Florida Gov. Rick Scott Announces ‘Major Action Plan’ to Stop School Shootings

Gov. Rick Scott meeting with high school children in the wake of the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott unveiled Friday a half-billion dollar plan to keep “students safe” following the tragic shooting at a high school in Parkland.

“Today, I am announcing a major action plan,” said Gov. Scott in a news release. “I will be working with the legislature aggressively over the next two weeks to get it done.”

“Unfortunately, none of the plans I’m announcing today will bring any of them back, but it’s important to remember them,” the Republican governor continued. “The seventeen lives that were cut short and all the hopes and dreams that were ruined have changed our state forever. Florida will never be the same.”

On the school safety front, Scott is calling for every public school to have at least one school resource officer.  Additionally, he is making funds available for “hardening measures” like metal detectors, steel doors, upgraded locks and bullet resistant glass.

Gun control is also part of the plan.  Scott wants to ban the sale or purchase of bump stocks, raise the minimum age to purchase any firearm from 18 to 21 and establish a system to confiscate firearms from those accused of being a threat to public safety, among other provisions.

“My message to them has been very simple – you are not alone. Change is coming… and it will come fast,” said Gov. Scott.

Gov. Scott’s Major Action Plan

Keeping Guns Away from Dangerous and Violent People

• Create the “Violent Threat Restraining Order” which will allow a court to prohibit a violent or mentally ill person from purchasing or possessing a firearm or any other weapon when either a family member, community welfare expert or law enforcement officer files a sworn request and presents evidence to the court of a threat of violence involving firearms or other weapons. There would be speedy due process for the accused and any fraudulent or false statements would face criminal penalties;

• Strengthen gun purchase and possession restrictions for mentally ill individuals under the Baker Act. If a court involuntarily commits someone for treatment under the Baker Act because they are at risk of harming themselves or others, an individual would be required to surrender all firearms and not regain their right to purchase or possess a firearm until a court hearing. A minimum 60-day period would be established before individuals can ask a court to restore access to firearms;

• Prohibit a person from possessing or purchasing a firearm if they are subject to an injunction for protection against stalking, cyberstalking, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or domestic violence;

• Require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21-years-old or over. Exceptions include active duty and reserve military and spouses, National Guard members, and law enforcement;

• Establish enhanced criminal penalties for threats to schools, such as social media threats of shootings or bombings, and enhance penalties if any person possesses or purchases a gun after they have been deemed by state law to not have access to a gun; and

• Ban purchase or sale of bump stocks.

$450 Million Proposal to Keep Students Safe

• Mandatory School Resource Officers in every public school. These law enforcement officers must either be sworn sheriff’s deputies or police officers and be present during all hours students are on campus. The size of the campus should be a factor in determining staffing levels by the county sheriff’s office, and Governor Scott is proposing at least one officer for every 1,000 students. This must be implemented by the start of the 2018 school year;

• Provide sheriffs’ departments the authority to train additional school personnel or reserve law enforcement officers to protect students if requested by the local school board;

• Require mandatory active shooter training as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security. All training and code red drills must be completed during the first week of each semester in all public schools. Both faculty and students must participate in active shooter drills and local sheriff’s offices must be involved in training;

• Increase funding in the Safe Schools Allocation to address specific school safety needs within each district. This includes school hardening measures like metal detectors, bullet- proof glass, steel doors, and upgraded locks. The Florida Department of Education (DOE), in conjunction with FDLE, will provide minimum school safety and security standards by July 1, 2018, to all school districts;

• Require each school district that receives a Safe Schools Allocation to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the local sheriff’s office, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and any community behavioral health provider for the purpose of sharing information to coordinate services in order to provide prevention or intervention strategies;

• Establish a new, anonymous K-12 “See Something, Say Something” statewide, dedicated hotline, website and mobile app.;

• Establish funding to require access to dedicated mental health counselors to provide direct counseling services to students at every school. These counselors cannot serve dual roles, such as teaching or academic advising. Every student must have the opportunity to meet annually one-on-one with a mental health professional, and receive ongoing counseling as needed;

• Require each school to have a threat assessment team including a teacher, a local law enforcement officer, a human resource officer, a DCF employee and DJJ employee, and the principal to meet monthly to review any potential threats to students and staff at the school; and

• Require crisis intervention training for all school personnel. This training must be completed before the 2018 school start date.

*NOTE: All school safety plans as outlined above must be submitted by each public school to their County Sheriff’s Office, by July 15, 2018, for approval. Once all plans and requests for school hardening have been approved by the county sheriff’s department, in consultation with local police jurisdictions, plans can be submitted by the school district to DOE for schools to receive any state funds. School districts must also take all capital outlay funds received from taxpayers and use these funds for school hardening before it can be spent on any other capital outlay. This must be approved by the sheriff’s department and submitted to DOE by August 1, 2018.

