Rick Scott says he’ll vote no on gun legislation
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Thursday announced that he would be voting against the bipartisan gun safety bill, arguing that a bill he signed into law in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. shooting was not the same as the one negotiated this time around with a bipartisan group of senators.
“Over the last two weeks, I’ve seen many people compare the bill being considered in the Senate to what we did in Florida. These bills are not the same at all,” Scott said in his statement first obtained and reported by Politico.
“One was the product of a collaborative, well-defined and transparent process. The other was the result of secret backroom dealings that did not include input from the majority of Republican members, committee hearings, nor opportunities for amendments, giving members barely an hour to read the bill before we were asked to vote on it,” he added.
The Florida Republican criticized the legislation for providing federal funding for states to administer red flag laws and that people convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse against a romantic partner could automatically have the right to own or buy a firearm restored to them after five years.
However, the latter only applies if, during that five-year period, they are not convicted of a violent crime.
“I was hopeful the Senate would follow an open and thorough process like we did in Florida. That is unfortunately not the case with the current bill and why I will vote no,” Scott said.
Scott’s defection against the gun legislation is not likely to impact the passage of the bill given that 14 Republican senators voted to advance the bill on Tuesday, meaning it would overcome the 60-vote hurdle needed to get it passed in the upper chamber.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have said this week they will not support the bill; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) cannot afford too many Democratic defections on the legislation given their slim majority.
Though Scott has signaled his opposition to the bill, the Florida Republican previously signed gun legislation as governor in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018 that was opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA.)
For the majority of purchases on long guns, the legislation mandated a waiting period of three days and upped the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 years old, previously from 18 years old, among other measures.