A law passed in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting is being used in an attempt to temporarily seize firearms from the attacker's brother, Zachary Cruz, CNN reports. Cruz, 18, was arrested Monday for trespassing on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School grounds, where his older brother, Nikolas Cruz, killed 17 people last month.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office filed a risk protection order against Zachary Cruz after his arrest, which, if granted, "will prohibit Cruz from possessing and acquiring firearms for a period of time to be determined by the court." The new law is part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which has only been in effect for a few weeks and allows for police to temporarily seize guns from a person in custody for an involuntary mental health assessment. For trespassing, Cruz was ordered a psychological evaluation by a Florida judge and had his bond set at $500,000, although the amount for misdemeanor trespassing is usually $25.
Cruz had apparently trespassed at the school at least three times, having "surpassed all locked doors and gates." He has additionally been ordered by the court to wear an ankle monitor and stay at least a mile away from the school. Cruz's attorney has argued that Zachary is being unfairly punished by the court for his brother's attack. Jeva Lange
Thousands of students across the country walked out of their schools at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to mark the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The students — who left from elementary schools, universities, and every grade in between — called for stricter gun laws using signs like "I wanna make it to graduation" and "no more silence." According to organizers, people at more than 2,800 schools and universities signed up to participate. Take a look at the powerful protests across the nation below. Jeva Lange
Newtown High School, Sandy Hook, Connecticut
— ABC News (@ABC) March 14, 2018
PS 321, Brooklyn, New York
— Laurie Mansfield Reiter (@LaurieMansfield) March 14, 2018
Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville, Arkansas
"We should resist the urge to respond with fear."
Good for these kids, I'm sad they'll grow up knowing they're better people than their leaders.
(Fayetteville High School, Arkansas) pic.twitter.com/NfruqX5Nql
— Matt Farwell (@mattbfarwell) March 14, 2018
Point Loma High School, San Diego, California
— Melissa Adan (@MelissaNBC7) March 14, 2018
Overland High School, Aurora, Colorado
— Ramsey Scott (@RamseySentinel) March 14, 2018
Columbine High School, Columbine, Colorado
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) March 14, 2018
— Emma Roller (@emmaroller) March 14, 2018
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a deadly shooting last month, walk out of their classrooms to protest for stricter gun laws as part of #NationalWalkoutDay. https://t.co/Yf340l4g2R pic.twitter.com/XqdnfdWx94
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 14, 2018
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, students at schools across the U.S. and as far away as Australia and Germany plan to walk out of class for 17 minutes to mark the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed in that shooting, and most of the students participating will be protesting for stricter gun laws, though the protests will take different forms at different schools. According to organizers, students at more than 2,800 schools and universities have signed up to participate.
Some schools are embracing the protests, while others pledge to suspend any students who participate. According to the ACLU, schools can discipline students for leaving class to protest but can't make the punishment any harsher because the political nature of the walkout. There is another school walkout planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, and a march in Washington on March 24. Peter Weber
On Sunday, the White House rolled out its response to last month's mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, with several proposals to protect and "harden" schools but few changes to gun laws. The proposals do not include raising the age to purchase military-style rifles to 21 from 18, for example, despite President Trump prominently bucking the NRA to endorse the idea. Age requirements will be examined by the new Federal Commission on School Safety the White House announced Sunday, headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
"I have actually asked to head up a task force that will really look at what states are doing," DeVos said Sunday on 60 Minutes. "See, there are a lot of states that are addressing these issues in very cohesive and coherent ways." On Saturday night, Trump did not seem so keen on commissions to solve big problems like school safety.
