The tragic school shooting in Florida highlights the need to ensure that those who should not have a firearm, such as the Florida shooter, are not able to purchase one. We know that the FBI and local sheriff's office both received numerous warnings of the shooter's instability and violent behavior. Despite those warnings, nothing was done. The school shooter should have been ineligible to purchase any sort of firearm, including an AR-15.
Congress and state legislatures need to improve systems so that background checks are done correctly and that there is accountability when failures occur. Previously, I have supported and continue to support strengthened background check proposals like the one included in the ‘Fix-NICS’ legislation originally written by the bipartisan team of Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Murphy (D-CT).
Additionally, fully automatic weapons are subject to highly restrictive regulation and any device that essentially turns a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon should be treated similarly. I agree with President Trump's decision to direct the Department of Justice to ban bump stocks.
Finally, we should also seriously consider raising the age for purchase of semiautomatic firearms to age 21 as well as other measures to better protect schools and other potentially vulnerable locations.