Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said Thursday that he will vote “no” regarding his colleagues’ proposed gun safety bill, explaining that it does not resemble legislation passed in Florida when he was governor.
Then-Gov. Scott signed a $400 million school safety law three weeks after a gunman killed 17 people in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
More than 30 GOP senators were expected to vote against bipartisan gun legislation, the text of which was released Tuesday. It follows a string of recent high-profile mass shootings.
“While there are elements of the bill now being considered in the Senate that I support, like the Luke and Alex School Safety Act that I have been fighting to pass for years, the Senate also unfortunately decided to take action that is not consistent with the aggressive due process protections that I fought for when I was Governor,” Scott said in a statement.
Scott went on to say that comparing the current Senate bill to the Florida law exposes differences between the two.
“These bills are not the same at all,” Scott said. “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.”
The former governor and current chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said that the Florida law followed meetings with mental health, education and law enforcement experts to get valuable feedback.
“At the conclusion of that process, I signed a bill that improved school safety and has kept guns out of the hands of dangerous people and those suffering with mental illness, all while ensuring strong due process protections that stop unlawful infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Floridians,” he said.
Scott added that the Senate bill “abandons Florida’s model and allows even the most radical policies, like California’s red flag law, to be implemented and supported with federal funding.”
“Ironclad due process protections are essential to protecting the constitutional rights of Americans and we can never compromise on that,” he said.
Former President Donald Trump slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on Wednesday for siding with Democrats on the new gun law legislation.
“The deal on ‘Gun Control’ currently being structured and pushed in the Senate by the Radical Left Democrats, with the help of Mitch McConnell, RINO Senator John Cornyn of Texas, and others, will go down in history as the first step in the movement to Take Your Guns Away,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Republicans, be careful what you wish for!!!”
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