Senate

Rick Scott to Vote Against Gun Bill Based Off His Own 2018 Legislation

Putting his political career ahead of public safety, the aspiring Senate Majority Leader and 2024 presidential candidate goes negative on legislation mirrored after a bill he signed into law

With the United States Senate set to vote on bipartisan gun safety bill mirrored after legislation championed and signed into law by none other than current Senator and then-Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. In a hypocritical move, Scott has announced that he plans to vote against this bill. Let’s be clear: He’s voting no on this legislation in a cynical attempt to pander to the NRA and far-right GOP base as he eyes the Senate GOP Leader position and a 2024 Presidential run. 

Politico reported that “the senators at the helm of negotiating gun legislation are looking to the Florida law passed in 2018 after the school shooting in Parkland as a potential blueprint for the nation, Sen. Chris Murphy said Sunday. Murphy (D-Conn.) said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ that the bill passed by a Republican legislature and signed into law by then-Republican Gov. Rick Scott has elements that senators are considering as they look to pass gun legislation following a school shooting that took place in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers. […] The Florida law, known as the red flag law, raised the age to buy long guns, including AR-15s, from 18 to 21, added a three-day waiting period, created a program to allow trained school staff to carry guns and invested $400 million in mental health and school security.” 

On “State of the Union,” Senator Chris Murphy – one of the top Democratic negotiators on the federal gun safety bill – said that Scott’s legislation was “the template” for the bipartisan legislation going through the Senate. Both bills enhance the review process for gun buyers under the age of 21, provide heavy investment to mental health and school safety, and help implement red flag laws. 

Notably, while the federal legislation enhances background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, this does not go as far as Rick Scott’s 2018 gun safety bill where he raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. 

According to CNN, “Scott, surrounded by families of the victims, recounted the grief visited on his state in the aftermath of the Valentine’s Day carnage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland and, in 2016, the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale Airport. ‘The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as governor is try to find the words to console a parent who has lost their child,’ Scott said. ‘There are just no words.’ One provision of the law raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18.”

Rick Scott clearly cares more about his relationship with the NRA going into 2024 than he does about keeping Americans safe.