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Florida Gov. Scott enacted 12 pro-gun laws, a single-term high

Posted: July 9, 2014 - 7:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott appears nearly bulletproof right now in the eyes of the National Rifle Association.

That assessment of Scott comes as the NRA notes that more pro-gun bills have been signed into law in the past four years than during any other recent single gubernatorial term. The organization sent a message to members applauding Scott for setting the record.

Since taking office in 2011, Scott has signed into law 12 gun-related measures backed by the NRA. That total is nine more than former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist approved while enjoying an equally Republican-dominated Legislature between 2007 and 2010. Crist is now running for the Democratic nomination to face Scott in the November elections.

The total number of Scott’s signings remains two fewer than those inked by former Gov. Jeb Bush, who also affixed his name to a one-year record six pro-gun and pro-hunting bills in 2006. A year earlier, Bush had signed the Stand Your Ground law. However, Bush’s overall total of 14 new pro-guns laws came during eight years as the occupant of the Governor’s Mansion.

“Governor Scott supports the Second Amendment, and works every day to ensure Florida families are kept safe,” spokesman John Tupps said in an email. “Florida is at a 43-year crime low, and Governor Scott will review any legislation that the Legislature passes and sends to his desk.”

The bills signed by Scott have ranged from the highly contentious, such as the “docs vs. Glocks” law in 2011, which restricts how doctors can talk to patients about guns and that has been on hold since being thrown out by a federal judge in 2012, to less controversial laws that reduced the fees for a new concealed carry weapon and allowed tax collectors’ offices to handle concealed-weapon license applications.

“The bills that Gov. Scott have signed will make and have made an enormous difference,” said Marion Hammer, the powerful lobbyist for the NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida. “These laws will have a major impact on law abiding gun owners.”

She wasn’t as praiseworthy of the more politically flexible Crist, who left office with an “A” rating by the NRA and campaigned in 2010 for the U.S. Senate claiming to have “never wavered in his support for the Second Amendment.”

Crist earned the “profound appreciation” of the NRA in May 2009 for vetoing the Legislature’s plan to sweep $6 million from the Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licensing Trust Fund to patch a hole in the state budget. Crist also won praise when signing legislation to allow concealed weapons permit-holders to keep their guns in their vehicles while at work, and by appointing NRA-supported judges Charles Canady and Ricky Polston to the state Supreme Court.

But Hammer alluded to Crist being less than supportive as “critically important bills” were discussed outside of committee meetings while he was still governor.

“When you’re trying to pass legislation, sometimes legislators will ask [the governor] what they’ll do, and if they’re non-committal, that’s always like a negative,” Hammer said when asked about Crist.

A spokesman for Crist said Wednesday that the former governor maintains his belief in the Second Amendment, but favors “sensible gun safety steps” to keep communities and children safe.

“For example, he believes we should get military-style assault weapons and high-capacity clips off the streets and institute tougher background checks to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands,” Kevin Cate, a spokesman for Crist, responded in an email.

Scott signed five gun-rights bills into law this year, after signing three each in 2011 and 2012. He signed one in 2013.

This year’s offerings would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing rates based on customers owning guns or ammunition. Also, they would allow people to threaten to use force, including showing guns, in self defense. Another new law would prevent schoolchildren from being disciplined for simulating guns while playing or for wearing clothes that depict firearms.

“There were not a lot of contentious bills, they were not all that controversial, there were just some contentious people,” Hammer said.

Besides the opposition to “docs vs. Glocks,” most of the gun related controversy in recent sessions has been through failed efforts by advocates seeking to repeal the 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which says people can use deadly force and do not have a duty to retreat if they think it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm

The so-called “warning shot” law approved this year modified Stand Your Ground by extending immunity to those who threaten to use force in self-defense.

The 2011 laws signed by Scott included another one that continues to be challenged by cities and counties. It established $5,000 fines for county and city officials who enforce local firearms restrictions and empowered the governor to remove local officials from office if they continued to defy the state law.

In June, a judge sided with Palm Beach County against the provision that the governor could remove a county official from office for trying to enforce local gun control rules.

Not all of the gun laws have received universal praise from gun-rights advocates.

An NRA-backed measure Scott signed in 2013, crafted in the wake of 20 children and six adults being gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was narrowly-focused on making it harder for the mentally ill to buy guns.

However, the issue put Scott in the crosshairs of two out-of-state groups.

The Colorado-based National Association for Gun Rights and the Virginia-based Gun Owners of America argued that the law --- which blocks firearms purchases by some people who voluntarily admit themselves for mental-health treatment --- would discourage people with mental illnesses from seeking treatment.

In a letter accompanying the bill signing, Scott noted that the measure was the product of mental-health and gun-rights advocates; he also highlighted his history of support for gun rights.

