Florida Governor Rick Scott has proposed raising the minimum wage to purchase all firearms in the state of Florida, including assault rifles, to 21 from 18. The requirement already exists for handguns. It is a remarkable announcement considering the support Gov. Scott has for Second-Amendment rights, as well as the popularity of guns-rights organizations such as the NRA in the state of Florida.
The proposals call for raising the minimum age, banning the accessory known as the bump stock, which allows assault rifles to be fired faster, requiring more mental health and safety training for Florida school personnel, and establishing processes for authorities to better share information about students who are deemed to be security risks.
Florida state lawmakers, in going further than Scott’s plans, are also debating creating a “marshal” program that would allow teachers who undergo enough training with law enforcement to be armed, a measure Scott does not support.
“I disagree with arming teachers. My focus is on bringing in law enforcement. I think you need to have individuals who are trained, well trained,” he said.
In all, Scott is asking for $500 million for mental health and school safety programs in the state. Scott’s proposals would also require at least one armed police officer for every 1,000 students at public schools. “If funding this means we won’t be able to cut taxes this year, so be it,” Scott said.
The NRA has indicated opposition to law that raise the minimum purchasing age for firearms, although President Trump, this week has said he supports the measure along with the bump-stock ban.
Florida lawmakers are also looking to impose a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases – it only exists for handguns currently – and the creation of a statewide commission to investigate the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week, one of the country’s deadliest school shootings.
Lawmakers must also decide on whether to appropriate funds demolish the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where last week’s deadly shooting took place. The Broward County school district estimated demolition and construction of a new building would cost $28.5 million, which would include providing temporary spaces for teachers and students during the process.