Florida Governor Rick Scott said he is committed to ensuring that mass shootings like the one that occurred in a Parkland high school earlier this month don’t happen again.
In his final months in office, the Republican governor is working hard to push a bill through the state legislature that would take various actions to curtail gun violence — including a policy President Donald Trump has indicated some support for.
Scott, along with Republican members of the legislature, is backing a law that — among other things — would raise the minimum age to buy any firearm from 18 to 21.
The plan was announced Friday, one day after Trump said the legal age to purchase “all” guns should be raised from 18 to 21, according to The Associated Press. Later, a White House spokesperson claimed Trump was only talking about assault weapons, not all guns.
Meanwhile, during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Scott told host Chris Wallace that over the final two weeks of the state legislature’s current session, his “one purpose” is making sure that the proposed bill gets passed.
“I’m in my — starting Monday will be my last two weeks in session. I’ve been talking to — the House and the Senate. I actually spoke to them this morning,” Scott said.
In addition to raising the legal age to buy a gun, the Florida law would ban the sale of bump stocks, as well as spend $500 million to improve school safety and promote mental health.
If the bill becomes law, each public school in Florida would be protected by at least one police officer. Moreover, in some cases, judges would be able to prevent mentally ill people from having guns.
“I’m going to work every day — between now and the end of session on one purpose — get this passed,” Scott said.
However, the National Rifle Association has expressed opposition to raising the age to buy guns — particularly assault weapons — from 18 to 21. “Raising the age is not going to solve psychosis,” spokeswoman Dana Loesch told CNN on Friday, as reported by Politico.
Still, Scott said he’s not deterred.
“I’m an NRA member. I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in the First Amendment — all the amendments. I think most members of the NRA agree with me that this is logical,” he said.
“I’m sure there’s going to be some that disagree. But I’m a dad. I’m a granddad and I’m a governor. I want my state to be safe.”
Scott was also asked about one area where he and Trump don’t agree. The president has said that arming some teachers could be an effective measure to preventing school shootings, but Scott thinks teachers should simply focus on teaching.
“I want our teachers to teach and I want our law enforcement officers to be able to protect the students,” he stated. “I want each group to focus on what they’re good at.”
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