On Wednesday, lawmakers in Florida issued the final approval on a gun-safety package that raises the minimum legal age for purchasing rifles and places a three-day waiting period on the sale of all firearms. The package also allows the arming of some public school employees.
What the bill did not do is implement a ban on assault-style firearms.
Although the Florida House of Representatives voted 67-50 in favor of the package, as of the latest information, Governor Rick Scott has not spoken on whether or not he will support the bill. Unless Scott chooses to veto it, the bill will automatically become law within 15 days.
Critics of the new bill are quick to point out that the omitted assault-style weapon ban was one of the primary motivations behind the push for a gun-safety package in the first place.
Arming some public school personnel is another controversial topic with those opposed believe it could lead to additional risks, while advocates believe the move, which requires special training sanctioned by the state, will offer an additional layer of safety to students. School districts that do not want to participate may choose to opt out of the program.
The new measure comes just three weeks after 17 people lost their lives in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The tragedy propelled concerns about assault-style weapons and mental health care. It also led to an unprecedented demand for change in gun laws by the high school’s survivors.
The new bill names the program for Aaron Feis, the assistant football coach who was killed during the February 14th shooting. Feis has been recognized as being a life-saver and credited for shielding students during the attack.
In the wake of an unbelievable mass shooting that left 17 people dead in and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, the story of selfless assistant football coach, Aaron Feis, inspires hope for all mankind.
“He was one of the greatest people I knew. He was a phenomenal man.”
-Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel
Feis, 37, who also worked as a security guard at the school, may not have planned to save the lives of students when he came to work on Wednesday, but when a gunman armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle began hailing bullets toward students, the man who once played football for and graduated from Stoneman Douglas High School, used his own body as a shield for others.
Students say that Feis leaped in front of two or more students as bullets flew in their direction. The coach described as always having a smile, sacrificed all he had to save the lives of students.
Feis, who was shot, did not die at the scene, but was rushed into emergency surgery. Sadly, he did not survive, due to his injuries.
Aaron Feis worked as a coach at the Parkland, FL school for more than ten years. He lived in nearby Coral Springs and leaves behind a wife and young daughter. There are several GoFundMe pages dedicated to the heroic late coach.