Florida Governor Rick Scott attends a meeting at the Capitol in Tallahassee
By Zachary Fagenson
PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) – Florida Governor Rick Scott announced a proposal on Friday to increase restrictions on buying guns and to strengthen school safety measures after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in the state last week.
Scott said he would work with state lawmakers during the next two weeks to raise the minimum age for buying any kind of gun in Florida to 21 years old, with some exceptions for younger military members and law enforcement officers. Long guns, including the semiautomatic AR-15-style assault rifle used in the Feb. 14 attack, can be bought by people as young as 18 under current law.
The Republican governor also said he would change laws to make it “virtually impossible for anyone who has mental issues to use a gun.” He wants to ban the sale and purchase of bump stocks, an accessory that transforms a semi-automatic rifle into a weapon able to fire hundreds of rounds a minute.
He called for a mandatory law enforcement officer in every public school and for mandatory “active shooter training” for student and faculty.
Staff members returned for the first time on Friday to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, now the site of one of the deadliest school attacks in U.S. history in which 14 students and three faculty were killed.
The attack at the school last week has inflamed the national debate about gun rights. Many of the student survivors of the massacre have since advocated for tougher gun-control laws. They have been widely interviewed on national television and have traveled to meet politicians in Tallahassee, the state capital, and U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House.
Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at the school, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Authorities have said that Cruz, who was expelled from Stoneman Douglas High last year for unspecified disciplinary problems.
(Reporting Zachary Fagenson in Parkland, Florida, and Jonathan Allen and Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)