Florida lawmakers passed legislation that would allow more classroom teachers to carry guns in school, the latest response to last year's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Iran Press/America: The Republican-led House voted 65-47 on Wednesday to send the bill to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it.

The measure expands an existing school "guardian" program to allow any teacher to volunteer to carry a weapon if their local school district approves, ABC News reported.

Teachers who want to carry guns in districts that choose to join the program would have to undergo police-style training, psychiatric evaluation and drug screening. Under a law passed last year immediately after the Parkland shooting, only teachers who also have another role, such as sports coach, are eligible to carry weapons on campus.

The bill comes after 17 people were killed by a rifle-toting shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

Nikolas Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted of those slayings.

Yet new Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was appointed by DeSantis after the suspension of former Sheriff Scott Israel in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, said in a letter Wednesday to the local school board and superintendent that he opposes arming teachers in schools.

BUSINESS INSIDER reported, Americans are more likely to die from gun violence than many leading causes of death combined, with some 13,000 people in the US killed in firearm assaults each year, which translates to a roughly 1-in-315 lifetime chance of death from gun violence.


Photo by BUSINESS INSIDER  

That's about 56% more likely than the lifetime risk of dying while riding inside a car, truck, or van. It's also more than 11 times as high as dying from any force of nature, such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, or lightning strike.

"This program would place students, teachers, and first responders at risk, when our focus should be on keeping our children safe and making schools places where students feel they belong," Tony wrote. "Teachers enter that profession to educate children, not to serve as school security."

Most Democrats voted against the bill, contending that introducing more weapons into schools would place children at risk, raise the dangers of mistaken shootings and even lead to more violence against African American students because of inherent biases.

Several mentioned an incident Tuesday in Pasco County along Florida's west coast in which a police officer assigned to a middle school had his gun discharge in a cafeteria. No one was hurt.

The bill was strongly opposed by Teachers unions, and school boards in some of Florida's most counties have voted against joining the guardian program, preferring instead to leave the security job to trained police officers. But the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jennifer Sullivan of Eustis, said it was the best opportunity to protect schoolchildren from future shooters — and noted it was purely voluntary for teachers to become armed guardians.105/201

 

 

Read More:

Two killed, 11 injured in mass shooting at Jacksonville, Florida

Florida school shooting survivors begin gun-reform tour

1 student wounded in shooting at Florida high school

<br>
Photo by BUSINESS INSIDER  
Florida lawmakers pass bill allowing more armed teachers