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Thousands of people support students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a rally for gun control at the Florida capitol (2/21/18).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.https://youtu.be/6PRPEfu7WPg

Florida Senate Passes Gun Safety Legislation

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."

The state Senate also voted to exclude some teachers from a controversial provision in its gun safety bill approved Monday. Before the change, the bill included a provision allowing all designated teachers to carry firearms on school grounds, if they are deputized and complete law enforcement training. But, Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) says he wanted to strip that language out.

“The goal is to make sure that those instructional personnel that are in the classroom cannot participate in the program,” he said.

Still, Democrats argued it still could allow teachers who perform other duties, like coaching, and other school personnel to take part in the program.

Meanwhile, the Florida Senate also agreed to name the controversial program after a coach killed in last month’s mass school shooting in Parkland.

The former so-called “school marshal program” is now called the “Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program,” said Senate bill sponsor Bill Galvano.

“It’s named after Junior Varsity Coach Aaron Feis, who used his body to shield students from bullets and to save their lives, and in doing so, lost their own.”

Check out Tuesday's Capital Report for more on this story!

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.