FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s Democratic senator says the Republican governor’s plan to prevent gun violence is showing “weak” leadership in the wake of a shooting that killed 17 people at a high school.
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to ban the sale of firearms to anyone younger than 21 is “the bare minimum.”
The senator said Scott’s plan doesn’t ensure comprehensive criminal background checks or ban weapons such as the AR-15 style rifle used in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Nelson said that instead of listening to students, parents and teachers demanding action, Scott is “once again choosing to listen only to the NRA.”
Nelson said the AR-15 needs to be banned and criminal background checks need to be expanded for anyone buying a gun.
The Florida governor’s newly announced gun safety plan focuses on keeping firearms out of the hands of violent people.
Gov. Rick Scott said at a Friday news conference in Tallahassee that he wants to make it “virtually impossible” for a dangerous person to get a gun.
Scott’s plan creates a “violent threat restraining order” allowing a court to prevent a violent person from having a gun when family member of law enforcement officers present evidence of a threat.
In addition, anyone involuntarily committed for mental health treatment would be required to surrender their firearms for a minimum of 60 days.
People subject to protective orders for stalking, cyberstalking and domestic violence would also be prohibited from having or buying a gun.
Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said teachers returning to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday are doing their best to be strong.
Runcie told reporters outside the Parkland school that he did not want to see teachers in his district carrying guns in the future. He said he was “totally against arming teachers” because “they have a challenging job as it is.”
Authorities have said the armed school resource officer on campus did nothing to stop the shooter who killed 17 people at the school on Valentine’s Day.
Runcie said he did not know why the officer failed to act, but there was nothing prohibiting him from entering the building where the shooting began.
Runcie said students and teachers who do not want to ever return to the high school will be transferred to other schools in the county.