They traveled to the state Capitol to make their views known about a controversial proposal to arm teachers.
They’ll have to wait for another day.
A Senate committee postponed public testimony Wednesday on a proposal that would allow classroom teachers to carry a firearm if they voluntarily undergo training.
At least 20 members of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — some from Gainesville — traveled to Tallahassee. People packed the room. Spectators stood along the walls of the meeting room with every chair filled.
State Sen. Tom Lee, R- Thonotosassa, chairman of the committee considering the bill, apologized to the crowd. He said he needed to postpone the matter until Tuesday because of time constraints caused by lawmakers needing to present other legislation elsewhere.
He said the postponement would give the public more time to comment.
“I’d rather give these folks the time they deserve,” Lee said. “We’re trying to push way too many pieces of legislation through too small a funnel.”
The proposal (SB 7030) would expand the state’s Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program created after last year’s Parkland shooting that left 17 students and staff dead. Named for an assistant football coach killed in the massacre, the program allows non-instructional employees to carry guns if they undergo training and pass a psychological evaluation.
Last year, state lawmakers opted not to include teachers on the list of school employees who could be armed amid a backlash from educators.
But the idea is being considered again with a state commission investigating the Parkland shooting recommending that teachers be allowed to carry guns.
Twenty-five districts have opted to participate in the guardian program, including Broward County. School districts were also given the option of stationing a law enforcement officer at each campus, a far costlier option.
Terry Wiggins, an advocate with Moms Demand Action from Gainesville, said she plans to return. She said she will bring a van filled with like-minded people to Tallahassee for the next meeting.
“There’s always another day,” she said. “I am optimistic.”
Sun Sentinel correspondent Steve Bousquet contributed to this report.
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