Florida has moved a step closer to arming some teachers after politicians passed a school safety bill in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
The new laws, which include restrictions on the sale of rifles, still need to be signed off by the state’s governor Rick Scott – who has declined to say whether he will give them the go ahead.
The 67-50 vote reflected a mix of Republicans and Democrats in support and opposition.
The measure, a response to the shootings at the Parkland high school that left 17 dead, is supported by the victims’ families.
Shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was formally charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder on Wednesday, which could mean a death sentence if he is convicted.
Scott has repeatedly said he does not support arming teachers and had pushed lawmakers adopt his own proposal, which called for at least one law enforcement officer in every school and one for every thousand students who attend a school.
Andrew Pollack, who lost his 18-year-old daughter Meadow in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, supported the bill.
“More needs to be done, and it’s important for the country to be united in the same way the 17 families united in support of this bill,” he said after the vote.
“My precious daughter Meadow’s life was taken, and there’s nothing I can do to change that, but make no mistake, I’m a father and I’m on a mission.
“I’m on a mission to make sure I’m the last dad to ever read a statement of this kind.”
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