Florida bill known as 'Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act' passes in senate

The urgent need to make Florida schools safer has lawmakers working up against a deadline.

Florida state lawmakers discussed sweeping legislation that could arm teachers and up the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21.

The Florida Senate passed SB 7026, known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

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It comes nearly three weeks after a gunman murdered 17 at that school in Parkland, Florida.

Monday afternoon, lawmakers debated for hours.

“I have long been against bringing more guns to a gunfight,” said Sen. Darryl Rouson (D- St. Petersburg).

Lawmakers backing the bill said they’ve been able to take real steps toward mental health solutions.

“What I love about this bill is the emphasis that we do put on mental health, especially in our schools,” said Sen. Rene Garcia (R- Hialeah).  “That’s where it all starts.”

The bill allows a program to arm teachers and bans bump stocks, which can turn a gun into an automatic weapon.

It also institutes a three day waiting period for purchasing a gun, and raises the age to buy one from 18 to 21.

It does not ban assault-style weapons.

Parents Action News Jax spoke with question if one piece of legislation has all the answers.

“For me, it’s hard to have an all-inclusive thing,” said parent Trey Hartinger.  “I’m all about gun laws, I’m all about people having to go through extensive vetting to have a weapon to defend themselves and their families.”