$50 Million Proposal for Mental Health Initiatives

• Expand mental health service teams statewide to serve youth and young adults with early or serious mental illness by providing counseling, crisis management and other critical mental health services;

• Require every sheriffs’ office to have a DCF case manager embedded in their department to solely work as a crisis welfare worker for repeat cases in the community. This will require 67 additional employees to be hired at DCF by July 15, 2018; and

• Provide law enforcement and mental health coordination matching grants to allow sheriffs to establish special law enforcement teams to coordinate with DCF case managers as outlined above.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Joseph J Girard March 2, 2018, 6:18 pm

    • There is something fundamentally wrong with liberals who wants their shopping malls guarded with guns, their banks and money guarded with guns, their sporting events guarded with guns, their politicians guarded with guns and their celebrities guarded with guns, but they refuse to protect the children with anything more than signs, unicorns and rainbows!

    • DEREK HANNAN March 5, 2018, 12:00 pm

      I agree. If there was such a person. Meanwhile, whose going to guard the soccer fields, soccer moms and school buses? You are the problem. Hand in the guns.

  • Joseph J Girard March 2, 2018, 6:17 pm

    Ammunition costs waaaay too much for me to be able to use a bump stock

  • Boss March 2, 2018, 4:16 pm

    I didn’t see any penalty for false reporting of “Violent Threat Restraining Order” .

  • SpaceAce March 2, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Forget using cops to protect schools. Hire Pinkertons to guard them. Anyone aproaching the place with a gun will get their a$$ handed to them in a to-go bag.

  • Mattitude March 2, 2018, 1:44 pm

    Bump stocks…really? What did they have to do with the school shooting? Talk about knee-jerk reaction.

  • Johne March 2, 2018, 12:41 pm

    Mandating 1 security guard per school. What a joke. School shootings are over in less than 1 minute. If you look at most schools between multiple floors and wings to sports fields the school campus is just to large for 1 security guard to do anything. Remember it is all over in less than 1 minute. It would take 1 guard longer to get from one side of the school to the other. One Guard just tells you who the first person to be killed is. If you want security you would need a guard on every floor, in every hallway and out on the fields. How many schools are going to pay for 20 guards per school. The better solution is to allow school personnel and parents to be armed.

    • David Sharpe March 2, 2018, 4:35 pm

      The school had a resource office that cowered outside fearing for his worthless life! They need to train and arm teachers! Fire the Libtard Sheriff in that county. Training and arming teachers will stop this shit from happening! Gun free zones, what a joke. Oh yeah, I can’t bring my gun in here and kill innocent students because the sign says “Gun Free Zone”. The Libtard mental illness they all have is so hard to comprehend.

  • Dan March 2, 2018, 12:08 pm

    1 – I didn’t see any penalties in his proposal for law enforcement agencies who were more responsible for what happened at that school than the NRA or any firearms manufacturer.
    2 – I didn’t see any requirement for proposed resource officers to carry millions of dollars of liability insurance so parents are able to sue them for waiting outside while their children are being murdered!
    This one pi$$es me off so badly that I lost my complete train of thought – cowardly ba$tards should be tried for manslaughter, and forced to pay back every penny he was paid while employed at that school! Before reading about this, I never understood how anyone could tar and feather another human being – now I do!

    I don’t think any of us are naïve enough to believe that Trump, or any of his type would have run into that school, even with a bazooka, but I do believe that most of us unassuming working class Americans, especially those of us who are fathers, would have run in there bare handed if we thought it would save even one of those children!

  • Gerald March 2, 2018, 11:07 am

    End ‘Gun Free Zones.” It is just this simple.

    The Democrat delusion is the problem. Democrats don’t care if there dreams of control cause the deaths of anyone. The people that started gun free zones are responsible for these occurrences. The people that go to gun free zones and kill people know exactly what they are doing. They aren’t crazy. The only place these events happen are in the places set aside by the Democrats as gun free zones. The Democrats and the Republicans who act like Democrats ( RINOs) started this issue. They need to stop it.

  • Steven March 2, 2018, 10:16 am

    The simplest & least expensive solution(s) would be to take down the Gun Free Zone signs & allow teachers & faculty to carry.

    • gipb March 2, 2018, 12:20 pm

      I wish we could just start with this! I would bet there would be multiple people in EVERY school in America that would step up and conceal/carry in their school. I think people would be amazed what would happen if we simply removed gun free zones in schools!

  • John March 2, 2018, 9:45 am

    Sounds like the Governor has a plan that I have heard before, that what President trump had for a plan also, I think the only plan Governor has is to protect his political career.

  • Jay March 2, 2018, 9:45 am

    I see change a coming! Unfortunately I don’t think it’s the kind of change the media is spewing and politicians are backing!
    Stay alert, stay prepared!

