TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Today, Governor DeSantis signed a bill that enables Floridians to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. But the public safety package goes even further to expand tools available to law enforcement and educators working to keep local communities and schools safe.
“This comprehensive legislation ensures our laws respect the constitutional rights of law-abiding Floridians while at the same time incorporating valuable tools recommended by law enforcement that will increase the safety of our schools and communities,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples).
Passidomo praised the efforts of Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, Chair of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, and Sheriff Billy Woods of Marion County who helped craft a new Safe School Canine Program.
EXPANSION OF COMMUNITY AND SCHOOL SAFETY TOOLS
Standardized Threat Management
The Office of Safe Schools must now develop a behavioral threat management operational process to guide public and charter schools in identifying, assessing, managing, and monitoring potential and real threats. The law also requires the office to create a Florida-specific behavioral threat instrument to help evaluate the behavior of students who may pose a very serious threat to the school, school staff or students.
Expansion of Guardian Program to Private Schools
The bill allows private schools to participate in the necessary training for the guardian program, which allows teachers to carry concealed weapons on campus. Additionally, private schools now have expanded access to safe school officers.
Active Assailant Response Policy
All law enforcement agencies in Florida must now have an active assailant response policy by October 1, 2023 and are required to facilitate annual training for the program.
Florida Safe Schools Canine Program
A new Florida Safe Schools Canine Program will be created under the law for the purpose of designating a person, school, or business entity as a Florida Safe Schools Canine Partner. The partner would organize fundraising efforts in communities to allow local law enforcement agencies to purchase, train, and care for a firearms detection dog. The canine program aims to contribute to safer school communities where trained dogs would act as ambassadors between students and law enforcement agencies.