By GARY DETMAN, WPEC
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) - Gov. Rick Scott (R) is on a statewide tour to push his $500 million school safety package.
Scott spoke in Tampa early Wednesday morning. The governor has stops in Jacksonville and Walton County later in the day.
The sweeping changes come in the wake of the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Students returned to class Wednesday, exactly two weeks after the mass shooting on Valentine's Day. The suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is being held on 17 counts of premeditated murder. Authorities said he legally purchased the AR-15 used in the shooting last year.
The 3-point plan targets gun safety, school security and mental health. The half-billion dollar proposal calls for an armed officer in every school, and raising the age to buy a gun in Florida to 21.
The proposals also call for enhanced penalties for people who make threats to schools.
There have been a rash of them since the Parkland shooting.
“Right after it happened, I asked law enforcement...to come to Tallahassee and to sit down and say what are some logical solutions. I asked mental health professionals and educators to come,” Gov. Rick Scott says https://t.co/8VOYYrpxBM pic.twitter.com/6iTEFk57wt— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 28, 2018
On Tuesday, the Broward Sheriff's Office arrested a 16-year-old boy who made an online threat while playing video games. Investigators said 16-year-old Christopher McDonald referenced the Parkland shooting and said he could pull it off better with a pipe bomb. Deputies found a pipe bomb in his home.
Last Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office arrested a 12-year-old girl who threatened to shoot up and place explosive devices at three schools near Orlando.
Florida's schools are also being tasked by the governor to look at enhanced security measures such as metal detectors, bullet proof glass, steel doors and upgraded locks.
Gov. Rick Scott on school safety: "There's nothing more important, than to do all we can to make sure an evil like this never ever happens again in this state. Call your house member, call your senator, let them know, we need to get something done now." https://t.co/pKee6pF2sj pic.twitter.com/U4aPjPkkmW— Bay News 9 (@BN9) February 28, 2018