Fiol Law Group|Posted in Safety on May 21, 2018
The United States has an unprecedented number of shootings, many of which occur in schools. The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shocked the nation and intensified the debate around gun control in the United States. Florida legislators took action earlier this month and passed Senate Bill (SB) 7026.
What Does SB 7026 Enact?
SB 7026, also referred to as the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act,” enacts the following into Florida law and society:
- Authorizing the awarding of grants through the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund for student crime-watch programs
- Establishing the Office of State Schools within the Department of Education
- Providing that each sheriff can appoint certain volunteer school employees as guardians
- Prohibiting a person who struggles with mental issues from owning or possessing a firearm until he or she obtains certain relief
- Setting an age limit on firearm purchases
- Prohibiting certain aspects of possessing bump-fire stocks
The bill passed with a 67-50 vote, including a large majority of Republican legislators and a minority of Democratic legislators. One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is that it allows school personnel to have guns. Gov. Rick Scott (R) expressed hesitation during the initial stages of the bill, but Florida lawmakers added a provision that prohibited full-time teachers from carrying guns that made the governor more supportive.
SB 7026 Debate
Most Florida lawmakers, both Democratic and Republican, agreed that the priority right now is to come together to create legislation that most effectively combats incidences like the recent shooting. However, Florida legislators still hotly debated the bill. One of the aspects that frustrated the legislators in opposition was that the bill does not prohibit tactical weapons such as the AR-15, which is the weapon used by the shooter in Parkland.
Gov. Scott expressed a desire to speak with the Parkland families before deciding whether to sign the bill. Some Parkland parents spent hours urging lawmakers to pass the bill, while others lobbied against it.
Liability for Accidental Shootings
SB 7026, which allows more people to legally carry guns, is bound to increase the number of guns present in schools on a daily basis. A higher number of guns also increases the possibility of accidental shootings occurring in educational facilities. If you or a loved one dies or suffers a personal injury in Tampa from an accidental shooting, it is important to know how to prove liability so you can receive compensation for the incident.
You could hold a gun owner liable for your injury if he or she failed to properly secure the weapon. Though Florida law allows many people to own and carry guns, there are additional laws that stipulate proper weapons usage. For example, gun owners must keep their guns in places where someone underage or prohibited from possessing guns cannot access them. If you keep a gun in your home, you must lock it in a safe to prevent children or others from using it. You also should not leave ammunition in the gun. Leaving a gun unattended, not securing it properly on your person, or leaving it loaded could make you liable for an accidental shooting.
The court could also find a gun owner liable if he or she acted recklessly or carelessly. Gun owners must know the whereabouts of their guns and use them carefully in any instances where they choose to fire. If a gun owner’s lack of attention or reckless shooting caused your injury, you may be able to hold him or her responsible for the incident.