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Legal Review: Examining the Steps States are Taking Following Florida Shooting

By Criminal Defense Attorney Peter G. Billings, founding partner of Billings & Barrett, LLC.

Many states around the country took steps towards tougher gun laws following the February shooting at a Florida high school.

It did not take long for states, including Florida to respond to the shooting that took the lives of 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

One of the first states to take action was Rhode Island, where Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation that created a new policy for at-risk people. The policy would take the guns from people who pose a risk to themselves or to others. Since signing the legislation, many other states have followed with similar bills, including Connecticut, Oregon and California.

Rhode Island also joined a brand-new coalition that is aiming to create a database that will track guns that have been used in crimes or have been transported across state lines in an effort to intercept them. The coalition also includes New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida recently signed legislation with various sheriff’s deputies by his side. The legislation will provide $450 million in aid to school districts throughout the state for security and an additional $50 million in funding for mental health. He also noted that a police officer should be present in every school in the state.

The state of Oregon passed new measures the day after the Parkland shooting. These measures prevent those convicted of domestic violence and people who have restraining orders against them from possessing weapons.

“More and more states are toughening their gun laws and other laws that regulate weapons and ammunition in the wake of the Parkland shooting,” Peter G. Billings, of Billings & Barrett, LLC, said. “Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey will not be too far behind either.”

On the other side of the spectrum, South Dakota decided to loosen its gun laws. The state’s House of Representatives passed a new measure that is being viewed as self-defense measures. It would allow people to carry guns on church and school grounds.

The Senate is also exploring a bill that would repeal the requirement to have a concealed carry permit if the person abides by the laws.

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