Mass Shootings

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Calls for New Gun Controls, More Cops in Schools

In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting.


Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, today announced a legislative agenda in response to the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida.


His plan includes new restrictions aimed at:

Those who other people think of as dangerous. "I want to create a new program in Florida—I call it the Violent Threat Restraining Order," Scott said. "This will allow a court to prohibit a violent or mentally ill person from purchasing or possessing a firearm or any other weapon when either a family member, community welfare expert or law enforcement officer files a sworn request, and presents evidence to the court of a threat of violence involving firearms or other weapons. There would be speedy due process for the accused and any fraudulent or false statements would face criminal penalties."

A handful of states already have similar laws. California, which has such a law allowing family members and police to preemptively take away people's gun possession rights, saw an attempt last year to also grant that power to school officials, co-workers, and mental health professionals. That attempt was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

This is one of the rare, rare cases where a proposed law change can legitimately be imagined to have prevented this specific crime had it been in effect. That said, taking away people's gun possession rights at the word of family members or "community welfare experts" will entrap far, far more people who would never have actually harmed anyone than catch the very, very rare potential shooter. Statements need not be "fraudulent or false" to restrict the rights of the innocent.

Those adjudicated mentally ill. "If a court involuntarily commits someone because they are a risk to themselves or others, they would be required to surrender all firearms and not regain their right to purchase or possess a firearm until a court hearing," Scott said. "We are also proposing a minimum 60-day period before individuals can ask a court to restore access to firearms."

As Jacob Sullum explained here at Reason last week, such laws will of necessity harm enormously more innocent people than they will stop someone who actually would ever harm anyone with a gun. Scott is banking on the likelihood that Floridians are ready to see any possibility, however small, of saving a child's life as overbalancing any innocent people deprived of the right to defend themselves with the best means available.

Those aged 18 to 20. "We will require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21 or older," Scott said, with "exceptions for active duty and reserve military and spouses, National Guard members, and law enforcement." (Previously, the minimum age was 18. Existing national law prohibits that group from buying handguns, but not the sort of rifle used in the Parkland murders.)

While Cruz was in this age group, those in that group make up a minority of mass shooters. According to the FBI's 2016 crime statistics, 18-to-20-year-olds commit 10.2 percent of all crimes, likely more than twice their actual percentage representation in the population.

While the FBI's homicide data is not broken down precisely for that age group, rough guesses from existing breakdowns indicate that 18-to-20-year-olds commit about 8.7 percent of homicides in America. They are indeed by available data more likely to commit violent crimes and murders than the population at large.

If you give any credence to the notion that guns can be meaningful tools of self-defense, it's worth considering that age group Scott wants to disarm also have historically suffered the very highest rate of violent crime victimization.

The NRA attempted recently to legally challenge already existing legal restrictions on people in that 18-20-year-old range's ability to purchase weapons, on Second Amendment grounds. But the group failed, so if Scott gets such a law passed in Florida it is not likely to fall to a constitutional challenge anytime soon. As always, such restrictions will have an overwhelmingly larger effect of depriving innocents of the right to armed self-defense than they will prevent murders.

Those under various types of restraining orders. "We will prohibit a person from possessing or purchasing a firearm," Scott said, "if they are subject to an injunction for protection against stalking, cyberstalking, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or domestic violence."

Scott further announced the hope that Florida's legislature will work with him to "establish enhanced criminal penalties for threats to schools, like social media threats of shootings or bombings," and to "enhance penalties if any person possesses or purchases a gun after they have been deemed by state law to not have access to a gun."

The governor also wants to ban bump stocks, and he wants to spend "$450 million to keep students safe," including "a mandatory law enforcement officer in every public school," "at least one law enforcement officer for every 1,000 students," "mandatory active shooter training as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security," and "school-hardening measures like metal detectors, bullet-proof glass, steel doors, and upgraded locks."

Scott also proposes a variety of information-coordinating and see-something-say-something plans, plus funding for more mental health pros and "threat assessment teams" at every school. He's willing to give up tax cuts or other funding priorities "near and dear to our hearts" in order to fund these plans.

Robby Soave has examined at Reason the obvious downsides of ramping up that sort of law enforcement presence on the day-to-day lives of students and the overreach of such "see something say something" plans applied to the vast majority of alienated teens.

Scott is not the only Republican for whom Parkland seems to have shifted his priorities. President Donald Trump himself is now on board with bump stock bans and restrictions for 18-to-20-year-olds. And Florida Republicans in general look willing to do a lot of legislating against gun possession short of total bans on certain types of rifles.

