Education
7:22 am
Mon February 11, 2013

House Bill Would Use Gun Taxes for School Security

State Rep. Linda Stewart (D) of Orlando
State Rep. Linda Stewart (D) of Orlando
Credit MyFlorida.com

The Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting has revived the debate in many state legislatures over new gun laws as well as school security and mental health care.

After holding roundtable discussions with gun owners, teachers and law enforcement officers, State Rep. Linda Stewart of Orlando came to a conclusion about Florida’s elementary schools.

“It appears that there are not enough officers or mental health counseling in kindergarten through 5th grade for an early intervention for us to identify kids that may be having future problems,” Stewart said.

So, the new state lawmaker and former Orange County Commissioner  filed a bill that would earmark taxes already collected on gun and ammunition sales to help pay for counselors and safety officers.

Stewart told Florida Matters that paying for such new measures is always an issue but using existing taxes on weapons seemed clear cut to her.

“When you have 1 million concealed weapons, that’s a lot of ammo,” Stewart said. “So I would think that they would be happy to say that some of that money they have to pay already would got into a positive trust fund to help in the elementary schools.”

Both of Stewart’s house bills, HB325 and HB327, have been referred to the K-12 education subcommittee.