Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In Harm's Way: What could Florida lawmakers do to keep kids from being shot?

Proper storage of firearms, including the use of a trigger lock, can help prevent gun accidents among children. [Associated Press file photo]


Proper storage of firearms, including the use of a trigger lock, can help prevent gun accidents among children. [Associated Press file photo]

TALLAHASSEE — When the annual 60-day legislative session gets under way next month, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will be looking for ways to keep Florida's kids safe from guns.

Statewide, the number of children killed by guns has risen nearly 20 percent since 2010, a Tampa Bay Times analysis has found. Child gun injuries went up 36 percent.

Not surprisingly, the solutions up for consideration this year differ radically along party lines. Democrats want to tighten the existing law that hold adults criminally liable when kids access their firearms, and increase the penalties. But the lawmaker with the most power over the matter has a different idea.

"We could do away with gun-free zones," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, naming a key piece of the National Rifle Association's agenda in Florida.

Florida law currently prohibits concealed weapons in 15 types of locations, including elementary through high schools. Steube and other Republican lawmakers have argued that people are generally less safe in these so-called "gun free-zones" because they cannot protect themselves in an active-shooter situation.

"There's not a school resource officer in every one of our elementary schools," he said. "If a terrorist wants to come in and start shooting our kids, there's nothing to stop them."

Click here to continue reading "In Harm's Way," a Times special report examining guns as a top children's health issue in Florida.

In Harm's Way: What could Florida lawmakers do to keep kids from being shot? 02/25/17 [Last modified: Monday, March 6, 2017 11:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Officials say Trump's Afghan plan involves 3,900 more troops

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's plan to end the stalemate in America's longest war and eliminate Afghanistan's rising extremist threat involves sending up to 3,900 additional U.S. forces, senior officials said Tuesday. The first deployments could take place within days.

    President Donald Trump speaks at Fort Myer in Arlington Va., Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, during a Presidential Address to the Nation about a strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan. [Associated Press]
  2. 'Cavern' closes westbound lanes on E Fletcher Avenue in Hillsborough County

    Roads

    Westbound lanes of E Fletcher Avenue are closed near the Hillsborough River to repair what the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office terms a "cavern" that formed under the roadway.

  3. Joss Whedon's ex-wife accuses him of cheating, being 'hypocrite preaching feminist ideals'

    Celebrities

    Joss Whedon made his name directing cult television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and big-budget action movies, which often featured women in empowering roles. Many applauded him for being a champion of women, a feminist in an industry accused of misogyny and sexism.

    Joss Whedon at the screening of "Much Ado About Nothing" in 2014. Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole alleged in an essay published by The Wrap on Sunday that Whedon had multiple affairs during their 16-year marriage. (Associated Press)
  4. Pasco school's parents, principal seek compromise on behavior plan

    Blogs

    Leaders of a Pasco County elementary school that has come under criticism for its new behavior plan have offered an alternative model that sticks to its goals while also better considering younger children who might not understand the original terminology.

    This is the original chart that upset parents with wording such as "anarchy" and "conform to peer pressure" without any context.
  5. Jon Gruden, Rex Ryan meet with Jameis Winston on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    One of the interesting guest stars on HBO's "Hard Knocks", which covers every minute of the Bucs' training camp and preseason, has been Jon Gruden. The legendary former Tampa Bay coach has popped up from time …

    In a teaser clip from episode 3 of "Hard Knocks", Jon Gruden and fellow former coach Rex Ryan meet with Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to discuss his past and future in the NFL. [HBO/NFL FILMS]