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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 Gubernatorial Candidates Weigh In On NRA Lawsuit

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

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

Shortly after Governor Rick Scott signed off on a three-day mandatory waiting period and minimum age requirement for all gun purchases of 21, Florida Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis took to Fox News.

“We wouldn’t say if you're 18 to 20 you don’t have a 4th Amendment right and police can search your house without a warrant; We wouldn’t say they can seize your property without just compensation and the 5th Amendment doesn’t apply. So I think that provision is problematic," he said.

DeSantis wouldn’t say whether he would have signed the measure, but argued the increased purchase age goes a step too far. And that’s something fellow Republican hopeful and state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam agrees with.

“I’m not in the legislature but there are components in it I disagree with. I want to create a safe learning environment but neither the waiting period nor the age limit expansion does that," Putnam said, but refused to answer whether he would have approved the new law.

Florida lawmakers rushed to respond to the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people died, a similar number were injured. The new law comes with a $400 million price tag for increases in mental health and school safety. Yet while some, like DeSantis argue it’s a step too far, others like Tallahassee mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum say it isn’t enough.

“You know what? If it’s 21 to have a beer, what’s so radical about being 21 in order for you to access a gun?” he said on the MSNBC show, "Morning Joy."

Meanwhile, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a possible Republican gubernatorial hopeful, is defending his decision to vote in favor of the bill. Corcoran has received an A-plus rating from the NRA for the past several years and shakes off the lawsuit.

“I don’t think we’ll lose the case. I think what we did was constitutional, it was extremely impactful and it will go down—in five to ten years people will talk completely differently about the bill we passed, including the NRA," Corcoran told reporters shortly after the legislature adjourned its 2018 lawmaking session Sunday.

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Congresswoman Gwen Graham called for a veto of the bill over language allowing districts to decide whether to allow non-classroom personnel to carry guns. Former Miami Beach Mayor and fellow Democratic contender Phil Levine calls the new law a good “first step,” but adds more needs to be done when it comes to banning assault weapons; and Orlando businessman Chris King says the measure “incomplete.”

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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