Local Florida senator proposes new statewide gun legislation

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools' Chairman of the Board, Steve Moss, remembers the 2010 school board shooting vividly.

Senator George Gainer is proposing a new Florida law that would change the way some elected officials protect themselves and others during meetings. (MGN)

"And at that point, the spray painting was one thing, but when he pulled out his weapon that's when we knew that this wasn't a drill that this was serious," said Moss standing near the spot where the gunman stood during the incident.

Currently no one is allowed to carry guns into locations like a polling place, public school board or county commission meetings - among others spots - but a new proposed law would change that.

"If somebody's going to smuggle a gun in and shoot people, they're going to do that, but at least we have at least one designated person there to take them out if that's what we have to do," said Senator George Gainer.

Under the new bill put forth by Senator Gainer "elected officials of a governing body" like Moss or other board members with a concealed carry license would be allowed to pack heat in a meeting.

Moss said that a bill like this could have made difference in the outcome of events in the 2010 incident.

"It very well could have changed things possibly. Obviously we'll never know but I could tell you it was a very helpless feeling being on that other side of that desk with absolutely no way to defend yourself," said Moss.

However, the bill will surely meet criticism.

"I know a lot of people will say that's the last thing we need are more guns whether it be in a board room, in a county commission meeting, or whatever it is. That being said, again perspective is everything," said Moss.

"I think that when a shooter understands that he's not going to be the only one in that room with a gun, then he'll think twice about just taking off and shooting somebody," said Gainer.

The 2020 Florida legislative session is set to begin Tuesday.

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