Gov. Scott treks across Florida to push $500M school safety package after shooting
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) - Republican Gov. Rick Scott is on a statewide tour to push his $500 million school safety package.
Scott spoke at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Thursday morning, a day after making stops in Tampa, Jacksonville and Walton County on Wednesday.
Ryan Petty, father of shooting victim Alaina Petty, joined the governor in West Palm Beach. Petty said he wanted to be the last parent to speak of gun control changes and praised Scott for pushing the dialogue.
The sweeping changes come in the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Students returned to class Wednesday, exactly two weeks after the mass shooting on Valentine's Day. The suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is being held on 17 counts of premeditated murder. Authorities said he legally purchased the AR-15 used in the shooting last year.
The three-point plan targets gun safety, school security and mental health. The half-billion-dollar proposal calls for an armed officer in every school and raising the age to buy a gun in Florida to 21.
The proposals also call for enhanced penalties for people who make threats to schools.
There has been a rash of them since the Parkland shooting.
On Tuesday, the Broward County Sheriff's Office arrested a 16-year-old boy who made an online threat while playing video games.
Investigators said 16-year-old Christopher McDonald referenced the Parkland shooting and said he could pull it off better with a pipe bomb. Deputies found a pipe bomb in his home.
Last Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office arrested a 12-year-old girl who threatened to shoot up and place explosive devices at three schools near Orlando.
Florida's schools are also being tasked by Scott to look at enhanced security measures such as metal detectors, bulletproof glass, steel doors and upgraded locks.
Retailers are responding to the Parkland shooting. Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods and Kroger are not selling weapons or ammo to anyone under the age of 21.