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Federal gun reform could use Florida's post-Parkland law as blueprint

'I think it's phenomenal if we can do those things,' Parkland father Fred Guttenberg says
Gun being aimed
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 19:03:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As the list of mass shootings in the U.S. continues to grow, leaders in Congress are hoping to get a bipartisan deal on gun control as soon as this week, and they could be using what Florida approved post-Parkland as a blueprint.

The 2018 Parkland bill was bipartisan and offered substantial reform.

For many lawmakers, it is proof that Republicans and Democrats can come together on gun-related issues. Will that be the case on the federal level? Some have their doubts.

Those who are part of the negotiations told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that there is progress, but they are not guaranteeing anything.

"We're trying to figure out what can get 60 to 70 votes in the Senate," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Sen. Chris Murphy on "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper, June 5, 2022
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., called Florida's template for gun reforms "the right one."

Murphy said changes could come along the lines of what Florida approved in 2018, following the Parkland school shooting in which a gunman killed 17 people and injured another 17.

"The template from Florida is the right one," Murphy said. "Do some significant mental health investment, some school safety money and some modest but impactful changes in gun laws."

Florida's SB 7026 did many things.

It increased firearm purchases to 21 years of age, created a three-day waiting period and established the state's red flag law.

That provision gives police a judicial path to remove guns from potentially dangerous people.

Since former Gov. Rick Scott, now senator, signed the law, state records show officials have seized more than 8,000 weapons.

"Do I think that's good for America?" Fred Guttenberg, a Parkland father turned gun-control activist, said. "I think it's phenomenal if we can do those things."

Fred Guttenberg, Parkland father discusses gun reform, June 6, 2022
Fred Guttenberg shares his thoughts on the renewed push for federal gun reform after recent mass shootings.

Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jamie during Parkland, said the reforms would save lives. He was planning to head to Washington, D.C., this week to advocate for them and other changes. However, he was not very optimistic a deal could be reached.

"Listen, I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised," Guttenberg said. "But I've seen the show before. The Democrats are ready to pass legislation, but it requires we have 10 Republicans. Candidly, I do not see the path to the 10 Republicans."

Resistant Republicans have offered alternative ideas like hardening schools with armed law enforcement. That's been a nonstarter for many Democrats who say more guns are not the solution.

Meanwhile — back in Florida — state lawmakers will soon vote on whether to return to Tallahassee for a special session on gun control.

Democrats triggered the poll after sending letters of support to the Florida Secretary of State’s office. The vote will likely happen later this week, though the Florida State Department has yet to schedule it.

Lawmakers need at least 60% support to make the early return happen. That's unlikely to occur, however. The Legislature's GOP majority has resisted further reform, satisfied with the gun control measures approved after Parkland.