Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) defended his signing of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act back in 2018 in the wake of the school shooting tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. The then-bill raised the firearm purchasing age and established a red flag law. Scott defended his actions on The Hugh Hewitt Show, reminding listeners he was governor during the Parkland school shooting tragedy.
Scott said that they used a three-pronged approach to addressing school safety and mental health issues.
“And so when Parkland happened, we immediately, within I think two or three days, we put together three teams of people – one focused on mental health, one focused on the educators from the schools, and one focused on law enforcement. What should we do? Because as we all know, a lot of this is mental health issues. And so we focused on how do we make sure we start doing real assessments of students that have problems and required that they happened at the school so we don’t have, we don’t have people just turning a blind eye, because when Parkland happened, a lot of people said oh, we always knew it was going to be that guy.”
Scott continued his comments by explaining his rationale for supporting the policy of raising the firearms purchasing age from 18 to 21.
“Here’s what we did. First off, I made the proposal. … I sat down with law enforcement, I sat down with everybody,” Scott said. “We’ve got some very responsible 18-year-olds and then we’ve got some irresponsible 18-year-olds.
“I said I’m not going to take away their rights to own a gun, to have a gun,” Scott added. “But you cannot buy it by yourself. You have to be with your parents. You cannot buy it until you’re 21. You can own it but you cannot buy it by yourself.”
Scott wrapped up by saying “I’m not taking away guns” and “I will never do anything to take away guns from law-abiding Americans.”
Scott previously received an “A+” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), but the group denounced the bill back in 2018. Gun Owners of America (GOA), another pro-gun group, stood opposed to the legislation Scott eventually signed.
Florida’s junior senator has also recently been named as a GOP ally to possibly work with Democrats to pass a federal red flag law.
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