Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signs a gun control measure on Friday that would bring a new set of gun measures to the Sunshine State after pressure from Florida citizens after 17 were killed in a school shooting in his state.
Some are looking at the signing of the bill as the Florida Republican defying the National Rifle Association (NRA) while others are looking at his actions as common sense gun control measures on semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15, which was used in the Parkland, FL school shooting. Others in the state believe the new bill does not go far enough and many in-state political insiders his action to defy the NRA could impact his bid for U.S. Senate after Scott completes his term as Florida Governor. Scott is expected to challenge current U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D).
The NRA called the signing of the bill as disappointment and believe that the new law strips law-abiding adults aged 18-20 of their Second Amendment right to self-protection and imposes unnecessary delays on all firearm purchases.
“This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “Securing our schools and protecting the constitutional rights of Americans are not mutually exclusive. Instead of looking to the root cause of this premeditated violence, the gun control provisions in this law wrongly blame millions of Floridians who safely and responsibly exercise their right to self-defense.”
The new Florida law does the following –
- Increase the age of buying long-guns from 18 to 21.
- Bans bump stocks
- Allows law enforcement and judges to take guns from individuals who are deemed dangerous to themselves and others.
- Establishes a way for school districts to allow school personnel to arm themselves as part of a “school marshal” program – 132 hours of training is required by school personnel
- Increased funding ($400 million) for school security and mental health treatment
- A 3-day waiting period to obtain a firearm
The bill does not address the demand to ban semi-automatic weapons, such as the AR-15, in which many Stoneman Douglas students wanted in the bill.
Scott objected to arming school teachers but signed the bill anyway to include a school marshal program similar to what is seen on the airlines with air marshals. Scott said this was the hardest thing he ever had to do as Florida’s governor.