NEXT: Ex-NFL Player Taken Into Custody Over Threatening Instagram Post, Rick Gates Pleads Guilty in Russia Probe, and Companies Cut Ties With NRA: P.M. Links

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  1. This whole “21” years old crap is bullshit. If you are an adult, you are an adult. An 18 year old should be able to buy beer, just like how they can vote or serve in the military. This piece-mailing of rights is idiotic.

  2. His plan includes new restrictions aimed at:

    ? Those who other people think of as dangerous

    What could possibly go wrong? Right, Hillary?

  3. In the middle of all this useless garbage from Scott, I’m not sure I’m understanding the justification they could give for the military spouse loophole.

    1. Must be because he think they need protection from their husbands.

      1. The military spouse can be a man. Men are more likely to be school shooters than women.

        1. You’re right. Better close that loophole!

          Underage spouses should relinquish their S/O’s weapons to the local law enforcement office for safekeeping while the solider is deployed.

          They’ll definitely get them back. No hassle. Easier than getting back stolen forfeited property if you don’t get charged with a crime!

    2. “Also, we will require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21 or older. Let me repeat ? we will require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21 or older. There will be exceptions for active duty and reserve military and spouses, National Guard members, and law enforcement.”

      NO!! Require all those people to be 21 or older!

      1. Be sure to include voting as a prohibition for the under-21 crowd.

        If 18-20-year-olds cannot be trusted to make good decisions about alcohol…

        If 18-20-year-olds cannot be trusted to make good decisions about cigarettes…

        If 18-20-year-olds cannot be trusted to make good decisions about firearms…

        If 18-24-year-olds cannot be trusted to make good decisions about driving rental cars…

        If 18-25-year-olds cannot be trusted to make good decisions about their own health insurance and get parked on mommy and daddy’s…

        They surely should not be trusted to make good decisions about serving in the military or lay enforcement. Nor should be trusted to make good decisions when voting.

        But some idiot was on TV the other day seriously espousing letting 16-year-olds vote.

        OTOH, if you’re gonna be tired as an adult for some crimes…

        The age-of-majority whatever it is set at should be inclusive and binding, both ways.

    3. If s/he is under 21 and the spouse isn’t around… illegal gun.

      1. What if the military spouse is under 18?

  4. What’s the real issue here? The slippery slope argument? Obviously, none of these things will “solve” anything, because it’s an legislatively unsolvable problem. But they’ll placate the Do Something crowd, which means they have huge political appeal right now.

    I object to all of them in principle. But I’m not going to lose sleep over them.

    1. “I object to all of them in principle. But I’m not going to lose sleep over them.”

      I think this is the danger with any sort of slippery-slope rules. Granted, I’m not raring to go to bat against laws in another state that probably wouldn’t affect me anyway, which is probably why they’re politically popular.

      Florida 2A groups ought to dig in their heels until the hysteria subsides.

    2. But they’ll placate the Do Something crowd

      The “Do Something” crowd will never be placated. Pass these laws, and before the ink is dry the anti-gun folks will be holding a press conference about “Now we’ve got the NRA on the run, and it’s time for real gun control.”

      That’s the way it’s been since GCA 1968.

  5. When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

    1. Waiting for the gunfire to stop.

    2. No – they are there. Cowering in the parking lot.

      1. They were looking for some dogs to shoot.

    3. Nope, they’re the ones kicking in the door for your illegal plastic straw distribution ring. Mean while, your neighbor, the one that’s been reported to the FBI multiple times, will be killing a bunch of kids next week, sleeps soundly in his bed.

      God bless America!

  6. Rick will endorse whatever he thinks will boost his lust for power and massive ego. Sad.

  7. New common sense gun safety measures in Florida are a start, but we need to rethink gun policy nationwide. I want all 2018 Democratic congressional candidates to make an assault weapons ban part of their platforms. That’s one way to increase the magnitude of November’s #BlueWave.

    1. Define assault weapon.

      1. This country passed an assault weapons ban before. The definition used in that legislation could serve as a useful template. Of course, it might need to be expanded later.

        1. This is precisely why so many are opposed to this type of legislation. To some, it’s a bug. To people like you, it’s a feature.

        2. You are aware that the M1 Garand of WWII fame is not an assault rifle by the 1994 federal assault weapons ban?
          You are aware the a trained British infantryman in WWI could put out 20 to 30 AIMED rounds a minute from a bolt action rifle with a fixed internal magazine?
          You are aware that looks are irrelevant to a firearms effectiveness?
          You are aware that you need to repeal the second amendment first?
          Well, no, I guess you are not aware.

