Florida Senate’s Special Saturday Session Has Not Yet Produced A Gun Bill

Blog live — 6:35 p.m.

The Florida Legislature special Saturday session continues to struggle with crafting a gun law that a majority of the Senate can support. It has been a crazy day that event saw according to Politico Florida “accidentally,” passing an amendment that would put a moratorium of sales on AR-15 rifles.

Many in Tallahassee and Washington thought at the end of Saturday, which could be pushed into early Sunday, but most feel the upper chamber will have a bill that will be sent to the House.

SB 7026, “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act,” has the support of most Republicans and even a couple Democrats. But as of 6 p.m. Saturday, March 3rd a bill that could get enough votes to pass is still up in the air, at least for now.

Anything passed by the Senate tonight, or early Monday it will likely be totally be reshaped in the lower chamber. At the moment powerful Land ’O Lakes Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran working to get support for his proposal known as HB 7101.

Corcoran is a leading supporter of school marshals — arming trained teachers and staffers — and he calls the bill a “game changer … a giant step forward in school safety.”

That is the $67 million controversial plan that not only has strong pushback in the state but nationally. Of note also is that this has now become an international story.

Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Rick Scott is against that plan and right now Corcoran is shy of the votes needed to get his bill passed. As for Scott, his problem is that his measure calls for a raising of the age to buy a long gun from 18 to 21, that is a non-starter many Republicans in the House.

According to Florida Politics, the latest form of the Senate bill includes a 3-day waiting period – with some exceptions – to buy any firearm; a waiting period now applies only to handguns. It also raises the age to purchase all firearms in Florida from 18 to 21. And it creates a commission to make recommendations on school safety. Its first meeting could be as early as this June.

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.