  • Kimberpross March 2, 2018, 9:29 am

    All his items sound reasonable except for the purchase age and bump stocks. If an individual isn’t mature enough to buy/own a long gun until 21 then they don’t need to be voting, which is much more important than owning a firearm. Bump stocks are a boutique fad in my opinion. Unless the owner is well compensated or independently wealthy, the thing would be used a couple of times and put on the shelf as a novelty because it will cost so much in ammo along with poor accuracy. That is a political detente to appease the gun grabbers and I truly believe most gun enthusiasts don’t care if they are outlawed. It is a infringement though. He is on the right track. ” The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”, Wayne LaPierre. Early identification is also key.

    • Twright1312 March 2, 2018, 12:01 pm

      Well said. I completely agree. I will also add that I feel that evidence is growing that 18-21 year olds of today are increasingly immature. Perhaps that is our fault as parents but it may not be a bad idea to increase the age to purchase firearms. However, I also support increasing the voting age to 21. I would also add increasing the driving age to 18 and military service to 21.

    • Wzrd March 7, 2018, 12:47 am

      Maybe I don’t understand, but what’s the deal with an exception to the 21 year age requirement for military spouses?

  • William Fairfax March 2, 2018, 9:19 am

    You want to stop school shootings have local police in every jurisdiction in the US , start taking their breaks at the nearest local public school. Instead of sitting in the parking lot at 7-11 drive down the street to the closet school and park there, the fact that police officers are present all day long at schools will keep crazies from thinking they are good places to go . Also as gun free zones the officers are then present to actually enforce those laws instead of relying on a sign. The officers cooperation is obviously necessary but I don’t think parking in a different lot will effect there day much and if the kids get used to seeing the police in the parking lot to keep the crazies out , maybe they’ll realize the police are supposed to protect civilians . The best part is this plan doesn’t cost half a billion dollars it’s free.

  • Bayou Boys March 2, 2018, 8:46 am

    This idiot that calls himself a Gov. could start by getting a police Chief that knows what to do when this happens that would be a great start CALL IT WHAT IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No MORE EXCUSES

  • Artur Skopenko March 2, 2018, 8:21 am

    When I went to school, one gay in the school workshop made a homemade muzzle-gun and on the next street wounded the headmaster in the leg. Who will prevent violence near the school? A policeman can eat donuts in a car near the school. True? 70% of incidents occur in the evening, when schools are already closed.

    • Wzrd March 7, 2018, 12:46 am

      You just reminded me, we need to ban nail/staple guns too.

  • Infidel762X51 March 2, 2018, 7:42 am

    One resource officer per school isn’t enough. Bullet resistant glass deteriorates under UV so have often will the glass need replacement. Metal detectors are great if the shooter doesn’t just shoot the officer on the detector and walk by. Some school personnel need to be armed. Put Sheriff Judd in charge of all sheriffs in the state so training is up to date, through, and uniform.

    • Infidel762X51 March 2, 2018, 7:46 am

      And fire the sheriff coward of Broward and the sheriff that had the officer wait outside of the Pulse.

  • Zbys March 2, 2018, 5:47 am

    Not even one point of that “program” is worth more than $1
    $450 Million – expensive prank on funeral only.

  • Mark N. February 27, 2018, 1:53 am

    It never ceases to amaze me that after an incident like this, every possible gun control law is proposed, whether or not that proposed law had anything at all to do with the incident in question (like bump stocks, for example). Hardening the schools is a great idea, as long as the system installed isn’t integrated, as it was at this HS, so that the fire alarm dismantles the protections afforded. Persons entering the schools must be required to go through a security check first, not just be able to wander in off the street, as is the case in many if not most schools. SROs, which are an idea adopted in many places, must be willing to confront shooters instead of thinking that they may miss out on their retirement. And arm the teachers who choose to be armed, an idea not nearly as insane as the liberal media would have it. The mental health stuff is bogus; most persons with mental health issues are not violent.

  • Jon February 26, 2018, 9:55 am

    Make more laws that will solve it. All you need is the police to be armed and this will never happen as they will stop it. Nope. Back in the old days before evil guns when people killed each other with everything but guns like anything they could get there hands on ponder this. One tribe attacked another out of the blue did the other tribe just build bigger walls or give one guy the ability to protect himself and his whole tribe or did they arm everyone in the tribe that could fight and protect themselves. Keep making more laws and programs that do nothing. The kids will know who the security officer is in school in the first week. The shooter will shoot him or her first and then same scenario. How about any legal adult that has passed a background check works or visits the school can carry a firearm concealed. How come we don’t have these mass shooting at police stations. Sorry I forgot. Society has portrayed guns as bad and that we all can’t be trusted and we are all potential killers. We have went from a society that use to give guns to kids for birthdays and they would sit in a closet unlocked and sometimes loaded to what we are now. Scared to death that all us common folk can’t be trusted with a firearm even on our own military bases. People kill people. Let people protect themselves from evil. I think there’s an amendment I read somewhere that kinda gives us that ability and was meant for the governing body to not limit our ability to do so.

