Weeks after their children were gunned down in Parkland, Fl., parents of the victims stood in the Florida Capitol and watched Gov. Rick Scott sign a far-reaching bill that places new restrictions on guns, the Associated Press reports. The National Rifle Association promptly filed a federal lawsuit to block it. The new law capped three weeks of lobbying after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with student survivors and grieving families working to persuade a Republican-run state government that had shunned gun control measures.
The bill fell short of a ban on assault-style weapons sought by survivors. The gunman who opened fire at the school used such a weapon, an AR-15 rifle. The law raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns, and bans bump stocks, which allow guns to mimic automatic fire. It creates a “guardian” program enabling some teachers and other school employees to carry guns. The NRA said the statute “punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual.” The Parkland gunman “gave repeated warning signs that were ignored by federal and state officials. If we want to prevent future atrocities, we must look for solutions that keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans,” said the NRA’s Chris Cox.