The House of Representatives of the American state of Florida has approved the amendments to the Weapons Act that were adopted by the Senate of the state on Tuesday. 

 

In Florida, the deadliest shooting at a high school in the United States took place in the city of Parkland last month. Seventeen people were killed. 

The most striking change is that some of the staff of a school may be armed under strict conditions. This was an idea from President Donald Trump and should be a deterrent.

Furthermore, the minimum age to buy (semi-) automatic rifles is increased from 18 to 21 years. A waiting period of three days has also been introduced on the sale of all weapons, so that people can not immediately walk out of the store with a weapon.

Survivors of the shooting in Parkland would have liked semi-automatic weapons to be banned, but the politicians did not want to go that far. The law can now only be stopped if the governor of Florida blocks the plan. If he fails to do so, the law will take effect in fifteen days.

Republicans

The government in Florida is dominated by Republicans. With this amendment to the law, they went against their national party members. 

The powerful weapons lobby NRA continues to oppose any amendment to the weapons laws because they believe that this defies the constitutional right to possession and use of weapons. Many Republicans who have received financial support from the NRA agree with this.

But, among other things, President Donald Trump has hinted that he thinks the time is ripe for minor adjustments. Among others, supermarket chain Walmart also announced to the age when customers can buy weapons to increase to 21 years.

Offender

The perpetrator of the shooting, Nikolas Cruz, in Parkland was 19 years old and had bought his semi-automatic rifle legally. He was officially indicted on Wednesday for seventeen-fold murder. He could get the death penalty for that.

Cruz’s lawyer has said that his client wants to confess guilt, but only if he does not receive a death penalty.