Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

One Year Later: What's Changed After Parkland, What Hasn't and What Could Change Back?

Much has changed since our community and the nation were rocked by what happened on February 14, 2018 in Parkland.

When it comes to gun rights, some are not happy about the change, while others want more.

One new requirement is that you must be at least 21 to buy rifles.

Another outlaws bump stocks, which allow semiautomatics to fire almost as rapidly as automatics.

School Shooting Incidents Since 2013 defines the incidents mapped below as any time a firearm discharges a live round inside or into a school building or on or onto a school campus or grounds, as documented by the press and, when necessary, confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement or school officials. Incidents in which guns were brought into schools but not discharged are not included.

Source:, NBC Staff Reports
Last updated on Nov. 14, 2019

And Florida joined other states to enact a so-called "red flag" law, which allows police to confiscate firearms of people determined by a court to be dangerous.

In the weeks after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a usually gun-friendly Florida legislature and governor were persuaded to take those actions.

But now State Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, has filed a bill that would repeal those provision of the new law.

"It was obvious from that law that was signed by the governor that the Second Amendment had come under attack," he said in an interview with the NBC 6 Investigators.

Gun Safety Laws

An examination by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence found that of the dozens of gun safety bills passed in 2018, 67 measures enacted in 26 states and Washington, D.C. would have an impact on gun-related deaths and injuries. Click on one of the red or blue colored states for more.

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Credit: Kelly Zegers/NBC

While he said he understands the concerns of – and sympathizes with – the victims' families, he insists the law must go.

"On the basis of that tragedy, then emotional mob rule took over and the students then along with the parents came here and forced the issue," he said. "I believe the decisions were made based on emotion and not based on your oath that every member took to protect and defend the Constitution, including the Second Amendment."

If Hill is able to guide his bill through both houses of the legislature, it may have a chance of being enacted – Gov. Ron DeSantis has already said he would have vetoed the bill, had he been governor last year.

Others, though, are trying to expand it.

State Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) is sponsoring a bill that would allow families – not just the police – to seek the red flag orders that allows for confiscation of firearms from dangerous people.

"Who better to determine someone is at risk than someone living close to them?" she asked at a news conference announcing the legislation.

Also, a bi-partisan group is circulating petitions to let voters decide if all semiautomatic rifles that can fire more than 10 rounds per clip be registered or, if not, made illegal to possess.

"This common sense approach supported by the majority of Floridians will save lives and will help to prevent the type of massacres we've seen in our state, like Parkland and Orlando," said Gail Schwartz, chairwoman of a group behind the initiative, Ban Assault Weapons Now. She is also aunt to one of the 17 victims of the massacre, Alex Schachter.

A key financial backer of the effort is Al Hoffman, a Republican fundraiser and former ambassador who developed part of Parkland. Struck by the carnage one man with one AR-15 could inflict, he now supports a ban on assault weapons.

While those changes in gun laws came soon after the shooting, more recent changes have been felt at the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Scott Israel was suspended by DeSantis three days after the governor took office. Israel is now fighting in the state Senate to get his job back.

He was replaced by a former Coral Springs SWAT sergeant, Gregory Tony, who is making active shooter training a mandatory annual event for all sheriff's deputies. Under Israel, the training was rotated to where some deputies may have received it once every two or three years.

There have been a slew of retirements, resignations and removals of sheriff's employees connected to Israel or the response to the school on the day of the shooting.

But one critical area that has not seen change: an inadequate county-owned public safety radio system that has already been overloaded and failed twice, during shootings at Stoneman Douglas and the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.

Sheriff Tony listed it among his top priorities, saying the office will be "working more diligently related to the communication aspects with the radios and the comm centers."

When radios overloaded during the school shooting, Broward County Commissioner Michael Urdine had more than a political interest. His daughter was a senior at the school, though she left early that day. He had been mayor of Parkland for 10 years, so he knew the radio system needed to be replaced.

"Our radio system was built in the 80s," he told the NBC 6 Investigators. "It is time to get this done. We need to get this done. We owe this to our residents."

Coral Springs had already upgraded its system, so its officers who were responding to the school had more reliable access to information, while Broward deputies were handicapped by an overloaded system.

It was the same problem that led to confusion and miscommunication after a man opened fire at the airport in January 2017, killing five.

Now, a year after the shooting in Parkland, the more than $100 million upgrade planned for years is still not complete.

"Delays are not good," he said. "Delays are dangerous. We need to get this done as quickly as we can."

But he fears more delays are coming, now that Hollywood has objected to placing a 32-story tower in West Lake Park.

"If we built this tower in the West Lake Park we were assured by the consultant the system would be finished by this year, in 2019," he said. "Once we move out of that, who knows?"

Hollywood has proposed putting equipment atop a newly constructed apartment tower and says it can be done there for less money and more quickly than constructing an eyesore at the park.

The county commission voted to consider the apartment building location, with Urdine casting the lone no vote.

"Every day it is delayed is another opportunity of potential problems out there,' he said, adding "We need to get this done and we need to get this done right away."

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