Parkland Aftermath: Florida Lawmakers, Activists Say 'No More' To School Shootings

Thousands of people support students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a rally for gun control at the Florida capitol (2/21/18).
Credit Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

The Florida legislature is poised to pass some of the most sweeping gun control and mental health reforms in more than 20 years. The moves come as lawmakers face pressure from students affected by the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

On Valentine's Day, a 19-year-old in Parkland opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He killed 14 students, three adults, and injured 14 others. There were warning signs, yet, all, including a tip to the FBI, were missed.

That day, school safety measures in place, like school resource officers, restricted access and fencing--all failed.

In the wake of the shooting, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have mobilized, calling on the legislature to take greater action to prevent school and mass shootings. Lawmakers, it seems, are finally listening.

Rhona Wise / AFP/Getty Images

Within one week, Governor Rick Scott not only signed a gun safety bill into law, he also approved the budget, which includes millions of dollars for school safety purposes. Still, that didn’t prevent the National Rifle Association from filing a federal lawsuit against a provision in the new safety law. And, on the one month mark of the Parkland mass school shooting, thousands of kids across the nation walked out of their schools. Some Parkland families also asked officials to put ideas on the ballot to ban assault rifles and have universal background checks, and lawmakers in Washington D.C. may be moving forward on gun safety bills of their own.

Andrew Gillum talks about NRA lawsuit on MSNBC's "Morning Joy" 3/10/18.
Morning Joy / MSNBC

The NRA is suing Florida over its new gun restrictions and Florida’s gubernatorial candidates are weighing in.

 Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on "The Ingraham File" discussing Florida's new gun restrictions. 3/09/18
FOX News

The National Rifle Association is suing the state over newly approved gun restrictions that mandate a three-day waiting period for gun purchases and raise the buying age from 18 to 21 for most people. At least one GOP congressman and state gubernatorial hopeful thinks it was the wrong move.

Mark Wallheiser / AP Photo

After passing the Florida legislature last week, Governor Rick Scott decided to sign the gun safety legislation into law. Earlier in the week, he told reporters he’d wait before signing it, until he talked to the families who were impacted by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school.

RHONA WISE / AFP/Getty Images

On a 67-50 vote, the Florida House passed the gun safety bill, already approved by the Florida Senate earlier in the week. Governor Rick Scott won’t say whether he will sign the bill, now heading to his desk. He says he’ll weigh input from those who lost loved ones in last month's mass shooting at a South Florida high school.

Tom Flanigan

One phrase that most Republicans seldom utter, except in a negative way, is gun control. But for Democrats, especially those who are running for Florida governor, that phrase isn’t negative at all.

Florida's Cabinet
Nick Evans

Wednesday marked the Florida Cabinet’s final meeting for this year’s legislative session. After, Governor Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam shared their thoughts on current issues the state will have to deal with this session and beyond.

RHONA WISE / AFP/Getty Images

The Florida House has now teed up gun safety legislation for a vote, in response to last month’s mass shooting at a South Florida high school. They agreed Tuesday to take up the Senate version of the bill that narrowly passed Monday. While language was stripped from that bill to exclude most classroom teachers, opponents argue the “compromise” could still arm school staff, like coaches.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Florida Senate has passed a school safety bill putting new restrictions on rifle sales and allowing some teachers to carry guns. It's dubbed the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act."

Florida Senate Tees Up Gun Safety Legislation For Monday Vote

Mar 3, 2018
Sen. Bill Galvano's twitter

The Florida Senate held a rare Saturday session, discussing legislation aimed at making schools safer, following the February 14th mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.

Getty Images

While a lot of eyes are on Tallahassee to see what the state Legislature has in store in terms of gun reforms, Florida’s U.S. Senators are also talking about what they’d like to see Congress do as well.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

With about a week left of the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers are facing increased pressure to pass gun safety legislation—in response to last month’s mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. But, the process is pitting people within the same parties against one another.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

A number of public safety proposals have passed their first House committee, allowing them to now head to the floor. Like the Senate version bill, it does not include an assault weapons ban. Still, more people are starting to agree that while this isn’t the best bill, it’s not totally bad either.


On Friday, Governor Rick Scott announced his plan for responding to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It includes $50 million in additional funding to expand mental health services for children and youth. The move comes as lawmakers consider the recommendations of a panel they created last year to study the statewide rise in minors being involuntarily examined under the Baker Act.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Some gun safety proposals passed their first Florida Senate committee without an assault weapons ban. While top GOP lawmakers are calling the effort bipartisan, some Democrats pushing for more gun reforms disagree.

Andrew Quintana / WFSU

The Aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has Florida’s lawmakers changing their focus to debates on firearms and school safety. Supporters of gun reform rallied outside the Capitol Monday with one clear message: action. 

Emerging from his final legislative session, Republican Gov. Rick Scott holds a small lead over incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in a potential U.S. Senate race that could help determine control of the Senate, according to a poll released Monday.  The poll
Governor Rick Scott's twitter

Governor Rick Scott as well as the Florida House and Senate leadership have unveiled their gun safety proposals, in response to last week’s mass school shooting. They include some differences and some similarities.

Following Florida's Gun Debate

Feb 23, 2018
Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images

The tragic Parkland shooting is one of the most recent examples for a long running debate on gun control in this country. The spectrum of opinions can create either a stalemate or compromise, but at the moment a conversation is being had.

New Yorker Correspondent Emily Witt
Noah Calina /

This week’s student march on the Capitol in Tallahassee attracted media from all over the country.  That included The New Yorker Magazine.   Tom Flanigan caught up with the correspondent Emily Witt, who came to Florida to cover the impact of the Parkland school shooting, and where it fits in the larger debate over gun control, mental health and mass shootings.

Not even two weeks after a shooter fired more than 100 bullets in the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students and staff are returning to the campus fearful of emotional triggers that could force them to relive the traumatic event.

Since the Valentine's Day Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl, nearly 100 copycat threats have been logged.

There have been nearly 100 threats leveled against schools in the wake of the Valentine's Day shooting at a South Florida High School. Many of those who issued the threats are teens and students themselves. Some have claimed they were just, "joking." Law enforcement officials say they take all threats seriously and many student have been arrested for them, some, are facing felony charges. But whether those charges will stick is another matter, and state prosecutors say there's no law on the books that bans threats against schools. The ones that are in place for general threats of violence, are in need of updates. Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell says it comes down one question: Was the threat implicit, or explicit?

Thousands of people gathered at the Florida Capitol (2/21) demanding action on gun control in wake of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

Following last week’s school massacre in Parkland, many are calling for increased gun regulation. But some are also citing mental health issues in America that need to be addressed. 

Thousands gather at the Florida capitol (2/21/18) to push for legislative action in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fl on Valentine's Day.
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

Hundreds of students from around the state rallied at the Florida Capitol Wednesday. They joined Parkland students to promote their gun control cause and convince lawmakers to look into what they see as better policies.

Gov. Rick Scott, Broward Superintendent Rob Runcie and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel discuss Parkland school shooting.
PBS NewsHour screenshot

Florida lawmakers say they’re working to come up with legislation aimed at curbing school shootings like the one last week in South Florida. Students from across the state are joining those from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to lobby lawmakers for tougher gun laws. But they’re confronting the often confusing reality of legislative politics.