By| Eboni Walker
Governor Rick Scott has been a longtime supporter of the N.R.A for many years. Records show that in the previous year’s Governor Scott has been in office, he has been against stricter background checks when purchasing a gun and for lowering the cost to get a concealed weapon license.
Non-surprisingly, the N.R.A has given Scott an “A+” rating for the last seven years he has been in office. The N.R.A supported Governor Scott so much that during his re-election year, they overloaded voter’s inboxes with campaign letters supporting him. However, this was four years ago and the relationship between may now be strained because of Governor Scotts new gun proposal.
After a massive rally on his doorsteps, on Friday, February 23rd, the Republican announced his school safety package proposal which raised the minimum age to buy any firearm, from 18 to 21. Scott also made a promise to impose stricter rules to keep guns out of the hands of individuals with mental health issues.
For example, those who have been baker acted must surrender their possession of firearms for at least 60 days. “Those who have mental health issues should not have a gun,” said Scott at a packed news conference. “It’s common sense.” This package also includes having one officer for every 1,000 who attend each particular school. It is forecasted that Scotts proposal will cost $500 million.
“I’m an N.R.A member,” said Scott, “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment, and the First Amendment. I’m also a father, and a grandfather, and a governor. We all have a difficult task in front of us: balancing our individual rights with our obvious need for public safety.”
Scotts proposed plans are similar to those included in the bill passed by the Florida Senate Monday evening, which also included raising the age to purchase arsenal weapons. However, the Senate’s bill now includes a three-day waiting trial after the purchase of majority of firearm sales, banning the sale and possession of bump fire stocks and allow teachers to carry guns on campus.
Although Scott has gone against the wants of the N.R.A, he still falls short of satisfying the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school students who requested a ban on assault rifles. “I knew that if it was a change, said Tallahassee resident Kathy Wendox, it wasn’t going to be as impactful as it needs to be.”
Lawmakers have only a short amount of time left in the legislative session fraught with election-year implications. Therefore, Governor Scott and legislatures have to make a decision fairly soon.