Gov. Rick Scott Signs $400 Million Gun Control Bill: Includes Firearm Confiscation, Waiting Periods Vetoes Arming Teachers
Though they called it “a baby step,” many agree that Scott signing the bill into law sends a strong message to the NRA.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a “$400 million” gun control bill that includes firearms confiscation measures and waiting periods for long gun purchases.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the bill also bans bump stocks–which were not even used in the Florida school shooting–and bucks the NRA by raising the minimum purchase age for long guns from 18 years of age to 21.
Fox News reports that the gun control package also funds bullet-proof glass for schools and will allow some teachers to be armed. The bill was originally designed to allow teachers to be armed on a broader basis but had to be augmented, as Gov. Scott opposes teachers being armed for self-defense.
On March 9 Breitbart News reported that the Florida Education Association (FEA) was urging Gov. Scott to use a line-item veto to remove armed teachers from the bill. CNN quoted a letter from FEA, which said, “We urge you to honor your instincts and act to keep additional firearms from our schools unless they are in the hands of trained law enforcement personnel. Please veto the funding and language in the budget that provides for arming school personnel.”
As for the NRA, the organization opposes raising the age limit as well as imposing new waiting periods, with NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer on Thursday calling the Legislature’s bill “a display of bullying and coercion” that would punishes law-abiding citizens and infringe on Second Amendment rights.
President Trump congratulated Florida on its legislation, saying state lawmakers “passed a lot of very good legislation last night.”
This bill is highly unconstitutional
394.463, F.S.; requiring when
26 practicable that a law enforcement officer with
27 certain training be assigned to serve and execute
28 certain ex parte orders; authorizing a law enforcement
29 officer to seize and hold firearms and ammunition if
30 taking custody of a person who poses a potential
31 danger to himself or herself or others and who has
32 made a credible threat against another person;
33 authorizing a law enforcement officer to seek the
34 voluntary surrender of firearms and ammunition kept in
35 the residence if the law enforcement officer takes
36 custody of the person at the person’s residence and
37 certain criteria are met; authorizing such law
38 enforcement officer to petition an appropriate court
39 for a risk protection order under certain
40 circumstances; requiring that firearms and ammunition
41 seized or voluntarily surrendered be returned within a
42 certain timeframe under specified circumstances;
The NRA is suing.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a school safety and gun reform package passed by the Florida Legislature in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting.
The National Rifle Association responded with a federal lawsuit.
Families of the victims of the shooting met with Scott in Tallahassee earlier Friday to demand he swiftly sign the $400 million package into law.
It raises the minimum age to buy an assault-style weapon from 18 to 21, implements a three-day waiting period on those purchases and includes new checks to prevent guns from falling into the hands of the mentally ill.
The National Rifle Association opposes the bill. The lawsuit the NRA filed in federal court Friday in particular takes issue with the minimum age requirement on rifles.
“Preventing a responsible 20-year-old from purchasing the best tool for self-defense will not stop a deranged criminal intent on committing a crime,” the NRA said in a statement.
The NRA says the measure violates Second and 14th Amendment rights.
Some school staff can get firearm training
Critically, the bill also includes a program to allow certain highly qualified school personnel to carry guns on campus, called the “guardian” program. Scott said he doesn’t support a number of items in the bill, including arming teachers.
“There are things in this bill that I oppose and I’ve been pretty open about that,” Scott said. “I still think law enforcement officers should be the ones to protect our schools. I’ve heard all the arguments for teachers to be armed, and while this bill was significantly changed on this topic, I’m still not persuaded.”
“I’m glad however, the plan in this bill is not mandatory,” Scott continued, adding that the program will be up to local officials to implement. “If counties don’t want to do this, they can simply say no.”
At a packed media avail, flanked by parents of #ParklandShooting victims, @FLGovScott announces he's signing a gun violence prevention bill opposed by the @NRA, conceding "I'm still not persuaded" that teachers should be armed. Also says he won't veto funding. #guncontrol #flsen
— Troy Kinsey (@TroyKinsey) March 9, 2018