House education panel approves ‘Pop-Tart’ gun bill


Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

The so-called Pop-Tarts gun bill could be an early winner in this year’s legislative session.

The House Education Committee on Thursday gave its support to the bill, (HB 7029, SB 1060), which would prevent children from being disciplined for playing with simulated weapons in school.

The bill offers special protection for “brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food.”

Why do Pop-Tarts get a shout out?

The bill was partly inspired by a Maryland boy who was suspended from school for chewing his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. The Florida bill drew national attention when it was first introduced in the Legislature.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican and the sponsor of the bill, said the proposal is needed because many Florida schools have zero-tolerance policies that can be overly punitive.

Baxley is hoping the measure allows teachers and school administrators to use common sense when disciplining children.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer attended the meeting Thursday, but did not testify.

After the vote, she said the bill would let kids be kids.

Hammer said the NRA was not “driving” the issue in the Legislature.

Read more Legislature stories from the Miami Herald

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