AZUZ: Laws are changing in the U.S. state of Florida following a deadly shooting at a highest on February 14th. Governor Rick Scott signed a $400 million bill last Friday.
The largest portion of the funding, $98 million, will go toward increasing security at Florida schools. Ninety-seven million will help pay for more armed school resource officers. Sixty-nine million has been set aside for mental health assistance in schools. That can include screening people for mental health issues and treating them.
Sixty-seven million will help fund training for some teachers who want to carry guns on campus. This will have to be approved by school boards and local sheriffs. And more than $25 million will pay for replacing a building where the shooting happened.
Other parts of the law include banning certain components that make guns fire faster and giving police officers more authority to take weapons and ammunition from people seen as mentally unfit to have them. In addition, the new law raises the minimum age to buy a firearm in Florida. It used to be 18. It's now 21.
The National Rifle Association, a non-profit group that advocates for Americans' gun rights, is suing Florida, saying that raising the minimum age to buy weapons violates the Second and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Florida's teachers union says it doesn't want any teachers to carry guns. It wants only police, safety and resource officers to be allowed to do that. Florida's governor says counties that opt out of arming teachers can use the money to hire more school officers.
The parent of a school shooting victim called the new law the beginning of efforts to prevent future acts of school violence and said more states should follow Florida's lead.