  • Martin B February 25, 2018, 7:02 pm

    Very unusual to see a US politician stand up and speak the truth. Let alone see one so articulate and obviously intelligent. He has addressed the main issues which require urgent attention, without going overboard and inflaming the passions of the 2A hard core. Everything he announced goes part way toward fixing the problem of school shooters, and combined it will hopefully go all the way, provided all involved do their jobs and don’t hide in safety while innocents are gunned down. And keeping the discussion about ALL guns was important, because the fact is that ANY school shooter with ANY weapon is unacceptable. AR15s themselves are not the issue – would people be happy if schools were shot up using some other form of semi auto? No. And keeping the focus on what everybody needs to be doing is important because it is a community problem. Nothing happens in isolation. Now the Governor is giving ordinary people the tools to enable them to contribute to stopping this sort of thing before it gets too far. This is how it should be. It is not the end of the world, or the beginning of some mythical gun grab. It preserves all the rights people currently have, only making impatient youngsters wait a while, which will also be good for them. Their pre frontal cortices have yet to develop fully (the seat of judgement), and do not finish development until the age of 25. Thus they will be more mature when they finally get their guns. Have a wee think before spouting off about how your perceived rights have been violated by this draconian measure. This is literally the least the Governor could do in the face of such tragedy.

  • Keith February 25, 2018, 2:24 am

    I am for putting more plain clothes concealed carry guards in schools and other security measures to promote more safety in schools. Make schools hard and not soft targets. I am not for anymore gun control laws. Raising the purchasing of age of firearms to twenty-one is just wrong. If you are old enough to be drafted to the military to die in combat you are old enough to buy a gun.
    Bump stocks on rifles are a joke. Legislation against them is also laughable and pointless.

    • joefoam March 2, 2018, 9:13 am

      Well put Keith. The security measures would be top priority on my list. On the day of the shooting in FL, a former student at my daughters high school just walked on campus. Had they had evil intent we would have another tragedy. Haven’t seen or heard of many banks, courthouses, airports or any other public facility where metal detectors and armed security guards are employed having a mass shooting. I’m having a hard time with raising the age to 21 for gun purchase as well. 18 year olds can vote and be handed a real assault rifle by the military. Make it all 18 or all 21, make up your mind as to when someone has matured into adulthood. The bump stock thing is just a political ploy. If you are familiar with firearms, which most of the anti-gun crowd are not, you know you can bump fire most weapons without use of any accessory rendering any ban useless. Note, NJ has outlawed ‘bump fire’ stocks, not only sales but possession, with no grandfather clause. You must surrender them within 90 days, without compensation, or face up to 6 months in jail and up to $15,000.00 in fines. Imagine what that would do to your life. Sitting in jail while your family goes bankrupt, and on your release faced with a big debt and a felony on your resume along with all the restrictions that come with a felony conviction. Now that’s scary.

  • Blue Dog February 24, 2018, 5:10 pm

    Anyone that would oppose any of these common sense gun violence prevention measures is either himself a Russian bot or being manipulated by Russian bots trying to subvert our American democracy and security. This is still America and we can still do better! Yes we can! Let’s Do This!

    • Jonathan Speegle February 25, 2018, 8:07 pm

      So, just to be clear, anyone who disagrees with you is a Russian or is being mind controlled by one. Not a chance. How about this one…every person that agrees with these measures are Bloomberg and Brady bots, not to mention mainstream in your face media worshippers.

    • joefoam March 2, 2018, 9:34 am

      “Common sense” would dictate the laws on the books be enforced. “Common sense” would dictate that all the government entities involved would do their jobs which they clearly failed at. This mess is a colossal failure of the government which is supposed to be protecting us and our children. Now they are trying to hide behind some evil gun or “lax” gun laws so they can keep their jobs and not be held accountable. Yes, this is still America and we all have rights like the one you are using to express your opinion. Allow me my right to keep and bear arms without infringement. And yes we can do a better job at raising our children not to be murderers. You sir would be a supporter of destroying our democracy, not some Russkie. Our form of government has made us the richest and most powerful nation in the planets history. Why would anyone want to change one iota of that formula is beyond me.

    • Steven March 2, 2018, 9:59 am

      Spoken like a true internet robot!

      • Dan March 2, 2018, 12:12 pm

        Since his post is concise and to the point, I would say that you are more likely the internet robot!

        • Steven March 4, 2018, 6:21 am

          And you’re an anti-gun internet troll, move on!

  • Michael February 23, 2018, 3:40 pm

    We do not need any more Gun Control and no resource officers like the one that was their we need armed citizens period back ground checks only work if the ball dose not get dropped like it has no Excuse

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