March 9, 2018

The Update Desk: Florida Gun Laws

I've done more than a few gun-related posts over the years, the most recent of which were this past Wednesday and Thursday.

Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the package of gun, mental health, and school safety provisions that the legislature approved earlier this week.  Here's part of the statement released by Scott's office.
Following a meeting with families of victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Governor Rick Scott today signed SB 7026, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. This legislation makes significant reforms to make Florida schools safer, while keeping firearms out of the hands of mentally ill and dangerous individuals.
Scott issued these remarks (as prepared for delivery) of his own. Here's a portion of them.
Good afternoon. I want to thank everyone for being here today. On Valentine's Day, we lost 14 of our kids and three of our teachers. On a day that is supposed to celebrate love, they were brutally murdered in cold blood. Families were shattered. And unfortunately, this wasn't the first time our state has been rocked like this. In 2016, 49 innocent victims were murdered at Pulse Nightclub and early last year another five people were killed by a gunman at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport...
I want to commend the legislature for getting a bill to my desk in such a short amount of  time. I want to point out that this is a far different way of operating than the typical inefficiency we see from the federal government in Washington. Politics in DC seems to always get in the way of actually enacting measures that will help American families...
After talking about the various provisions of the bill, and expressing his belief that the bill is not perfect, particularly the (optional) part about armed teachers, he continued
There has been vigorous debate on all of these issues. I believe every side has had their chance to share their views and that is what truly makes our democracy great. At the beginning of this process, I said that we would all have to give a little and make compromises, and that includes me...
So, after reviewing the entire bill, I had to ask myself: Will this bill make a huge investment and dramatically improve school safety, in the hopes of never seeing another tragedy like this again? Will this bill provide more funding to treat the mentally ill? Will this fill give us far more tools to keep guns away from people who should not have them? The answer to all three is yes. And, that is why I am signing the legislation today.
Meanwhile, the NRA had a statement, too.
This afternoon, Governor Rick Scott signed SB-7026 (touted in the media as Florida's "gun control" bill) into law, violating the Second Amendment rights of persons between the ages of 18 - 21.
This bill prohibits any person under 21 years of age from purchasing a firearm - any firearm - PERIOD. The bill took effect immediately.
 As a result, this afternoon the NRA filed a lawsuit in federal court against the State of Florida for violating the constitutional rights of young adults between the ages of 18 - 21. 
The gun control provisions in this bill do not enhance school safety. They merely punish law-abiding citizens for the actions of a mentally ill murderer as well as the failure of government officials who did not do their jobs.  
Let the games begin.

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