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Florida Governor Calls For Raising Age Limit For Gun Purchases From 18 To 21

Feb 23, 2018
Originally published on February 23, 2018 1:06 pm

Florida's Republican governor is calling for a range of measures that aim to prevent shootings like the one that occurred last week in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed.

In a news conference Friday in Tallahassee, Rick Scott said he wants new laws and programs that fall into three categories: gun laws, school safety and mental health.

He did not ask for any specific weapons to be banned and more than once mentioned that he is a member of the National Rifle Association.

"I know there are some who are advocating a mass takeaway of Second Amendment rights for all Americans," Scott said. "That is not the answer. Keeping guns away from dangerous people and people with mental issues is what we need to do."

Here's what he called for in Florida:

  • People under 21 will be banned from buying or possessing firearms, with some exceptions for military and law enforcement.
  • A ban on the sale or purchase of bump stocks.
  • $450 million for a safe schools initiative, which will put a law enforcement officer in every public school — at least one officer for each 1,000 students. He does not believe arming teachers is a solution.
  • Money from this program will also be used to fund "school-hardening" measures such as metal detectors, bulletproof glass, steel doors and upgraded locks.
  • Hiring more mental health counselors for schools.
  • A program called Violent Threat Restraining Order, which provides a method for courts to prevent people with mental illness or who have made threats of violence from purchasing or possessing guns after a family member or law enforcement officer files a sworn request and shows evidence that a person presents a threat of violence and should not have access to guns.
  • Create a "see something, say something" hotline, website and mobile app to report concerns.
  • Mandatory active shooter drills at all schools.

Scott began his remarks by reading the names of the 17 people who were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"Unfortunately, none of the plans I'm announcing today will bring any of them back, but it's important to remember them," Scott said. "The 17 lives that were cut short and all the hopes and dreams that were ruined have changed our state forever. Florida will never be the same."

The Tampa Bay Times has a full transcript of Scott's remarks.

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