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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate passes Pop-Tart bill with practically no debate

24

April

The 'Pop-Tart' gun bill is headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott. 

Florida senators approved the NRA-supported proposal in a 32-6 vote Thursday.

There was virtually no debate, besides Sen. Jack Latvala asking what exactly HB 7029 would do.

The Senate sponsor, Sen. Greg Evers, had a simple reply: It would prevent situations "where you chew a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun and you are expelled" from school.

The situation actually happened in Maryland. It inspired the bill in Florida.

More broadly, the proposal would prevent schools from disciplining students who play with simulated weapons. It passed in the House by a 98-17 vote last month.

The Senate discussed the proposal some on Wednesday.

Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, asked how many incidents had been reported in Florida.

Evers said it had happened in his North Florida district within the last three months.

"Two kids were sitting down reading a book and there was a picture of a Wild Wild West show and one person has a gun," he said. "One student tells another student that he's got a cap gun at home that's the same as the one in the picture. The teacher sent him to the principal and he was expelled."

Sobel voted against the proposal Thursday. She was joined by Democratic Sens. Audrey Gibson, Arthenia Joyner, Gwen Margolis, Maria Lorts Sachs and Chris Smith.

[Last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:22pm]

    

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