Refusing to "infringe" on Second Amendment rights and stopping short of "banning specific weapons," Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is working to pass some gun control legislation in his state – because "I'm a dad."
"I'm going to do what I can to make sure guns are not in the hands of the wrong people," Scott told "Fox News Sunday." "If you have mental illness you shouldn't have a gun. If you've threatened yourself or threaten others, you shouldn't have a gun.
"I'm not into banning specific weapons; I think what you need to do is ban specific people from having weapons."
Scott, who had been rated an A+ Second Amendment lawmaker by the NRA, has been in office for some major mass shootings in Florida, including the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the Fort Lauderdale airport, and most recently the 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
"Focus on the problem," Scott said. "Focus on solutions that work, banning the people that are potentially going to cause the problems."
Scott told host Chris Wallace the Stoneman Douglas shooting led to a change in his one-time hardline gun rights position after talking with victims, families, students, law enforcement, and lawmakers.
"I believe in the Second Amendment, I believe in the First Amendment, all the amendments – I think most members of the NRA agree with me – this is logical," Scott said. "I am sure there's going to be some that disagree, but I'm a dad, I'm a granddad and I'm a governor.
"I want my state to be safe. I want every child to be in a safe environment when they're trying to be educated."
Scott promised he is going to focus on getting his gun-control bill passed in the last two weeks of in-session time in the Florida legislature.
The key points of Scott's state proposal:
- Raise age to buy rifles to 21.
- Ban sale of bump stocks.
- Pass a "Red Flag Law" to take guns away from mentally ill or violent people.
- "Harden the schools" with $450 million in funding for school security.
- $50 million for mental health.
"I believe it will stop this from happening – that's my goal," Scott said. "I want to do everything I can in my job right now to make sure this doesn't happen again."
The change from being a gun rights hardliner came for Scott, he told Wallace, as he weighed individual rights vs. protecting your "citizens [and] your kids."
His "harden the schools" proposal includes metal detectors, bullet-proof glass, better perimeter fencing, and working with local law enforcement officials on a "per-school basis."
"I am going to make sure parents feel comfortable sending their child to school," he said.
Scott, though, said he "disagrees" with President Donald Trump on arming teachers in lieu of bolstering school security with training law officers.
"I want the teachers to teach and I want our law enforcement officers to protect," Scott said. "I want each group to focus on what they're good at."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.