New Florida Gun Law Tightens Restrictions

On March 9, Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law, or otherwise known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

The new gun law introduces new restrictions on the purchase and ownership rights of all firearms in Florida, and allocates significant resources to school districts for increased security and mental health care.

The first of these restrictions increases the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 years of age. Under current federal law, an individual over the age of 18 can purchase a shotgun or rifle, but handguns are restricted to those over the age of 21. Police may also seize and hold the firearm of anyone that has been subject to an involuntary psychiatric evaluation under the Baker Act until such person has been discharged.

Those who purchase firearms in Florida must now wait until the later of three days or until a background check has been completed, before they may take possession. There are a few exceptions to this rule that will continue to allow police officers, military members, and those with concealed weapon licenses to take possession of all firearms immediately. However, individuals with a valid Florida hunting license are only exempt from the waiting period when purchasing shotguns and/or rifles. For handguns, they are subject to the waiting period.

The new law also allocates $67 million to a program that will arm certain school employees with firearms upon the approval of the local school district and sheriff’s department. This “marshal” program is voluntary, and only available to counselors, coaches and librarians. Teachers who exclusively perform classroom duties are excluded.

In addition, the new law allocates $98 million to schools to be used exclusively for the hiring or contracting of school resource officers, and will also give $99 million for the improvement of the physical security of certain school buildings. Finally, school districts will receive additional funding to provide mental health care services to students.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.