Alaina Petty, second from right, was one of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. She was only 14 years old. Photo courtesy of the Petty family.
Several family members of the victims of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will hold a press conference tomorrow on campus to voice their support for the school safety legislation being debated this week in the Florida Legislature.
The legislation, Senate Bill 7026, takes advantage of a current budget surplus to direct millions of dollars to improvements in school security measures and mental health services. A rare Saturday session saw a series of amendments from Senate Democrats — filed without going through committee — voted down, including a moratorium on the sale of AR-15s.
Still included in the bill are a ban on bump stocks, a three day waiting period for purchasing guns (with exceptions for law enforcement, military service members, those who have completed a hunting safety course, etc.), and a minimum age of 21 years old to purchase a gun (again, with similar exceptions).
The full debate and vote will be held in the Senate tomorrow. After that, the bill will head to the House, and, if approved, on to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) for signature.
Time is tight with a hard deadline for the end of session looming this Friday, March 9.
Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina Petty was among the 17 who were killed that day, has been designated as the spokesman for the group. Petty spoke at several press conferences last week to voice his support for Scott’s proposed reforms.
Speaking exclusively to RedState, Petty said:
We believe the the ideas first proposed by Governor Scott will be the most effective in improving school safety and in preventing future acts of school violence. We call for passage of legislation that achieves the three core principles outlined by Governor Scott and we call for passage during the 2017-2018 legislative session.
Today, we call on the Florida Legislature to set aside political differences, to make the safety of the children in our schools their only priority. We call on them to pass legislation to protect our children at school, during this legislative session, We ask Governor Scott to sign this legislation and then work with state and county officials to quickly implement it.
As a family of a victim of the senseless shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, this week will be a roller coaster of emotion. We want to see school safety addressed in the FL Legislature, We are watching and we are taking notes… #ThisTime #MSDStrong #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/j1pzsBaD7W
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) March 3, 2018
Full text of the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Families of victims killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas unite to push for passage of Florida school safety legislation
Parkland, FL March 4, 2018
The families of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will hold a press conference at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 5901 NW Pine Island Road, Parkland, FL 33076. The press conference will be held on Monday March 5th at 2:30 PM ET time.
For more information please contact:
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.
This post has been updated.