WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, as the Senate continues to consider hastily drafted legislation, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement on his objections to the bill’s unacceptably weak language on protecting due process and a provision to automatically restore gun rights to convicted domestic abusers.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Since the tragic shooting in Uvalde that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers, I have heard from many Floridians about the need to support common sense legislation that follows the action Florida took after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. 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.
“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. 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.
“In Florida, we used a thorough process that included meetings with mental health, education and law enforcement experts to get valuable feedback on our bill. 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. The bill the Senate is considering 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.
“This bill also allows convicted domestic abusers to have automatic restoration of their gun rights. People who have been accused, tried and convicted of beating their significant other would automatically get their gun rights back after just five years. I will not support soft-on-crime policies like this. As Governor of Florida, I always weighed past domestic abuse when considering a restoration of gun rights through the clemency process and I do not support efforts to allow someone who has been convicted of domestic abuse to have the opportunity to automatically get a gun.
“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.”