Two fathers push for new gun legislation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The Florida House sent a massive school safety bill to the Governor Wednesday.

Photo credit: Slide Fire

The legislation has become a full-time effort for two fathers who lost daughters in the Valentine's Day tragedy.

For the better part of two days, two fathers who never met before they lost children in Parkland worked the phones and met with reluctant lawmakers opposed to a school safety bill. They were incensed at the opposition.

Andrew Pollack, who lost his 18-year-old daughter Meadow said, “That they would come and look me in the eye and tell me they aren’t going to vote for the bill because of one little tiny thing in the bill. You know, my blood boils inside. I can’t even explain it.”

Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter 14-year-old Alaina said, "We’ve had to relive that today with every lawmaker we’ve spoken to, and it's been exhausting.”

The two were applauded when they arrived in the House shortly after the school safety debate began. Representative Kim Daniels summed up the mood this way:

"With everything going on, you can cut the tension in the air," said Daniels

Strong divisions remained over arming teachers.

Representative Shawn Harrison said, “Grownups protect our kids. It's what we do.”

Conservatives objected to raising the age to buy a firearm to 21.

Representative Jay Fant said, “We tell, potentially, a twenty-year-old single mother living alone, that she can not purchase a firearm to defend herself in the state of Florida."

Breaking with her caucus, the Democrat who represents Parkland, says the legislation was better than nothing.

“We understand there are some things we can’t stomach, we also understand that moving forward is something we have to do together,” said Representative Kristen Jacobs.

Governor Rick Scott would not commit to signing the legislation Wednesday, saying instead he will read through it if and when it reaches his desk.