Florida legislators rush to finish work in final hours

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Across the country, some students are expected to walk-out out of school Wednesday for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students killed February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

The legislature of the U.S. state of Florida voted on Wednesday to pass the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act", a gun control bill would place some limits to gun access and allow some teachers or school employees to be armed.

On Feb. 14, Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle killing 17 innocent bystanders.

The complaint says the law particularly affects young women.

Scott has repeatedly said that he objects to the three-day waiting period in the legislation and opposes "arming teachers", but would not say whether he intends to sign the bill into law. The governor can not veto individual items in the bill itself, but he does have line-item veto power with the budget. "If we want to prevent future atrocities, we must look for solutions that keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans".

The measure narrowly cleared the state Senate on Monday before passing in the House of Representatives on Wednesday in a 67-50 vote.

The bill's narrow passage reflected a mix of Republicans and Democrats in support and opposition.

Accused Florida high-school shooter Nikolas Cruz withdrew his written not guilty plea and "stands mute" to 34 charges, Broward County court filings show.

The action by Florida's lawmakers represented both a break with the NRA on gun sale restrictions and a partial acceptance of its proposition that the best defence against armed criminals is the presence of "good guys with guns". It also would create a so-called guardian program, enabling school employees and many teachers to carry handguns if they go through law enforcement training and their school districts agree to participate.

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That program only commenced, however, with each school district's permission. Otherwise, only non-teacher personnel are eligible, such as administrators, guidance counselors, librarians and coaches.

In Tallahassee, the Florida House was expected to vote on gun legislation stemming from the school shooting.

"We reacted to a frightful situation, our Legislature came together, these families showed up, they were active, students were active", he said.

America's long moribund gun control debate was revived by survivors of the Parkland shooting, who a day after their school was attacked launched the "Never Again" movement demanding legislative action.

"We filed a lawsuit against the state for violating the constitutional rights of 18- to 21-year-olds", said Marion Hammer, lobbyist for the NRA in Florida.

The Legislature delivered the bill to Scott on Thursday.

The measure would raise the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and create a waiting period on sales of the weapons. The NRA says in the suit, quote, "Florida's law banning adult law-abiding citizens under 21 from purchasing firearms of any kind is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment and 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution".

The NRA argues people who are 18 years old are considered adults "for nearly all purposes and certainly for the purposes of the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights".

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