Scott signs bill to bar mentally ill from guns

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Gov. Rick Scott has signed HB-1355, the so called “Baker Act” gun bill, which bars the mentally ill from gun purchases.

In a signing letter, a written statement attached to the more controversial bills, Scott pointed out that he is a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” and that he has signed legislation safeguarding the privacy of gun owners.

Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott

“Reasonable parameters on firearm purchases must be set forth in state law to ensure public safety,” he wrote. “Current state and federal law prohibit persons that are adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer, until the court determines the person is no longer a danger to public safety.”

Since 2002, around 100,000 people have been stopped from purchasing firearms because of their mental condition, the governor pointed out.

“These common sense parameters balance the rights of individuals to purchase firearms with society’s reasonable expectation of public safety,” he said in the statement.

Scott singled out Florida NRA chief Marion P. Hammer for her “hard work to address a critical public safety issue, following the all too frequent gun violence tragedies throughout our nation.”

The signing ends one of the strangest Second Amendment fights ever seen in the state.

Hammer and the state NRA affiliate, together with the NRA itself, had strongly backed HB-1355, while several out of state gun groups, such as Gun Owners of America and others, strongly urged the governor to veto the legislation.

Scott received more than 20,000 emails from GOA members urging him to veto the bill.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

5 Comments

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  2. GOA is a bunch of loonies….seriously..who in their right mind supports allowing psychotic people with violent tendencies to carry weapons? glad to see some attempt at common sense here

  3. Like so many “common sense” laws – this will surely be abused. Laws are nothing more than words on paper and affect only thems neither inclined nor disposed to commit crimes. Bad men will always do bad things and restricting guns to the law-abiding places good people at risk. Can u guess what my Email to Gov Scott said? 🙂

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