Bill SB 7026 Passes After Failed Assault Weapon Ban

Scott Ai

The Florida Senate is Republican dominated, with 15 Democrats and 23 Republicans. Last Saturday, a bill that would have banned assault style weapons failed 20-17. However, another bill (SB 7026) passed just hours later in a 20-18 vote. This bill would allocate $400 million dollars to mental health and school safety programs, with 18 million going to mobile crisis teams working with the Department of Children and Families, half a million going towards mental health first aid training, 69 million going to mental health assistance in school districts, 67 million for funding for schools that choose to participate in the “school marshal” program, and 100 million for Safe Schools funding, a program that would bring school resource officers to schools across the state of Florida.


Read more about these decisions and bills at Orlando Weekly or Miami Herald.


However, there are complaints that this Safe Schools program has received inadequate funding, almost a quarter of what they need. Miami Herald writers Mary Ellen Klas and Emily Mahoney address this point, writing “the Florida Sheriff’s Association warned that lawmakers were steering too much money into the marshal program and not enough into school resource officers. There are about 4,000 public schools in Florida and to add one school resource officer to every campus would cost about $400 million in total, much less than what is set aside.”


Dolphin Isabel Shanahan ‘18 says “I think that this bill, even though it’s a step in the right direction, should have been way more strict. As a whole, I think that bills should stop the spread of guns in this country.”


Watch YouTuber Phillip de Franco’s insightful video on this topic here.


Read article “Senate OKs gun bill after dialing back arming of teachers” by the Orlando Sentinel here, or article “Florida legislators advance bill arming teachers over objection of Parkland parents” by the Miami Herald here.


Dolphin Erin Choi ‘18 says “There are some good aspects and some bad aspects to this bill, but all in all, I would have to disapprove of this bill. If I were in a position to vote on this bill, I would vote no.”