Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday punted on questions about whether policymakers should take a stand on mental health and gun control, saying that "there's a time" to have such conversations.

"There's a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement, how through mental illness funding that we make sure that people are safe," Scott said at a news conference in Parkland, Fla. 

Scott's comments came hours after a gunman opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, leaving 17 people dead. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Scott, a Republican, has an "A+" rating from the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund. 

The gunman was taken into custody on Wednesday. He was identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the high school who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons. 

After the shooting, gun control advocates and some Democratic lawmakers renewed calls for tightening gun laws, particularly for those with mental illnesses. 

"This is not normal. This is not acceptable. This is not inevitable," Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said. "It’s long past time for our leaders to stop pretending we are helpless in the face of such tragedy."

Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her 11 Dems float anti-Pelosi leadership plan: reports To cure Congress, elect more former military members MORE (D-Mass.) called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE to "get off his ass" and work with lawmakers to pass gun-control legislation. 

"I invite him to get off his ass and join me in trying to do something about it," Moulton wrote on Twitter