Comments (25)

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tinman
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tinman 07/09/14 - 07:45 pm
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Calling all of these measures

Calling all of these measures "pro gun" is quite a stretch. The reduction of state fees and charges covers a lot of different functions, not just gun related. They will affect far more people in real estate or vehicle transactions. The "Pop Tart Gun" law isn't about guns as much as common sense, but you will never see the press refer to Scott as "pro-common sense". That would be like blasphemy to them. The Threatened Use Of Force Act (warning shot law) was championed by the left after Marissa Alexander's case. But instead of treating it as a victim's right, they now use it against gun advocates by calling it a pro-gun law. Funny how that works.

Howard
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Howard 07/09/14 - 09:38 pm
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http://fcir.org/2013/04/21/as

http://fcir.org/2013/04/21/as-firearm-ownership-rises-florida-gun-murder...

Florida gun murders rise with firearm ownership...

Great job there Scott.

Howard
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Howard 07/09/14 - 09:44 pm
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gijimbo1313
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gijimbo1313 07/10/14 - 07:53 am
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@Howard.....he is not

@Howard.....he is not responsible for any of the murders. It is funny how the left wants government to be their savior on one hand while at the same time blames the government for their problems. Illegal/irresponsible gun owners combined with an increase in criminal activity are responsible for the murders, not government. Your post might as well have read....Florida murders rise with car ownership since cars obviously kill people also.

Bull Gator2
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Bull Gator2 07/10/14 - 08:09 am
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howard being the totally

howard being the totally uninformed person you are on this subject have no clue what you are responding too.

The vast majority of gun deaths are committed by people that are using and illegal gun.

http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/concealed-carry/

http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/07/infographic-arm-yourself-with-the-fact...

Knowing this could start a whole other debate this fact must be considered. The majority of gun violence in Florida and other states is black on black. While I know of no study, based on newspaper reports that come out after the shooting it is almost always pointed out the an illegal gun was used.

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 10:01 am
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Race has nothing to do with

Race has nothing to do with this story, bull. Shouldn't you be over on the News4Bigots site?

Bull Gator2
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Bull Gator2 07/10/14 - 10:24 am
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I knew the minute I posted a

I knew the minute I posted a fact about gun violence that cast a negative light on a minority the race hustlers would come out. The story is about gun violence, the vast majority of which is black on black using illegal, unregistered guns.n If you cannot handle the simple truth then maybe you are the one that needs to find another forum.

When one segment of society is a contributing factor in any discussion, all those facts must be taken into account. I am sorry you are not able to acknowledge that there are mitigating circumstances to almost every story. Maybe after you are able to put your bigotry aside you can become a meaningful contributor.

gijimbo1313
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gijimbo1313 07/10/14 - 10:33 am
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@TryingNotCrying....what do

@TryingNotCrying....what do you mean by race has nothing to do with story. Lets look at stats for Chicago where you are not "allowed" to carry/own a gun.

Race Homicides by gun %
Black 165 79.6%
Hispanic 27 13.1%
White/Other 15 7.3%

Census Bureau statistics:
White percent population, 45%
Black or African American percent population, 32.9%
Hispanic or Latino percent population, 28.9%

If race had nothing to do with it, the homicide rates would mirror the population percentages. And please don't try to label me as a racist or biggot.....I am far from being one. Facts are facts.

RandomGuy
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RandomGuy 07/10/14 - 10:43 am
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Florida is gun-nut central.

Florida is gun-nut central. Rick Scott is a hero to NRA and many small men who feel "inadequate" in other areas of their lives and need to compensate by owning lots of "big" guns to prove their manliness.

gijimbo1313
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gijimbo1313 07/10/14 - 10:53 am
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@RandomGuy...yet another

@RandomGuy...yet another argument that has no merit. No inadequate concerns here.

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 12:39 pm
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bull: "I knew the minute I

bull: "I knew the minute I posted a fact about gun violence that cast a negative light on a minority the race hustlers would come out."

Who is the race hustler?

Bull Gator2
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Bull Gator2 07/10/14 - 11:40 am
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tnc, thank you for showing

tnc, thank you for showing your true self. I am very sorry you cannot accept facts. This has nothing to do with bigotry. It seems that you may be the one that is showing a bias. Facts are facts, and until everyone accepts responsibility for their actions nothing can be accomplished, especially in the area of violence.

Since you know nothing about me you are to totally out of line in hurling invectives at me. Look in the mirror.

Try and stay focused on the subject. Gun violence knows no race or color. However when one section of our sorority has a violence problem that is totally out of proportion to their demographic then there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Ignoring the problem or calling people names that state a fact does nothing to alleviate the problem. It only proves, or seems to prove there is no desire to address the issue head on. Just as Sharpton, and Jackson.

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 12:45 pm
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bull: "Try and stay focused

bull: "Try and stay focused on the subject. Gun violence knows no race or color."

Unbelievable. Why did you bring it up?

tinman
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tinman 07/10/14 - 02:12 pm
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I just read about a report

I just read about a report released  by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) which shows that nationwide Concealed Carry permits increased 130% since 2007, but violent crime (including murder) decreased by 22% during the same period. Interesting.

For the sake of balance in the discussion, can Howard, TryingNotCrying, or any others explain how any of the measures addressed in this article will contribute to Florida's murder rate?

