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Florida bill arming more teachers passes

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:27s

Florida bill arming more teachers passes

Florida’s legislature on Wednesday passed a bill allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom, expanding a program launched after the deadly high school shooting in Parkland with the aim of preventing another such massacre.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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Florida bill arming more teachers passes

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REPUBLICAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE DANE EAGLE: "There is no line where we are handing out guns to teachers that walk through a door." After two days and hours of debate, Florida's House of Representatives voted to allow teachers to carry guns in the classroom.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOE GELLER "It's inevitable that someone's going to make a mistake and lives will be lost." The bill's passage is the latest response to last year's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida that left 17 people dead.

The measure expands the so-called "guardian" program to allow any teacher to carry a gun if they pass a 144-hour training course and IF their local school district approves.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FLORIDA TEACHER SAYING: "If our district ever let teachers carry, then I'd be prepared to do that." In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Florida lawmakers rushed legislation that put at least one armed staff member of law enforcement officer on every campus.

It also allowed some staff to carry weapons on school grounds but not in the classroom.

The passage marks a win for gun-rights activists, who were on the defensive just one year ago when Parkland students inspired nationwide protests in favor of gun control.

The bill is now headed to the office of Governor Ron DeSantis, who's expected to sign it into law.

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