By| Daria Laycock

The state of Florida has approved new restrictions for gun ownership.

The movement came to the Tallahassee this last month with as a  both pro and anti gun rallies took place in front of the Capitol building.

This all comes in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. A mass shooting in which 17 students were killed.

As a result lawmakers passed “ The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” or state bill Senate bill 7026 on Monday. The bill passed with a vote of 20-18.

The bill is a rare show of bipartisanship in that it appeases both parties. It raises the minimum age for gun ownership from 18 to 21 for democrats while negating a ban on assault rifles in favor of republicans.

The bill left some citizens feeling unsatisfied.

For Mark McKinney, a sportsman, gun ownership is a family past time.  

“My father took me out hunting when I turned 10. His father took him too and now I’m taking my boy,” McKinney explained of the tradition.

Thanks to the new bill he may not be able to do it.

“Lawmakers have to understand that we’re the good guys, the guys out here today are being punished for what someone else did.”

Shirley Younger, a stay at home mother of three, thinks that this is a small price to pay for her children’s safety.   

“I don’t care if they never hunt or go to the range ever again,” she said of claims that many gun owners use their firearms recreationally. “Guns are not toys, they are not a plaything. Guns are a deadly weapon.”

For this mother the public safety act is a step in the right direction.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the bill is the part the one that specifies the rights of teachers to carry guns in school. The bill would allow personnel, other than full-time teachers, to carry guns in school.

This amendment to the bill was named after Coach Aaron Feis, the coach who gained notoriety after he sacrificed himself saving his students.

The impact of the bill could be felt locally even before it was signed into law.

Students of Chiles and Amos P. Godby High Schools have already seen an increased police presence on campus following the Parkland school shooting. This was done so at the request of Gov. Rick Scott

Naomi Allen whos granddaughter attends Godby High School is grateful for the law enforcement on campus.

“ You can’t send your kids outside anymore. If it’s not a theater or a concert its the school,” she said. “This new law helps but we still needs police checking the schools, making sure nothing happens.”

Though community reaction towards the bill is mixed it was approved by the house earlier today.


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