Gov. Scott receives criticism from both sides after signing gun bill


Gov. Scott receives criticism from both sides after signing gun bill

Florida's governor, Rick Scott, flanked by family members of students who were killed during a high school mass shooting there less than a month ago, on Friday signed a $400m bill that tightens gun laws in the state. Scott's office announced that the Republican governor will sign both bills on Sunday.

The complaint also states that young women are at a particularly higher risk of being affected by the law.

Florida now joins at least six other states - Georgia, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming - with laws allowing public school employees to carry firearms to work, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The NRA focuses on the provision that raises the legal age to buy a gun, saying it is violating the rights of law-abiding citizens and therefore, "unconstitutional, void and invalid". The lawsuit asks the courts to block the age restriction. Marion Hammer, the NRA's Florida lobbyist, called the bill "a display of bullying and coercion".

Besides his objections to arming teachers, Scott was on record as being opposed to extending Florida's existing three-day waiting period for handgun sales to purchases of all firearms, as the new law now does.

The National Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit against Florida officials, arguing that the law violates the constitutional rights of adults below the age of 21.

The proposal bans the sale of bump stocks, attachments that enable a semi-automatic rifle to fire like a machine gun.

The base student allocation is the money the state provides school districts to use flexibly for new programs or expansion of personnel and services.

Governor Scott, who had expressed his support for gun control and improving mental health resources, had also repeatedly said he did not support the "guardian program" included in the bill. "I expect it to play a large role in his Senate race".

Among the most scrutinized measures of the new law is a provision allowing school staff to volunteer to be trained and armed as "guardians" against future gun violence, while giving local sheriffs and individual school districts the discretion of deciding whether to participate in the programme.

Until the Parkland shooting, Scott was championed by the NRA as a defender of gun rights. Hopefully it will embolden efforts in other states - not to mention in Congress - for stricter gun-control laws that will help protect public safety.

Several students texted CNN's Dianne Gallagher with their excitement about Scott signing the measures.

As recently as 2017, Scott promoted himself as a gun rights purist and boasted of Florida as a haven for gun owners. Founded in 1871, it seeks to educate the public about firearms and defend USA citizens' Second Amendment rights. "It means 'shall not infringe.' It's not really very complicated".