Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott announced a proposal for new gun control measures in the state amid mounting pressure after last week’s mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the second worst school shooting in U.S. history. Scott’s proposal stops short of implementing changes that would please gun control’s most ardent proponents, and it would still have to pass the Legislature.
The centerpiece of Scott’s announcement is raising the minimum age for buying a gun from 18 to at least 21. There'd be some exceptions to the rule, including for military service members and law enforcement officers.
Scott would also ban bump stocks — accessories that make semi-automatic weapons fire like automatic guns, like the Las Vegas gunman used — but he declined to call for the banning of specific types of guns. "Banning specific weapons is not going to fix this," he said. There’s widespread calls to ban the AR-15-style assault rifles that have been used in many mass shootings, including Parkland.
In line with NRA and Republican stances, Scott further proposed putting up $500 million for “school safety and mental health initiatives” in Florida. He added that Florida is taking steps to address gun violence because we cannot trust “the federal process.”
Scott did not, however, specifically call for any changes to background checks, as gun control advocates have pushed for. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump — who had thus far aligned completely with the NRA on gun policy — promised to be “very strong on background checks” as they pertain to gun purchases.
Gov. Scott skipped a CNN town hall Wednesday that was attended by both the NRA and survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. He said he could come to the event because he was meeting with state leaders in Tallahassee to discuss how to keep Florida safe.
Cover image: Florida Gov. Rick Scott addresses the congregation during a Sunday service at the First United Methodist Church of Coral Springs, dedicated to the victims of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Coral Springs, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)