Despite the pleas of anguished survivors of the Parkland massacre, the Florida House Appropriations  Committee voted against a ban on assault weapons and voted to arm teachers. 

The $67 million “school marshal” program is the most controversial aspect of a House bill that imposes a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, raises the age to buy any gun from 18 to 21 and gives police more power to seize guns from people who threaten themselves or others. Most of the money for the marshal program would be spent on training.

Oliva said the bill doesn’t address whether teachers would be provided guns or would have to buy them. He said that should be decided locally by school boards and superintendents.

The goal: 10 marshals (teachers trained to carry a gun) in every school, which would equate to 37,000 statewide. The state would cover the costs of background checks, drug testing, psychological exams and 132 hours of training. The bill does provide a one-time $500 stipend for those who volunteer to have a gun.

The bill also calls for spending $400 million to put a school resource officer in every school, improve mental health counseling and make public school buildings safer.