        3. Or we could just finally say enough is enough and rid ourselves of this country’s progressives. That would solve most of our problems.

        4. The definition used in the prior assault weapons ban was absurd, depending primarily on cosmetic features that have no impact on accuracy, muzzle energy, or rate of fire.

        5. Definitely! Look at how well it stopped Columbine. If that ban weren’t in place who knows how many more kids would have been killed. I mean, look at how many kids could have been saved at Sandy Hook if the grip of the shooter’s rifle were at a slightly different angle!

          And then we’d get the added ban of disarming people who haven’t harmed anyone, but use their rifles to save their own lives. One less law-abiding gun owner screaming about their rights! Am I right? And that Texas shooting last year could have been stopped by the proper authorities instead of earlier by one of those asshole gun owners who just got in the way.

      2. Have him define common sense first.

      3. Any rifle I can get away with banning.
        That is the true definition.

    2. *chortle*

    3. You do realize that the effect of the first scary weapons ban was unmeasurable. thats’ why they didn’t renew it.

    4. ” I want all 2018 Democratic congressional candidates to make an assault weapons ban part of their platforms. That’s one way to increase the magnitude of November’s #BlueWave.”

      Are you being facetious? I want them to make it a part of their platforms because it will insure their defeat.

    5. New common sense gun safety measures in Florida are a start, but we need to rethink gun policy nationwide. I want all 2018 Democratic congressional candidates to make an assault weapons ban part of their platforms. That’s one way to increase the magnitude of November’s #BlueWave.

      I can get behind this…cause it’ll be the hill you goddam gun-grabbers will die on. Every. Single. Election. Gun owners are almost universally 1-issue voters. Fuck off slaver.

      1. Telling a slaver to ‘fuck off’ has much more credence when you’re wielding a gun. It has even more credence when it’s a large one with a very large magazine.

        Who knew?

  8. Since he has a magic pen that contorts reality to his whim, maybe he just pass a law that says no one may agress against another. Will work just as well.

  9. The lager problem is any attempt to reduce these act requires the restriction of our civil rights. If you restrict guns access you violate 2nd amendments, If you want to lock-up or detained or restrict a persons movement based on supposition or a hunch or the word of a concerned citizen you violate amendments 4, 5, &6. If you want to censor video games, rap lyrics, or movie violence you violate first amendment rights.
    While restricting 2nd amendment will incur the wrath of the NRA, other restrictions will incur the wrath of the ACLU (yeah, no one’s talking about them).
    Politicians won’t take that risk. Dems are still gun-shy (bad pun) from the shellacking they took in 1994 (?) with the automatic gun ban passage

    1. Ok, that’s the lager problem. But, what’s the pilsner problem?

      1. Wait….. Whats this about a lager problem!?!???!

    2. “If you restrict guns access you violate 2nd amendments” – begging the question. You don’t know that the 2nd amendment means unrestricted gun access.

      1. Piss off, dead thread-fucking troll.

  10. Well, so much for Rick Scott’s future as a Presidential candidate. Stick a fork in that, it’s done.

    1. I hope,the NRA destroys him over this.

    2. I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Did you see little Marco Rubio get his ass handed to him by a student confronting him for for his views on gun rights? Nothing is more powerful than the survivors confronting the people who are supposed to pass laws to protect their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Attitudes are changing and people are sick of this shit happening year after year. The NRA’s approach of not giving an inch is likely going to cause them (and the GOP) trouble…or maybe not. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Trump himself crack down the hardest if he thinks it will please the majority of people. Who the fuck knows?

      1. The emotional bullshit won’t last long. It never does. The outrage over 2A rights never goes away.

        1. Unfortunately, neither do the laws passed during the emotional bullshit period. Ratchet, ratchet.

      2. Attitudes are changing and people are sick of this shit happening year after year.

        year after year, several times more children are killed by swimming pools than by school shooters. And dozens of times more children are killed by automobiles.

        What’s different about guns, compared to far more murderous items like swimming pools and cars, is that the left wants them banned for reasons unrelated to children dying.

        1. No more phone calls, we have a winner….well stated EOA.

        2. “What’s different about guns, compared to far more murderous items like swimming pools and cars, is that the left wants them banned for reasons unrelated to children dying.”

          Which is what exactly?

          1. Themselves not dying when they think they can dispense with democracy.

      3. I haven’t seen the video, but I heard about how Marco Rubio said about a certain regulation “but that would ban all semi-auto guns” and the crowd cheered. They cheered!

