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Gun Control

The Pro gun rights group Florida Carry is threatening to sue Leon County after it passed a gun related ordinance. The ordinance imposes a waiting period and background checks for private gun sales. A 2011 preemption law prevents counties from regulating guns, but a 1998 constitutional amendment allows counties to enact background checks and waiting periods. Program Director for Florida State University’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, Mark Schlakman says the constitution should prevail.

City of St. Petersburg

In 2011, Gov. Rick Scott signed a law backed by the National Rifle Association that essentially stripped cities of their right to enact gun control regulations.

Seven years and a wave of political activism later, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman joins ten Florida cities suing the state in hopes to overturn the legislation.

The Broward School Board unanimously voted Tuesday to reject the state’s new program to arm school staff in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shootings.

Three more Florida cities are challenging a state law prohibiting them from enacting gun regulations.

Last week, several cities announced they were suing Gov. Rick Scott to overturn a 1987 state law that bans cities from passing tougher restrictions than the state on guns..

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam made his pitch for governor before a group of civic leaders in Tampa Friday morning.

Putnam laid out his vision for education reform before taking questions from the audience at Cafe Con Tampa. He called for increased funding for technical colleges and vocational training in Florida's middle and high schools.

The growing momentum for tighter gun control after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., is highlighting the National Rifle Association's history of aggressively confronting challenges to what it regards as Second Amendment rights.

Federal limits on both research into gun violence and the release of data about guns used in crimes are powerful reminders of the lobbying group's advantages over gun control activists. For decades, the NRA pushed legislation that stifled the study and spread of information about the causes of gun violence.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Local governments in Florida can't regulate guns and city leaders who don’t abide by state law can face up to a $5,000 fine or removal from office.

Students at the Florida high school where 17 students and staff members were massacred are now carrying their belongings in clear plastic backpacks in hopes that it will make it difficult to smuggle weapons onto campus.

Elected officials from 10 Florida cities are suing state officials over a law that prohibits local governments from enacting their own gun regulations.

In Florida, only the state is allowed to regulate firearms. Local government officials who ignore that law — posting signs prohibiting guns in city parks, for example — face stiff penalties. They include removal from office, a $5,000 fine officials must pay from their personal funds, and lawsuits from any person or group affected.

Armed security officers are becoming more prevalent at America's schools, according to a federal study released Thursday amid a heated debate over whether teachers and other school officials should carry guns.

Justices Weigh Police ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense

Mar 29, 2018

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office this week urged the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that allowed a police officer to use the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law after being charged with manslaughter in an on-duty shooting.

In the aftermath of the massive outpouring of support at the "March for Our Lives" in Washington, D.C., and around the country, South Florida students, parents and legislators launched a new organization Wednesday called 17 For Change, to maintain the momentum of the gun control movement.

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about some of the key takeaways from the 2018 legislative session.

We break down parts of the state budget as well as measures on school safety, gun control and opioid prescriptions. We also debate the session's "winners and losers."


Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Madison Vogel had never organized a protest before.

But following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, the Osceola High School senior got together with 35 other Pinellas County students and created a companion event to a national march against gun violence.

Gun Restrictions Won’t Go On November Ballot

Mar 22, 2018

Floridians won’t have an opportunity to decide whether the state should ban semi-automatic weapons --- or to weigh in on other gun-related restrictions --- after the Constitution Revision Commission rejected attempts to debate the proposals Wednesday.

Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month's Florida school massacre that they decided he should be forcibly committed.

Gun Control Among Issues Teed Up For Constitution Panel

Mar 15, 2018

The debate over gun control is ready to move to a new forum, as the Florida Constitution Revision Commission next week begins the process of deciding what issues to place on the November ballot.

A prominent Republican donor says he is among those launching a new group aiming to pressure Congress to enact what he calls reasonable gun legislation.

PolitiFact Florida

When Florida lawmakers began their annual 60-day session, two priorities were protecting students from bullies and government workers from sexual harassment.

The political and legal fallout from Florida Gov. Rick Scott's decision to sign a sweeping gun bill into law following a school massacre was nearly immediate as the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit to stop it and political candidates in both parties criticized it.

Flanked by the parents of Broward County teenagers slain in the nation’s second-worst school shooting, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a sweeping package addressing mental health, school safety and guns.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

Senators Pass Gun Restrictions; House Yet To Act

Mar 6, 2018

In response to a deadly Florida school shooting last month, the state's Senate narrowly passed a bill that would create new restrictions on rifle sales and allow some teachers to carry guns in schools.

Senator Rick Scott
Office of Senator Rick Scott

Florida's governor announced plans Friday to put more armed guards in schools and to make it harder for young adults and some with mental illness to buy guns, responding to days of intense lobbying from survivors of last week's shooting at a Florida high school.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The possibility of stricter gun laws loomed large over the first gun show in Tampa Bay since the Parkland school shooting,

When a gunman killed 17 people on Valentine's Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, many of their classmates didn't grieve in silence, they spoke out.

Urgent teenage voices filled television interviews, social media, even the hallways of Florida's capitol. They have also sparked a debate over gun laws in the aftermath of another school shooting.

The debate over guns, the "me too" movement against sexual misconduct and the federal government's handling of hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico will give Florida Democrats victories up and down the November ballot, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson predicted during a meeting with state House Democrats on Thursday.

Hurriedly crafted state legislation to address last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school will include a controversial element that would allow teachers who’ve undergone special training to bring guns to schools, a concept that has divided Republican politicians and faces opposition from Democrats and educators. 

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