School Safety Bill Filed In House

January 23, 2013

Tax collected on the sale of ammunition and guns would go into a “Safe Schools Trust Fund,” to pay for additional guidance services and school safety measures under legislation filed in the House.

Freshman Rep. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, filed two bills on Friday creating the trust fund and directing revenue from the existing tax on guns and ammo into it.

One of the bills filed by Stewart (HB 325), would also expand the ban on carrying guns at schools – widening the prohibition from school buildings to an area within 500 feet of a school – but would allow people to check their guns, exempting them from prosecution if they turn their gun in to someone when they arrive at a school.

While prohibiting the carrying of guns within the 500-foot buffers known as “school safety zones,” Stewart’s bill would allow anyone who is in such a zone to surrender their gun to a law enforcement officer or school official and not be charged under the ban, as long as they haven’t used the gun to violate the law in some way first.

The legislation also would require school districts to add school safety issues to their guidance plans for students in kindergarten through grade 5.

The money collected from the tax on guns and ammo sales would go to help pay for the additional guidance requirements and to pay for any expenses related to the change in the law prohibiting guns on school grounds.

If any money is left over, under one of Stewart’s bills (HB 327) it could go to “additional projects and programs to improve the safety of students,” though the bill doesn’t specify how.

Stewart’s proposal is likely to be only the first proposing to increase spending on school safety in the wake of the December school shootings in Newtown, Conn. The Senate last week discussed in committee some ideas for increasing school safety and how to pay for it.

The Senate appears likely to focus on school resource officers, police assigned to guard schools. But there was also talk of additional guidance counselors last week in the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

By The News Service of Florida


4 Responses to “School Safety Bill Filed In House”

  1. American patriot on January 24th, 2013 3:40 pm

    Another brilliant idea by a stupid politician. When will the politicians learn, that no matter how many feel good laws that they pass, criminals will simply ignore them? The politicians just seem to enjoy placing more burdens on the law abiding. Want to severly put a dent in crime? Stop pandering to the criminals and giving them more rights than the victimized. Have court dates within 30 days of an arrest and just allow the the facts of the case to be presented. Nobody cares if the criminal was bullied or treated unfairly by society, up until the crime was committed, they knew the difference between right and wrong. Stop letting lawyers muddy the case with BS and just present the facts.

  2. Really??? on January 23rd, 2013 10:00 am

    How would the 500 ft ban affect those that reside within 500′ of a school?

    As others have said, I’m sure that the ones intent on carrying out these crimes will abide by this new law (::eye roll::) There comes a point where enough is enough and the new laws, bans, ect are just ludicrous and overkill. Evil people don’t follow laws and they will find a way to carry out their violence one way or another.

  3. Patriot on January 23rd, 2013 6:15 am

    That will make just about every person that carries a gun a criminal.

    Take a county map, draw a 500 ft radius circle around each school, and see what streets you can still drive on “legally”. You won’t be able to drive up the Atmore Highway, Hwy, 4, Hwy 95A, Tate Rd, Kingsfield Rd, etc.

    Maybe the Honorable Linda Stewart can explain to me how that will keep our children “safer”…

  4. Fairlane63 on January 23rd, 2013 6:05 am

    “…would also expand the ban on carrying guns at schools…”

    I’m sure insane mass murderers will be mindful of this new law. Linda Stewart doesn’t exactly seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

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