        How many times are we told “no one wants to take your guns”? How many times are we told “No one is talking about confiscation”?

        Yet here we are, talking about not just banning AR15s, but venerable M1Garands and other rifles that are used for hunting and collected for historical value. Heck, depending on how the question and answer were worded, me may be discussing the banning of vintage 1911s, and the Glocks that so many people — civilian and police alike — carry for self defense!

        The driving force of the NRA isn’t money, but votes. Do you really think that this kind of rhetoric is going to convince gun rights voters to stay home?

  11. Sheer madness, if you look at massacres as I do:

    “Gun Control and Mass Killers”

    1. Delete the spaces in the above link.

      1. Or format it as a proper html link:

        [a href = “ 2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun- control-fails-against-mass-killers/]Why gun control fails against mass killers[/a]

        Replace [ and ] with < and > and remove the spaces from the URL

        Why gun control fails against mass killers

  12. Is a conspiracy to violate my constitutional rights, enforced by armed men, “a threat of violence involving firearms or other weapons”?
    If so, gonna be a lot more politicians then Trump getting their mental health questioned.

    1. Well, if it’s enforced by Florida Deputies…

  13. People willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to provide a little protection for their kids from school shooters, but won’t give them a free flu shot to protect them from flu death, which is 10 times more likely.

    1. Probably a thousand times more likely

  14. “I’m for any unconstitutional gun control measure, as long as my security detail is exempt”
    / All politicians

    1. Feinstein has perfected this notion. She needs armed security because she’s so very important unlike us worthless plebians. Many of the famous people in California who have guarded, gated estates also don’t think anybody needs guns.

      So trashy.

  15. Pandering coward! Sounds tailor made to address this specific incident with no thought to the broader issue of mass shootings or the innocents who would lose their rights in the name of security. But who cares as long as you can attempt to secure key demographics for upcoming elections?

  16. This piece-mailing of rights is idiotic. gmail login

  17. Comrades !!!

    U.S. Should Learn From China and ‘Genuinely’ Protect Rights by Restricting Guns, Beijing Says…

    1. Democrats enthusiastically agree. I’m sure Tony does.

    2. Indeed! Imagine how difficult it would have been for China to protect the rights of the People to live under Communism had the students had guns in Tiennamen Square!

  18. “That said, taking away people’s gun possession rights at the word of family members or “community welfare experts” will entrap far, far more people who would never have actually harmed anyone than catch the very, very rare potential shooter. ”

    So what? Better safe than sorry.

    1. Having a team of cops come to a person’s door with orders to take their guns away doesn’t strike me as any kind of safe.

      1. What they mean when they say “better safe than sorry,” is that they think the government should make everyone “safe” by eliminating all risk. That way, they won’t have to suffer the uncertainty that comes with freedom.

        I say, better happy than safe. Did the “better safe than sorry” crowd never speed when they borrowed their little daddy’s car? Oooh, we’re so proud of the rule followers.

        1. All risk huh? You think that’s possible? No what you mean is “better sorry than safe”. Mentally ill psycho-kid grabs one of mommy’s guns and decides to go for it? Freedom!! Prevent said kid from having access to the collection? Tyranny!!!

          1. Said kid isn’t, by definition, going to have guns to take away.

            Meanwhile, some mildly depressed guy or gal is going to have *their* guns taken away, and then get killed by a home intruder, and we won’t hear anything about it, because it wasn’t a mass shooting. And this can happen two or three or even a hundred times for every person who dies in a mass shooting, and we’ll never hear about it.

          2. How do you keep a kid from killing their parent and opening the gun safe?

            Disarm everyone who has a family member someone decided in advance was “psycho”?

            Go on.

            Explain to us the criteria and enforcement mechanism, and how it isn’t precrime tyranny of the comfortable, eh?

      2. The amount of night time police ambushes and executions will go up. Thank god the children are safe!

    2. People have said you might slander someone.

      So we’re gonna make sure you can’t speak on the Internet without government pre-approval.

      Better safe than sorry, you know.

  19. The only real “story” here is how quickly defenders of liberty cave when they don’t feel loved or popular. Start figuring out how to hide your firearms ’cause these assholes are coming for them.

  20. I looked at the Fifth Circuit opinion in one of the NRA cases; it is tight but does have within it at least one flaw:

    Nineteenth Century jurisprudence on handgun possession distinguished between military sidearms and so-called “pocket pistols” used primarily for “brawling.” So, a lot of the precedents relied upon by the Fifth Circuit really are not Second Amendment precedents because the weapon involved was just such a “concealable” pocket pistol and not the kind of military sidearm, viz., a large-frame revolver, used by militias or the army.

