On Monday night, the Florida State Senate narrowly passed bill 7026, the Marjory Douglas High School Public Safety Act. This contentious bill introduces several restrictions to increase safety at school. Reaction to the bill has been mixed. Some believe it doesn't go far enough, while others object to certain elements of the bill.

What is bill 7026?

This piece of legislation introduces several restrictions. The age at which an individual can purchase a gun has been increased from 18 to 21. Furthermore, the bill imposes a three-day waiting period for the majority of gun purchases, while also banning bump stocks which accelerate the firing rate of semi-automatic rifles.

No doubt, one of the most contentious elements of this bill is the voluntary school marshall's program. Here, school districts have the option of allowing some staff members to carry concealed weapons. Participating school staff would have to undergo a 132-hour firearms training program as well as a 12-hour diversity training program.

The Marjory Douglas High School Public Safety Act also furnishes further funding for mental health agencies. It also allows officers of the law to temporarily seize guns and ammunition from people suffering from mental illness or threatening violence.

Even though the bill was sponsored by the GOP, some Republican senators opposed it because they didn't agree with raising the age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21.

In the end, bill 7026 was narrowly passed by 20 to 18 votes and is set to make its way to the Florida House.

Reaction to the passing of the Marjory Douglas high school public safety act is mixed

According to a report in the LA Times, the bill's failure to ban AR-15 rifles met with a lot of disappointment, especially from many Parkland parents and students.

In the aftermath of the shooting, many students had called for immediate action.

The bill's provision, allowing trained school staff to carry concealed weapons, has also gained considerable criticism, with many believing that arming school staff would make schools less safe rather than safer.

LA Times sources also described the reaction from Democrat senators as mixed.

While some have welcomed the bill as an important first step toward stricter gun control laws, other Democrats believe that this bill doesn't go far enough and may, in fact, harm the chances of introducing adequate controls.

Miami Senator, Jose Javier Rodriguez, suggested deleting the name Stoneman Douglas from the bill because it failed to adequately address the demands of the Parkland students. However, some of the students welcomed the passing of the bill:

Parkland students unlikely to let the gun debate die down

Other students were much more critical of the bill.

One thing seems certain, the Parkland students are unlikely to fade into the background. In fact, they are planning a demonstration to take place on 24 March 2018, in Washington, D.C.