Fathers of slain Parkland students beg Florida reps to pass gun bill

While Florida House members sparred Wednesday over a gun control measure, the fathers of two girls killed in the Park...

Posted: Mar 7, 2018 12:50 PM
Updated: Mar 7, 2018 12:50 PM

While Florida House members sparred Wednesday over a gun control measure, the fathers of two girls killed in the Parkland school massacre showed up to make one final plea: Pass Senate Bill 7026.

"There's so many good things in the bill, that if someone opposes it, it's hard for me to comprehend why," said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Two fathers said they spoke on behalf of the 17 families who lost relatives

Florida's legislative session ends this week

He and Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter Alaina, traveled 450 miles to Tallahassee to speak, they said, on behalf of the 17 families of those killed in the February 14 rampage.

"As families, we've got different opinions, we come from different backgrounds," Petty said. "We came together, we're united behind this legislation, and our ask is that the House come together as the families have done and pass this bill."

SB 7026 -- dubbed the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act" -- would add several gun control measures to the books in Florida.

It would raise the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21, require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, and ban the sale or possession of bump-fire stocks. The bill also would give law enforcement more power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit and provide more funding for mental health services and armed school resource officers.

But a key sticking point is whether to allow some school staff members to carry guns as part of voluntary program, implemented only if the local sheriff's department and school district agree.

The bill now excludes teachers who "exclusively perform classroom duties as classroom teachers" from being allowed to carry guns at school. Those who have military or law enforcement experience or who teach Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs could be eligible, with 144 hours of training.

Many students say they oppose arming teachers in school, and some staged a "die-in" at the state capitol during this final week of the legislative session.

Pollack, whose son said he agreed with President Donald Trump on arming some teachers, said the bill might not be perfect -- but in this case, it's better than nothing.

"Nothing in life is ever perfect," the father said. "But the majority of this bill is going to help the communities."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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