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School Safety Plan Emerging

February 22nd, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda

State lawmakers have noticed a hearing for Monday afternoon for the first discussion of new school safety and firearm legislation. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the legislation does not include the one thing that drove thousands to protest at the Capitol yesterday.

The emerging school safety plan calls for more firepower in schools. Patterned after the Sentinel Program in Polk County. It calls for well trained, armed school personnel to be the first line of defense. Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano is leading the negotiations.


“This isn’t just a situation of arming teachers. This is a program that is run through the Sheriff’s Department, on a voluntary basis, where in someone who seeks to become deputized has a psych eval and 132 hours of training” says Galvano.

The legislation will be a souped up version of legislation debated and sponsored by now Senator Dennis Baxley since Sandy Hook.


“Part of this focus has to be, what happens in the first five minutes” says Baxley.

Under the plan, police would have more power to take guns from the mentally disturbed without a declaration of incompetence. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualteri said this week, the current law ties law enforcments hands.


“We need the authority to take their weapons. To take the guns away from them that they have just threatened to hurt somebody with, and we can’t do that today.”

In a meeting with legislative leaders late Wednesday, the Governor reportedly said he was willing to give any tax cuts this year, if the money was needed for school safety.

But the proposals don’t do what thousands asked for this week:

“Gun control” changed marchers.

A Ban on assault style rifles. Democrats will keep trying says Leader Oscar Braynon.


“We believe that’s the solution. None of this happens without that.”

And Lawmakers say policy decisions will drive cost not the other way around.

Other features included more power to take guns from people evaluated under the Baker Act, raising the age for assault rifle purchases, and requiring a three day cooling off period.

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