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 03:05 pm
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Respectfully, why would

Respectfully, why would concealed carry permits have any bearing on crime rate?

gijimbo1313
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gijimbo1313 07/10/14 - 03:26 pm
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In states that allow CC,

In states that allow CC, criminals know that their potential victim may be armed and will think twice before performing a crime. In places like Chicago, they know their victim is not armed (unless the victim is breaking the law and carrying)...easy targets.

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 04:16 pm
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That is completely illogical.

That is completely illogical.

gijimbo1313
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gijimbo1313 07/10/14 - 04:23 pm
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@trying....just saying so

@trying....just saying so does not make it so. We put facts and figures to support our postings. While you may disagree, far from illogical. Back up what you say with some facts.

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 04:37 pm
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Saying "In states that allow

Saying "In states that allow CC, criminals know that their potential victim may be armed and will think twice before performing a crime" and "In places like Chicago, they know their victim is not armed (unless the victim is breaking the law and carrying)" are illogical statements. You have no idea what another person is "thinking" or "knowing."

Even tinman will tell you that. I asked the question of tinman, respectfully, because I saw him post a very thoughtful contrast between concealed carry and open carry on another story.

I didn't ask gijimbo anything.

gijimbo1313
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gijimbo1313 07/10/14 - 04:46 pm
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You stated a question to the

You stated a question to the whole group. Questions or comments directed to an individual are preceded by that individuals name.

Here a a very recent good read on the subject.
http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Conc...

Bull Gator2
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Bull Gator2 07/10/14 - 05:07 pm
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gijimbo1313 you are wasting

gijimbo1313 you are wasting your breath. I have given up trying to carry on an intelligent conversation with tnc. He has proven he is nothing more than a very poorly informed reactionary. I could post as I am sure many can, facts and figures that would show states that have both open carry and conceal carry have seen their crime rates go down. The inverse is also true. The more restrictive gun laws the higher crime.

I got under his skin by stating a fact about violent crime in a certain segment. Rather than acknowledge a proven/ know fact he resorted to name calling. He certainly does not live up to his name as he is not trying, and is crying.

You cannot solve a problem until you acknowledge there is a problem. Violent crime is NOT a result of an abundance of legal guns or legal gun owners. Rather it is those that choose to ignore the law. More laws do not restrict criminals. They have no regard for the laws already on the books. Criminals of all races, genders, and location have one thing in common. They don't care about the law!

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 06:15 pm
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The National Rifle

The National Rifle Association says that, by its definition, there are now 41 states that have “right-to-carry” laws. “Since 1991, when violent crime peaked in the U.S., 24 states have adopted ‘shall issue’ laws, replacing laws that prohibited carrying or that issued carry permits on a very restrictive basis; many other federal, state, and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive; and the number of privately-owned guns has risen by about 100 million,” the organization says on its Web site.

The NRA then cites the research of economists John Lott and David Mustard. Lott wrote a book, first published in 1998 and now in its third edition, titled “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.” In the book, Lott used a massive data set of U.S. crime and socioeconomic statistics to argue that detailed analysis showed a link between rate of crime and right-to-carry laws in states and counties.

But Lott’s conclusions are controversial — and other academics have criticized his work as either simplistic or subject to empirical errors. In 2004, a committee of the National Research Council of the National Academies devoted a chapter in a report titled “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review” examining Lott’s research. The report concluded:

No link between right-to-carry laws and changes in crime is apparent in the raw data, even in the initial sample; it is only once numerous covariates are included that the negative results in the early data emerge. While the trend models show a reduction in the crime growth rate following the adoption of right-to-carry laws, these trend reductions occur long after law adoption, casting serious doubt on the proposition that the trend models estimated in the literature reflect effects of the law change. Finally, some of the point estimates are imprecise. Thus, the committee concludes that with the current evidence it is not possible to determine that there is a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates.

TryingNotCrying
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TryingNotCrying 07/10/14 - 06:24 pm
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People who have ready access

People who have ready access to a firearm are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded.

Though men and women with firearm access were about equally likely to take their own lives with a gun, the latest research turned up a gender gap when it came to homicide. Compared with all adults without access to a gun, men with firearm access were 29% more likely to die in a gun-related homicide. But the analysis found that a woman who had a gun in or available to her household was close to three times likelier to die by homicide.

Previous studies have found that three-quarters of women who are killed with a gun die in their home, and that women typically know their assailant. That suggests that women who live in homes with a firearm are more likely to be gunned down in a domestic dispute or by an abusive partner, the research team wrote in their study, published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine. But the group did not venture an explanation for why men with gun access were not much more vulnerable than other adults.

The United States is thought to have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, with close to 4 in 10 households owning a firearm. The nation's gun-related homicide rate is higher than that of any other high-income country, and its rate of suicides carried out with a gun exceeds that of any other country that maintains such data.

gijimbo1313
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gijimbo1313 07/10/14 - 08:28 pm
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And people who drive are more

And people who drive are more likely to be involved in fatal auto accident....yet they CHOOSE to drive.

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