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Florida House sends Stoneman Douglas gun and school bill to governor

Dan Sweeney, Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

But for Broward Democrats who represent the area, there was never any question of voting no on the bill.

"I didn't hear crying. I heard screaming," state Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, said of the night of the shooting, as parents were informed of their children's deaths. "It haunts me."

Pollack stared down from the gallery, stone-faced.

At funerals, Moskowitz said, "parents all said, 'I thought my child was safe at school.' And that's not a statement -- that's an indictment."

To black Democrats angry over the Legislature ignoring "the slow drip of children getting killed by guns," he said it "should be no different than children getting killed all at once. I get it."

But to those who had trouble voting for the bill, he added: "This isn't hard. Putting your kid in the ground is hard. This is pushing a button."

In case you're confused about the Stoneman Douglas shooting bills

The bill funds mental health, school safety and school security programs at about $300 million, plus another $67 million for a program that would allow some school employees to carry firearms.

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Another $26 million would go toward tearing down and replacing the building where the shooting occurred and building a memorial on the site.

It would also allow law enforcement to take the firearms of people who make violent threats against themselves or others, with a legal process for individuals to get their guns back.

The bill also restricts firearm purchases to those age 21 and older and requires a three-day waiting period and background checks, the same limitations that are currently in place for handguns.

The vote follows a lengthy amendment process Tuesday in which Democrats were foiled in attempting to end the guns-in-schools program and place more restrictions on firearms.

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