The bill, which passed with far more Republican than Democratic support, has four main provisions: It provides almost half a billion dollars to train certain school officials to carry weapons; it raises the age at which Floridians may purchase rifles to 21, but leaves possession alone; it extends the state’s mandatory three-day waiting period to rifles (FL already has this rule for handguns), with an exception for those with carry permits; and it enhances the ban on firearms ownership by the mentally ill. The bill also provides the police with modest powers to temporarily remove firearms from anyone whom a judge has ruled “poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others.”
Governor Scott opposes two of these provisions—permitting school staff to carry weapons in school, and imposing a three-day waiting period on the purchase of long guns—and he has repeatedly said so. In opposing the “armed teachers” provision, he lines up with Democrats in the state who so vehemently object to the idea that they voted against it as a caucus. In objecting to the three-day waiting period, he lines up with conservatives who believe—correctly, in my view—that waiting periods do nothing of consequence to stop crime, and that, in the case of long guns, they cannot even be said to limit suicide. In other words, Scott agrees with both of the objections that made this legislative debate so fractious. He doesn’t like the main concession the Democrats made, and he doesn’t like the main concession the Republicans made. He should veto the bill.