Florida GOP Fast Tracks Another Feel-Good Do-Nothing Bill

Florida gun control

(Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Florida Republicans are once again, putting on a dog and pony show for the state’s gun owners. They’re doing that with SB 7030 which is being fast tracked and rushed through committee.

What exactly is SB 7030? Well, the Florida Senate states the following;

School Safety and Security; Requiring a sheriff to establish a school guardian program under a certain condition; requiring school districts to promote a mobile suspicious activity reporting tool through specified mediums; requiring the Commissioner of Education to review recommendations from the School Hardening and Harm Mitigation Workgroup; revising the duties of the commissioner to include oversight of compliance with the safety and security requirements of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act by specified persons and entities, etc.

In plain English, it throws money at the state’s schools to improve their security, places the schools under some level of oversight, and ostensibly removes the restrictions that currently ban teachers from carrying on school grounds.

It basically makes mandatory many of the provisions that were put in place on a voluntary basis by another Republican-authored bill last year (SB 7026), the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. That was the bill that gave Floridians a state-level bump stock ban, under-21 gun purchase restrictions, and a red flag laws.

Why is SB 7030 a feel-good do-nothing bill? Because it doesn’t change the fact that under SB 7026, certain non-teaching school staff were allowed to carry on school grounds only if two conditions were met; the local school board had to authorize it and teachers had to attend a 132-hour firearms course sponsored by the County Sheriff.

Well, the majority of Florida’s School Boards voted to not allow their staff to carry on their grounds and opted for school resource officers in stead.

The Sun Sentinel reported the following;

The proposal (SB 7030) would expand the state’s Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program created in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

Named for an assistant football coach killed in the massacre, the program allows non-instructional employees to carry guns if they undergo training and pass a psychological evaluation.

Last year, state lawmakers opted not to include most classroom teachers on the list of school employees authorized to carry weapons.

State Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, said the Parkland shooter could have been stopped if a teacher had a gun.

“They were just sitting ducks — with no chance,” he said.

The bill’s sponsor — state Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah — said districts will decide whether teachers should carry guns. School systems also have the option of stationing a law enforcement officer at each school, a costlier option.

There are a total of 67 school boards in Florida and less than 30% of them allow any staff to carry on campus. The majority of the districts that went with the Guardian Program are rural, underpopulated, and underfunded. They can’t afford to have a dedicated school resource officer on duty because the Sheriff’s offices in those counties themselves are underfunded and understaffed.

The major urban districts like Miami Dade or Leon would never allow armed teachers in their schools. The Miami Dade School Board has their own police department. In Leon County (Tallahassee), the board contracts out the school resource officer duties to city of Tallahassee Police Department and Leon County Sheriff’s Office.

If they wanted to actually accomplish something for gun owners, the Republican supermajority-controlled legislature could have instead fast tracked HB 175 or HB 6073, two bills that would have gutted the anti-gun provisions of SB 7026 that were passed after the Parkland shooting. Instead, they’re allowing those bills to languish in committee since House Speaker Jose Oliva is no fan of Second Amendment rights.

Or they could actually just pass campus carry or throw Florida gun owners a bone with permitted open carry. But that won’t happen either since the Senate President is Bill Galvano, the man who authored SB 7026 in the first place.

Instead, the one-time “Gunshine State” continues to slip behind others in the race to expand freedom.

comments

  1. avatar Jay in Floriduh next to Parkland says:

    Ok looks like we are in a hurry to do nothing. Even some schools that have Deputy sheriffs in them full time have proven useless. Parkland is a great example. Give a liberal school board a choice and they will never allow teachers even ones who volunteer to carry to do it.
    Just another feel good looks bad bill.

    1. avatar Michael says:

      The FRINOS in FL will help it turn blue in 202? Time to tax revolt,then they will get the message who is the bioss,or Armed Citizens in the Streets of America if Fed and State adn Local Govt do not stop Illegal Invasion now here.It is Time to Stop it.With Disease and Ignorant People and Gangs pushing the Evil across the S. Borders.Time for the GAllows Or Napalm on the Border take your pick!Look at El Paso,TX they Believe in Beto
      O’Rourke,even the AP believes he has spoken in his native <Language to bring in a New Age America.God Help us all!!!!

