On Friday, Governor Rick Scott signed a wide-ranging gun bill that takes a number of modest steps towards reducing gun violence. The new law dealt the NRA — and their Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer — a major defeat.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Media Director Andrew Patrick issued the following statement:
“Governor Scott’s signing of Florida’s compromise gun bill represents a major shift in the political debate around American gun violence. For years, Florida has been the testing ground for the NRA’s pet projects like ‘Stand Your Ground.’ Governor Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers have been doing the bidding of National Rifle Association (NRA) super lobbyist Marion Hammer for years. That ended today.
“Answering the political outcry for stronger gun laws, Florida rejected the NRA by raising the age to purchase a rifle to 21, implementing a three-day waiting period, banning bump stocks, and developing a mechanism to remove guns from individuals in danger of harming themselves or others. Following it’s passage, Marion Hammer and the NRA pushed hard for Governor Scott to veto the legislation. He refused.
“Make no mistake, this was a major defeat for the NRA.
“One very concerning aspect of the bill is the funding allocated for the arming and training of teaching professionals and school employees. This dangerous fringe idea has been opposed by students, teachers, administrators, and activists. It is our hope that Florida schools will reject such funding.
“If gun violence prevention is a winning issue in Florida, it can be a winning issue everywhere. The conventional wisdom that politicians cannot vote against the NRA is now defunct. This is only the beginning. Now, more than ever, our elected officials need to heed the calls of the people — not the gun lobby.”