    In other words, “pocket pistols” never were considered to be properly a part of any kind of military service, so (in Nineteenth Century terms) they could be excluded from consideration under the constitutional provision.

    The NRA case, of course, related to persons 18-20 purchasing “handguns,” restricted as they were under a Congressional finding that such guns are “readily concealable” and often therefore instruments of crime.

    But, this refers to “pocket pistols,” not heavy-frame military sidearms. The Fifth Circuit failed to examine that distinction.

    1. Is this copied from the National Socialist Commando Order?

    2. Would a 1911 be considered a heavy frame military arm? What about the Berretta M92? Or the new Sig firearm? Or the Glocks that police carry?

      Yet all of these weapons are easily concealed.

      I suspect that this decision is a bit outdated.

    3. It doesn’t really matter, anyway, since Heller threw out the “only military utility” logic of the old (Miller, et. al) days, in favor of a simple right to effective self defense.

      (The Circuit courts keep simply ignoring Heller, as far as I can tell, but that’s their problem, and one for the Supreme Court to remedy.)

  21. If one armed cop standing outside the school doing nothing isn’t working, imagine how effective a half dozen armed cops standing outside the school doing nothing will be!

  22. The guy is the spitting image of Everett True, the Teddy Roosevelt era violent progressive curmudgeon!

  23. I feel like the media has grasped this as a vent for all of the fervor they’ve whipped up over the Russia crap. The proggies are just so angry and dead children about the only straw they have left to grasp. The irony of the whole thing is this was all their own making.

  24. There is a murder “ban”. Doesn’t prevent murder. Weapons are pretty much banned in Mexico. Criminals there have weapons we can only dream of legally owning in the US without a special permit. Banning people with a so called mental illness would be scary. Look at what the Nazis did with people that they deemed mentally ill.

    1. So you think the US government is a bunch of Nazis?

      1. Not right now, despite what Democrats say about Trump.

        But we would do well to remember that the original Nazis came to power through Democratic means. Why should we be so vain, as to believe that such things can’t happen here?

  25. I cannot think of any positive legislative actions that have been spawned from a tragedy.

    The whole “This is bad. We must do something. THIS is something. Thus, we must do THIS.” seems awfully ingrained.

    1. And yet, “This is bad, we will do nothing” is also not very effective and has been the response thus far. It’s only a matter of time before a majority people start thinking maybe they should try to do something. If you don’t try to get ahead of this now to try to placate the people with something to potentially mitigate these occurences then it is inevitable you will lose access to your precious AR’s…..maybe 5 or 6 mass shootings down the road, but it will happen. If there was a brain in the NRA, they would realize this….but they won’t.

  26. I’m not saying the government are a bunch of Nazis yet. Just saying it only takes enough “useful” idiots” to fall for big government before you end up with a Hitler,Stalin or Mao. On the precious AR topic, see banning of alcohol and drugs. It would end up creating a black market.

  27. The Beginning of Open War: Trump’s Tweet and CNN Townhall – YouTube

  28. The notion of “assault weapons” is largely a cosmetic distinction with virtual nothing to do with potential for lethality.

    Consider many kids first rifle, the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22. A semi-automatic rifle normally with 10-shot magazine. It meets none of the cosmetic assault weapon criteria except being a semi-automatic rifle.

    A few dollars worth of plastic

    replacement stock
    a Picatinny rail
    25-round magazines

    And suddenly it’s a killing machine!

    No, the $100 worth of plastic parts didn’t change the barrel, the trigger assembly, the feed speed, the one-bullet per trigger pull, the bullet velocity or impact energy one tiny bit.

    A gun-free zone like a school is a target rich environment for anyone intent on causing harm, even if they were armed with only revolvers circa 1880 or bolt-action rifles circa WWI. Hell, even a few flintlock pistols or muskets would do a lot of damage before the cops arrived.

    1. Eventually some psychopath will use a literal cannon (muzzle-loading) to attack a crowd.

      Then people will have fainting fits over their having been continuously legal (Federally and in most all states) since 1776, and demand Permanent Bans For The Children.

  29. “We are also proposing a minimum 60-day period before individuals can ask a court to restore access to firearms.”

    I’d love to know what reason he thinks supports that.

    You can’t even ask the Court for relief for two months?

    Why? Because shut up?

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