By a 22-17 margin, the Florida Senate has given its approval to a school safety and security bill which implements many of the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission including allowing teachers to carry guns in classrooms.
Senator Dennis Baxley stresses it's optional. "No one is being asked to do anything, but we are liberating them to do what they must do."
With it's passage, Senator Garry Farmer fears something will go wrong. "It increases the likelihood that we will have unintentional deaths in schools."
Senator Lori Berman agrees, saying while "there are some wonderful things in this bill that I support, but because of this provision, I am unable to support the bill." She points to no research proving more guns make campuses safer.
Before debating the House's companion bill, both chambers are working out their differences.
State senators today could take a final vote on a measure implementing some of the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
While most of the provisions of the wide-ranging school safety and security bill are commonly agreed upon, including holding districts accountable for not reporting possible threats, the debate rages on on whether trained teachers should be allowed to carry guns, if their school districts approve.
Republicans Aaron Bean and Travis Hudson believe a bullet is the only answer. Bean says, "a ruler is not going to stop evil." Bean agrees, "we're not going to be able to stop an assailant with arithmetic or grammar."
Democratic Senator Oscar Braynon understands the intention, but "we are possibly putting ourselves in a position where we're putting people in harm's way when we're trying to protect them."
The House is waiting on the Senate before considering its version of the school safety bill.