Florida Bill Would Create Gun-Restricted Zones Near Schools

Legislation filed in Tallahassee Friday would set a perimeter around Florida schools and increase punishment for those carrying or using weapons within the restricted area.

Under the measure, anyone wielding a gun or knife in a careless or threatening way within 1,000 feet of school property could be charged with a second degree felony.

The bill is one of several gun control measures filed by Democratic lawmakers for the 2017 session. So far, none have gained traction in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Still, Democratic Senate sponsor Lauren Book of Plantation says it is important to get people thinking about the issue.

“Incrementally is the way things happen here. Maybe it doesn’t get to everywhere we want it to go this year, but we will start that conversation and move things forward as we can,” said Sen. Book.

The bill would also increase penalties for the improper storage of guns in the home, when minors are present. The measure has yet to be heard by any legislative committee.

 “It is really important that we start looking at gun violence and how we can curtail that around our children. It is really important that we keep kids safe, and this is another step in the right direction,” Sen. Book said.

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