Florida Gov. Scott signs body camera and slungshot bills

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Stacy Ferris / State of Florida / MGN

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed nearly three dozen bills into law, including a measure that requires law enforcement agencies that use body cameras to follow certain guidelines.

Scott signed a total of 34 bills into law, including one that would remove slungshots from the list of weapons that require a concealed weapons permit.

A slungshot is a maritime tool – a rope with a weight that’s wrapped in a knot called a monkey fist. They’ve traditionally been used to help sailors toss lines but they became a popular weapon among 19th-century street gangs.

The bill (HB 4009) repeals the law that makes it a first-degree misdemeanor to carry a concealed slungshot

The body camera law requires police to develop standards for the use of cameras and how the audio and video files will be stored. The bill (HB 93) doesn’t mandate that police must use body cameras.

Only a small number of law-enforcement agencies use body cameras now. But Rep. Shevrin Jones, a West Park Democrat who sponsored the bill, said the new law will ensure “transparency” in the handling of body cameras as their use becomes more widespread.

The governor also signed a bill into law that is a top priority for Attorney General Pam Bondi. The measure (HB 1347) redefines synthetic drugs so that the state wouldn’t have to constantly update the chemical compounds used to make them.

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