Florida Governor Takes Surprising Stance on Gun Control, Proposes New Laws

February 23, 2018Feb 23, 2018

Florida's Republican governor Rick Scott just made a decisive move on gun control. In a statement that broke with President Trump's stance on arming teachers, Scott outlined his approach to dealing with school shootings in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.

"I disagree with arming teachers," Scott said on Friday, according to NBC. "My focus is on bringing in law enforcement. I think you need to have individuals who are trained, well trained."

Scott unveiled a sweeping plan to limit who can purchase guns. He said this will boost school security by barring "violent or mentally ill" people from purchasing weapons, prohibit those under the age of 21 from buying guns, and outlaw so-called bump stocks that make it possible for semi-automatic weapons to fire faster.

“I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who has mental issues to use a gun,” Scott said. “I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who is a danger to themselves or others to use a gun.”

However, the Republican governor did not bow to a key demand from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived the massacre.from the. They had requested that he ban the semi-automatic AR-15 type rifle that Nikolas Cruz allegedly used to kill 17 people.

Scott declined to do that, adding that "Banning specific weapons is not going to fix this."

Scott, who is a member of the NRA, said he didn't consult the gun lobby about his proposals.

Scott also called for increased security in school. "He proposed spending $450 million to put a law enforcement officer in every school (one for every 1,000 students), hiring mental health professionals whose only job would be counseling students, and upgrading school security with metal detectors, bulletproof glass, reinforced doors, and other measures," reported NBC.

Scott's move to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill appears to be a shift in opinion by the governor. In 2011, he signed a bill that barred doctors from asking patients whether they own a gun unless the provider "believes that this information is relevant to the patient's medical care or safety, or the safety of others."

A Florida federal appeals court in February 2017 ruled that some of the provisions of that bill were unconstitutional. They specifically pointed to the part that prevented health providers from asking whether patients owned guns.

Do you agree with the steps that Governor Scott wants to take? Let us know in the comments. In other news, after the shooting, one Florida lawmaker is trying to put God back into public schools

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