  2. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    America continues to become a garbage dump of Globalist Politicians…With Professional Politicians (Roman type senators.) Busy destorying our freedoms and liberties….

  3. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Do you mean like a yellow traffic light causes everybody to stop?

  4. avatar Ted says:

    This is not an accurate article. There is no question it increases school security. And the other side uses incrementalism to their benefit all the time, the fact that it a small — but non-trivial – increment still makes it an advance.

    The idea that “instead” they are need to fast track two DOA bills (175 and 6073) means what? They are not related and not going to pass.

  5. avatar Matt(TX) says:

    “the local school board had to authorize it and teachers had to attend a 132-hour firearms course” ? WTF!
    most school boards are made up of blue democrat nazi’s. Never get that one done. Nobody has time for a One hundred thirty two hour class. You take that class you will be more qualified than the police are.

  6. avatar Truckman says:

    nobody is going to get everything they want I know I would like open carry and trained people carrying in the schools deputies don,t always work out just look at parkland that one should never have been allowed to resign but of been fired so he would not of got full retirement that he does not deserve

    1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

      That Parkland Resource POS deserved to be fired with no pension.
      I have met a few of the Palm Beach Deputies that are full time resource officers. Its a separate department here of the Palm beach Deputies office.
      The ones that I have met are good honest men and women. Doing their day to day duty at the High Schools here in Boca.
      As good people as they are. I cant say how anyone or all of them will/would act if there was a school attack here. There is more then 1 deputy per school here.
      Id like to think better then the single Broward Coward did.
      Unfortunately, no one can know till it happens.
      And it will.

  7. avatar Alan says:

    Seems as if residents of Florida, gun owners included need to discern which side their elected things are on. The side of constitutional rights and common sense, or the side of media hype, and anti civil rights maneuvering. Once their elected representatives orientation is discerned, the voters need to take appropriate action. By the way, if the constitutional rights of law abiding gun owners are given such short shrift, whose equally important constitutional rights will next be sacrificed? Strikes me that that is a question that Floridians need to face.

    1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

      I will repeat this for the 100th time for some of the out of state readers here.
      Florida isn’t the same state it was 20 years ago not even 10 years ago.
      Its been in the South Eastern part here totally flooded with former NYers NJsians and other North Easterners.
      They have more or less politically turned this part of the state into a complete shitbox.
      They have done their best to make it the same shitbox they left up North.
      Unfortunately for us who have been here our whole lives or even 30 +years here.
      This isn’t our home anymore.
      We have been outnumbered by Interlopers and not much can be done about it.

  8. avatar strych9 says:

    It certainly is interesting to watch politics play out in another state and then wonder how your state looks to those watching your politics from afar.

    As for the requirements…132 hours seems like it’s mean to be a barrier rather than something to ensure a standard training level. That’s 16.5 eight hour days. How much of that is instruction on how to use a gun and how much of it is instruction on the law? How much of it is just war-storying like many CCW or hunter’s safety classes?

  9. avatar Aaron says:

    “132-hour firearms course sponsored by the County Sheriff” – you mean like sheriff israel, the Coward of Broward? I mean, how many hours of training does a school armed staff member need to learn “cower behind your car and then blame everyone else”?

  10. avatar possum says:

    I can’t ride my bicycle drunk and not be arrested ,because I have the same privileges as a motor vehicle operater. That sucks. Know your local laws. Most States consider any black powder firegunms a firegumn, so in most States if your a prohibited person and get caught with a .36 Navy your ass is mud. Nevermind that Armed Felon dude on YouTube, he’s full of shit and a person could get in trouble taking his advice

  11. avatar Eighty says:

    “Well, the majority of Florida’s School Boards voted to not allow their staff to not carry on their grounds…”
    Ummm, so they voted to allow them to carry?

  12. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Bill 7030 does do something good.
    Before it passed, full time classroom teachers were prohibited from being armed by way of the guardian program.
    Now. If the school board agrees, they can take the 2 weeks of training. and have a gun in the classroom.
    Teachers who are prior military or law enforcement are also allowed to be armed guardians under the old law

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