"Do you think the drug dealers who kill thousands of people during their lifetime, do you think they care who's on a blue-ribbon committee?" Trump asked at a rally outside Pittsburgh on Sunday night. "The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness." He proposed executing people for dealing drugs. The Washington Post asked the White House "why Trump found commissions an inadequate response to the drug epidemic but an appropriate way to respond to gun massacres," and the White House did not answer directly. "There are not going to be one-size-fits-all approaches and solutions, and I think that that is a very cogent argument for having a commission," said a senior administration official who insisted on anonymity. Peter Weber
On Wednesday, the Florida House passed the state's first gun restrictions in three decades, voting 67-50 after debating for nearly eight hours.
Under the bill, which cleared the Senate 20-18 earlier this week, a person must be at least 21 years old to buy a gun and wait three days before obtaining the weapon. The bill also would set aside $400 million for mental health and school safety, and would create a program that allows certain trained school personnel to carry guns.
The vote took place exactly three weeks after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland. Gov. Rick Scott (R) has not indicated if he will sign or veto the bill, but has said he is opposed to arming school personnel and wants to speak with the families of Parkland victims and survivors to hear their thoughts on the matter. All 17 families who lost a loved one in the massacre signed a letter calling for passage of the bill, The Miami Herald reports. Catherine Garcia
On Monday, the Florida Senate passed a bill focusing on guns and school safety programs. The legislation would enact a three-day waiting period to purchase any gun, invest $400 million in mental health services, raise the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, and ban the purchase and possession of bump stocks.
The bill, named the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, narrowly passed on a 20-18 vote. It does not ban the sale of assault and assault-style weapons in the state or set limits on high-capacity magazines, but it does include an amendment that sets up a school marshal program, allowing certain school staff members to carry concealed weapons on campus.
Several Democrats opposed the bill, saying it doesn't go far enough to stop another school shooting like the one in Parkland that left 17 people dead and should not include arming school staff, while some conservative Republicans voted against it because of the waiting period provision and age restriction. The bill now heads to the Florida House; the legislative session ends March 9. Catherine Garcia
Thousands are planning to participate in the March 24 rally against gun violence, March for Our Lives, and the getting there part of things just got a little bit easier thanks to Lyft. The ride-hailing app announced Friday that in honor of the work of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors, it will be offering free rides to anyone trying to get to a rally.
"We believe there is something seriously wrong when the threat of gun violence is so frequent and real throughout our country," the company wrote in a statement. "And like many, we are inspired by your leadership."
— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) March 2, 2018
CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Dana Loesch why the NRA isn't attacking Trump. Trump effectively answered.
At a televised meeting with lawmakers Wednesday, President Trump endorsed a number of gun control measures opposed by the NRA, and the NRA's reaction was notably chill. On Thursday night, the NRA's chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, announced on Twitter he'd just met with Trump, and Trump supports "strong due process" and doesn't "want gun control." Trump confirmed the unannounced "Good (Great)" Oval Office meeting an hour later.
"The twin tweets suggest that it may have taken the gun rights group a little over a day to persuade the president to back away from his apparent embrace of Democratic gun control measures," The New York Times says. About the same time Trump and Cox were tweeting, CNN's Anderson Cooper was asking NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch why her group wasn't attacking Trump.
"Does the NRA feel betrayed by the president?" Cooper asked Loesch, who replied with a list of talking points about age limits. Cooper tried again: "If President Obama had said, 'You know, I kind of believe in taking the guns first and then going through due process second,' I imagine the NRA would have spoken out incredibly strongly about that." Loesch laughed, saying Obama had "a very different approach" and "did not even come close to thinking, as President Trump does, on, for example, national reciprocity or a number of other issues." (She's referring to a concealed-carry expansion, a top priority for the NRA, which Trump shot down Wednesday.)
Cooper asked again if the NRA feels betrayed by Trump, suggesting Loesch's group is "going out of your way" to "not go after him" as it would a Democratic president. "I can't react, and I don't think NRA members can react, to something that hasn't happened yet," she said. "So you think it's just talk from him?" Cooper asked. "It could be," Loesch said. "I mean, I think he's just entertaining both sides" and "just in a discussion phase." Peter Weber