The U.S. House has approved a bill to improve school safety in the wake of the shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school.
The bill authorizes $500 million over 10 years for grants to improve training and coordination between schools and local law enforcement and help identify signs of potential violence before they occur. The House approved the bill, 407-10, on Wednesday.
The vote marks the first gun-related action by Congress since the Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, supported the bill. In a statement, Davis noted his close call during a Virginia shooting last summer that targeted members of Congress.
"I believe the only reason all of us on that baseball field are still here today is because we had someone there who was protecting us and firing back," Davis said. "That doesn’t mean I believe all schools need the same kind of security measures, but I do believe all of our schools need to look closely at their security protocols and policies and Congress should help them make the changes they deem necessary.
"There wasn’t just one failure on Feb. 14 (in Parkland, Florida) and as such, there isn’t just one solution," said Davis. "This bill is one part of addressing this issue and it’s something we can, and should, do right now."
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the bill "provides a multilayered approach" to identify threats so authorities can intervene before violence occurs.
Florida Rep. John Rutherford, a former Jacksonville sheriff, sponsored the bill, which now goes to the Senate.
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