Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) defied his longtime allies at the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday to sign into law a measure imposing new restrictions on gun purchases in the state in the wake of a shooting at a South Florida high school last month that claimed 17 lives.
Scott said he was signing the legislation because “this is a time for all of us to come together, roll up our sleeves and get it done.”
The bipartisan bill raises the minimum age for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for most purchases of long guns, allows certain trained school employees to carry concealed handguns on school campuses and creates new mental health programs for schools.
A recent Quinnipiac poll found that 78 percent of Florida residents supported raising the age for all gun purchases to 21, 87 percent supported a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases and 56 percent supported allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds, reports The Washington Post.
“By signing this bill, Gov. Scott has demonstrated that the support of gun owners is not important to him,” said Eric Friday, the general counsel of Florida Carry, a gun rights group. “I expect it to play a large role in his Senate race.”
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who is preparing to face Scott in November, supported adding a ban on assault weapons and an expansion of background checks to include private sales at gun shows to the bill, additions Scott opposed.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 9, 2018