Florida leaders finally took some action on guns.

While the specifics can be nitpicked, the principle is important.

Americans by large majorities favor smart, effective controls on guns to make sure dangerous people — felons, mentally ill, domestic abusers — are restricted from having them.

This requires giving up the extremes — those who oppose all restrictions on guns and those who simply want to ban them all.

Other nations do not have the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has ruled there is an individual right to own guns while specifying the right is not unrestricted.

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill with some important elements:

• People under 21 could not legally buy a gun. Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, could not buy a handgun, but he was able to legally buy an AR-15.

• Funding for school security will be improved along with more school resource officers.

• There is more funding for mental health. There will be more restrictions on keeping guns out of the mentally unstable. Gun violence restraining orders have worked well in California. Police will be authorized to remove guns from people considered a risk.

• There will be a three-day waiting period or completion of a background check, whichever is longer. Exceptions would involve the military, police officers and those with hunting licenses or concealed carry licenses.

• Bump stocks — attachments that turn semi-automatics into virtual automatics — will be banned. That was used by the Las Vegas shooter to spray bullets at crowds.

The bill was remarkable given that Florida, as Washington Post columnist Amber Phillips wrote, “has some of the loosest gun laws in the nation, according to a ranking by the Giffords Law Center.”

One controversial aspect of the bill would give school districts the option of arming certain school personnel. It has been wrongly described as simply “arming teachers.”

Actually, exclusive classroom teachers would be exempted. Others carrying guns would have to undergo 132 hours of training, pass a background check and take diversity training. But is that enough? The idea of training non-police personnel for combat situations should raise concerns.

Imagine confronting a homicidal maniac — someone who is prepared to die while killing as many people as possible. This requires something akin to SWAT training. It’s a lot more complicated than having “a good guy with a gun.”

That’s why it makes more sense to fund full-time police officers with the proper training to act effectively in active shooter situations.

The bill does not ban high-capacity magazines, but it is hard to find a justification for them. Hunters certainly don’t need 100-round magazines.

There ought to be more debate on restrictions on military-style weapons like the AR-15. At the very least, there ought to be restrictions placed on the ownership of military-style weapons.

And the background check system needs to be strengthened. Cruz had a history of unstable behavior along with threatening messages.

Have guns, will travel

Gun advocates like to point to Chicago as a city with restrictive gun laws and a high murder rate.

There are several issues with that. New York City, for instance, has restrictive gun laws and a low murder rate.

More to the point, guns can be easily carried across state lines in the United States. Chicago, for instance, is just a few miles from Indiana with its less restrictive gun laws.

In fact, one study showed that from 2012 to 2016 about 250,000 guns were purchased in one state and used in a crime in another state.

In states like Illinois, at least half of the guns used in crimes were purchased out of state.

An analysis of gun data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives showed states with strong gun laws are magnets for guns from states with permissive gun laws.

That is why effective gun laws — such as universal background checks — are needed on a national level.

Yet Congress hasn’t enacted new gun control legislation since 2007.

A version of this editorial first appeared in the Florida Times-Union, a News Herald sister paper with GateHouse Media