Florida – February 28, 2018 – A Senate Rules Committee recently passed a $400 million dollar school safety bill that will bolster mental health treatment and increase the number of school resource officers, and would allow teachers to carry guns in schools if they complete training in the Florida Sheriff’s Marshall Program. The House Appropriations Committee approved the measure on February 27 that would allow the “school marshal” program — where law enforcement trains and deputizes a teacher or staff personnel to have a concealed weapon while on campus — to be implemented. The vote was 23-6 vote. However, superintendents and the school boards must approve the program and deem it necessary in order to implement it in a district.
A recent Florida Charter School Alliance (FCSA) survey of member school operators and stakeholders throughout Florida reveals that 88% of respondents oppose arming teachers and school personnel. However, 77% of respondents support having an armed officer assigned to every school campus.
According to a poll by Quinnipiac Univeristy, Florida voters also oppose allowing teachers to carry guns. “Voters with children under 18 years old in public schools oppose arming school personnel 53 – 43 percent. But 51 percent of voters say “increased security at school entrances” would do more to reduce gun violence in schools, compared to 32 percent who say stricter gun laws would do more and 12 percent who say armed teachers would do more to keep schools safe,” the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.
More from the Quinnipiac University press release:
Florida voters support 62 – 33 percent a nationwide ban on the sale of “assault weapons.” In a separate question with different wording, voters support 53 – 42 percent a nationwide ban on the sale of all “semi-automatic rifles. Voters support 65 – 29 percent “stricter gun laws,” with strong support for other gun control measures:
- 96 – 3 percent for requiring background checks for all gun buyers;
- 62 – 34 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds;
- 87 – 10 percent for a mandatory waiting period on all gun purchases;
- 78 – 20 percent for requiring that all gun buyers be at least 21 years old;
- 89 – 8 percent for allowing police or family members to petition a judge to remove guns from a person who may be at risk of violent behavior;
- 92 – 6 percent for banning gun ownership by anyone who has had a restraining order for stalking, domestic abuse or other reasons.
Click here to take the FCSA survey.