Florida Senate passes school safety bill that includes arming school employees

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS DESK) - After three hours of debate Monday afternoon, the State Senate response to the Parkland shootings that claimed 17 lives was approved by a vote of 20 to 18.

Sponsor Bill Galvano, a Republican from Bradenton, told senators that had this legislation been in place, the shooter in Parkland would not have gotten a gun and if he had, ,if would have been taken away.

Galvano said, “this bill will make a difference now. When it becomes law, things will start changing.”

Three Democrats voted for the bill, Four Republicans against. One of them, State Senator Tom Lee of Brandon, says lawmakers could have done more.

Lee stated, “I don’t think it went far enough. I thought it was too political. I think the solutions on the gun stuff are not strong enough. If you really are going to do some sort of gun control, then don’t create a model where all you have to do is sell guns to 18 year old on a three year lease, like you do on an automobile, and they can still buy them. You know, close those loopholes.”

Others promised not to forget the 17 who died, insisting they would address more issues during the 2019 Session. The legislation now goes to the House, and because of the tight Senate vote, any changes could jeopardize the bill's passage.