In a debate that showed sharp divisions about how best to protect children and teachers, the Florida House on Monday approved a bill that could lead to some public-school employees or volunteers carrying guns on campus.
House members voted 71-44 to approve the bill (HB 753), which would allow school districts to decide whether to designate people who could carry concealed weapons on schools grounds. Those people would have to be trained and have military or law-enforcement backgrounds.
Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican who has long backed such proposals, said gun-free schools have become a "sterile target" that can be attacked by deranged people. The debate Monday included references to mass shootings at places such as a Newton, Connecticut, elementary school and at Fort Hood in Texas.