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NRA files federal lawsuit to block new Florida gun law

11 March 2018

Soon after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a school-safety bill that puts new restrictions on guns, the National Rifle Association filed a federal lawsuit to block it.

The Feb. 14 shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida created an nearly predictable outcome in many senses.

Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina was killed in the shooting, read a statement from victims' families. "We have paid a awful price for this progress".

While more guns in schools has always been advocated by the NRA, the gun lobby staunchly opposed the Florida legislation, saying it "punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual".

The measure would raise the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, extend a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns and ban bump stocks that allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire.

Signed into law by Gov. Scott, himself an NRA member, the bill allocates $67 million to develop a voluntary program that will train and arm school personnel through a "school guardian program" HuffPost reports.

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"Preventing a responsible 20-year-old from purchasing the best tool for self-defense will not stop a deranged criminal intent on committing a crime", the NRA said. Surrounded by survivors and families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Scott signed the bill on Friday.

They have flooded social media with the slogan #NeverAgain, met with lawmakers to discuss gun regulation and organised a march in Washington on gun control scheduled for March 24th. "If counties don't want to do this, they can simply say no".

Scott told the students: "You helped change our state".

Stoneman Douglas student Talia Rumsky, 16, called the law a positive change, but said there's "still a long way to go".

If you count Scott, who earned an A-plus rating himself, that makes 68 NRA-approved politicians who chose to break with the group. "It's a baby step but a huge step at the same time". Proof lies in the Florida legislature's vote for new firearms regulations and other gun-violence prevention measures. "You should be proud".

In schools, it would create a "guardian" program enabling staff with law enforcement training and school district approval to carry concealed handguns on campus.

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Providing educational programs, mental health treatment and residential services for students with "severe emotional disturbance".

Women are also impacted by the law.

President Donald Trump and the NRA has expressed support for arming teachers, but most education and law enforcement officials as well as many parents are strongly opposed to putting more guns in school.

Scott said a line-item veto of the provision would have eliminated funds available for the hiring additional school officers this year.

Florida's Broward County school district is believed to be the first to stop accepting NRA money after a gunman killed 17 people at one of its schools February 14. In the brief hearing Friday, Nikolas Cruz stood with his head bowed as he appeared via video conference. Prosecutors have not announced a decision.

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NRA files federal lawsuit to block new Florida gun law