Rick Scott is set to sign the Legislature’s gun bill. Here’s what’s in it.

If you missed out on the fierce debate over the legislation, we want to fill you in.
Gov. Rick Scott explained his gun safety proposals Friday in Tallahassee [The Florida Channel]
Gov. Rick Scott explained his gun safety proposals Friday in Tallahassee [The Florida Channel]
Published March 9, 2018

The Florida Legislature made national headlines this week when it passed SB 7026, also known as the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act."

The law is headed to Gov. Rick Scott, who is likely to sign it today. Much has been made of the political implications of the Republican-dominated legislature defying — even in small ways — the wishes of the National Rifle Association. Check out our past coverage of the bill here:

We'll separate the bill's provisions into three major categories: Access to guns, education policy and school safety. Here's what's in the bill:

Access to guns 

The Legislature passed a series of tweaks that make it harder for certain people to get access to guns. SB 7026:

  • Imposes a three-day waiting period for all gun purchases
  • Raises the purchasing age for all firearms from 18 to 21
  • Bans “bump-fire stocks,” which can be used to convert a semi-automatic weapon functionally into an automatic weapon
  • Creates a system that allows law enforcement to confiscate the weapons of a person deemed a threat to himself or others
  • Prohibits people deemed by a judge to be “mentally defective” from purchasing a firearm

Education policy

The bill also makes some sweeping changes to way the state government interacts with schools. The bill:

  • Creates a new agency within the Department of Education. The new Office of Safe Schools will be schools’ contact at the state level for all things school safety. The office will oversee emergency planning and prevention efforts and coordinate efforts between school districts. The office will consist of three full time professionals.
  • Sets aside $6.2 million this year and an additional $500,000 annually for school mental health services
  • Mandates a series of changes at the school district level. Districts must now:
    • Require students to list any “referrals to mental health services” at the time of enrollment
    • Establish a “Student Crime Watch Program” through which students can anonymously report suspicious activities to authorities
    • Set up a “threat assessment team” that will monitor and work to prevent potentially dangerous situations. The teams will report their findings regularly to the Office of Safe Schools
    • Receive at least $100,000 per year — depending on the number of students in the district — to pay for enhanced mental health services. (Some charter schools are also eligible for this funding.)

School safety 

The legislation:

  • Appropriates $97.5 million that will put a resource officer in every school
  • Allocates almost $99 million for enhancing schools’ physical security
  • Gives an additional $28.1 million annually to the Department of Children and Families for more proactive community engagement and crisis prevention
  • Mandates that schools conduct regular active shooter drills
  • Sets up and funds the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, a 16-member board that will offer ways to improve the school safety system
  • Sets up and funds the “marshal” program — which would train and arm certain school professionals who do not primarily teach
  • Allows certain retired law enforcement officers to become school resource officers
  • Formally prohibits “a person from making, posting, or transmitting a threat to conduct a mass shooting” and sets criminal penalties if one does

And finally, the bill sets aside $1 million to construct a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Parkland school shooting — and more than $25 million to reconstruct the building that was torn down in the days after the tragedy.