Dozens of Florida GOP lawmakers backed by NRA voted for gun control bill
More than 60 GOP lawmakers with “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA) voted for a sweeping school safety bill in Florida that raised the minimum age required to purchase a rifle to 21 and banned bump stocks.
A report from The Trace analyzed the voting records of dozens of Republicans and Democrats after the bill passed and found that 67 Republicans in the state House and Senate with “A” or “A+” ratings from the NRA voted for the bill, which allowed it to pass Florida’s two chambers and be signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott (R) this week.
The bill passed the Florida House by a vote of 67-50 and the Senate by a narrow vote of 20-18, with Democrats largely voting against the bill due to a provision that would allow some staffers to be armed on school grounds.
The NRA opposed the bill, which it claims “punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” according to Chris Cox, executive director of the group’s lobbying arm.
Florida’s new law comes after 17 students and faculty were killed in a mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school last month. Surrounded by survivors and families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Scott signed the bill on Friday.
“This is a time for us to come together, roll up our sleeves and get it done,” the GOP governor said. Scott is widely considered to be planning a Senate run against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.) this year.
Democratic Florida Rep. Jared Moskowitz, whose district includes Parkland, told The Trace that he expects the gun lobby to exact retribution on Republicans who voted for the bill.
“This is hand to hand combat. Some Republicans have received phone calls from NRA board members. The NRA is going to exact punishment on certain members. Something is going to happen. If there is no punishment, we’ll continue to roll them,” he said.