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Recent Polls Show Most Floridians Approve of Guns in School

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According to the recent Sunshine State Survey administered by the University of South Florida more than half of adult Floridians (56 percent) are in favor of allowing trained staff to carry firearms at schools.

On the other side, forty percent of Floridians say they are opposed to allowing firearms in schools, with 29 percent saying they are strongly opposed to the idea.

“Stronger supporters are males, working-age residents, whites, those living in affluent households, college graduates, and residents of the Orlando and North Florida areas,” the USF release said. Residents of the Orlando and North Florida areas are more likely to favor the idea.

Opposition comes from females, older Floridians, African-Americans, lower-income households, those with less formal education and residents of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area.

The issue of allowing guns into schools has been a hot-button topic in Florida. State representatives have tried for years to allow firearms on school campuses, whether on college campuses or in elementary and secondary schools.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, proposed a bill earlier this year to allow trained staff to allow concealed carry in kindergarten through 12th-grade school facilities.In 2015, Steube introduced a proposal which would have allowed for the superintendents of school districts to authorize “school safety designees” to carry guns on elementary school and secondary school campus grounds. Not everyone would have been able to qualify as a designee — only those who passed level two background checks  and met specific training requirements dictated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would have been able to be

In 2015, Steube introduced a proposal which would have allowed for the superintendents of school districts to authorize “school safety designees” to carry guns on elementary school and secondary school campus grounds. Not everyone would have been able to qualify as a designee — only those who passed level two background checks  and met specific training requirements dictated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would have been able to be designees.

The bill weaved its way through the Florida House during the 2015 legislative session, but its path was not as smooth in the Florida Senate, where it died in the Education Pre-K through 12 committee.

Florida gun groups, now say they are onboard with training school staff to respond to violence at schools.

Sean Caranna of Florida Carry told Sunshine State News his group is working to bring the FASTER (Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response) program to Florida. The FASTER program is a 26-hour hands-on training program which would supply trained staff with firearms and medical treatment to schools. The program is already being instituted in Ohio.

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