Rick Scott signed gun control bill in Sunshine State after Parkland school shootings…


(Gray Rohrer, Orlando Sentinel) Gov. Rick Scott, who is being sued for signing a bill imposing new gun controls, won’t be attending the National Rifle Association convention, which starts Friday, an aide for his U.S. Senate campaign confirmed Thursday.

Scott, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, attended the NRA’s annual meeting in Atlanta last year as a featured speaker.

He was advertised as a speaker again this year by the NRA for its convention in Dallas this weekend. Then came the mass shooting in Parkland, resulting in 17 students and staff members dead.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, Scott’s image was removed from NRA’s website promoting the convention. At the time, though, Scott aides didn’t say whether the governor would accept an invitation from the group.

The NRA is suing Scott for signing the bill that imposes restrictions on gun purchases. The new law, passed in response to the Parkland massacre, bans bump stocks, increases the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 and places a three-day waiting period on all firearm sales.

Scott’s new position on gun laws is a substantive shift from last year, when he spoke at the NRA convention.

“We (Republicans need a larger majority in the U.S. Senate. We need a majority that has the intellectual capacity to comprehend these three words in the Constitution: shall not infringe. What does shall not infringe on the people’s right to bear arms mean? It means shall not infringe. It’s really not very complicated,” Scott said.


Democrats aren’t convinced of Scott’s breach with the NRA, and note he still embraced the group last year, nearly a year after the massacre at the Orlando Pulse nightclub that left 53 dead.

“Rick Scott didn’t have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby for seven years and now he’s trying to hide his record of putting himself and the gun lobby over the interests and safety of Floridians,” Florida Democratic Party spokesman Sebastian Kitchen said in a released statement. “In the 612 days between Pulse and Parkland, Rick Scott did nothing to address gun violence but used the 2017 NRA convention to essentially announce his U.S. Senate campaign, proving he has no interest in keeping our communities safe from gun violence.”

©2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.