weapon would be required to complete 132 hours of firearms training and 12 hours of diversity training. The newspaper also reported that the Florida Education Association asked Scott to veto the bill, arguing it would “do more harm than good” by allowing more than 200,000 of the state’s school employees to carry guns.

Additionally, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act raises the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, implements a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, and bans the sale of bump stocks. The National Rifle Association urged its supporters to contact Scott and demand he veto the bill.

Roughly $67 million of the $400 million bill would be earmarked for the “school marshal” program that would allow on-campus personnel to carry guns. One lawmaker proposed naming it the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program. Feis was among those killed, and one student later told NBC News that the assistant football coach and security guard died shielding kids from gunfire. The school’s athletic director, Chris Hixon, also was killed.

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