Rick Scott calls bipartisan gun deal ‘soft on crime’

WASHINGTON. On Thursday, the Senate Republican campaign leader opposed the bipartisan gun compromise, calling the bill “soft on crime” because it does not permanently ban domestic violence perpetrators from owning guns.

Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) criticized the bill as being too strict because it would push states to pass “red flag” laws to confiscate guns from dangerous people, and not strict enough because it would allow dating partners to own their weapons. returned five years later.

“People who have been accused, tried and convicted of beating their loved ones will automatically receive their gun rights in just five years,” Scott said in a statement. “I will not support such a crime protection policy.”

Scott’s statement – a likely anticipation of future attacks on Democrats for supporting the bill – is somewhat surprising, since the so-called “boyfriend loophole” part of the bill is one of its most stringent provisions.

Federal law prohibits the possession of a gun by a person convicted of minor domestic violence against a spouse or person with whom they live or have a child together. However, a dating partner convicted of the same offense may leave their weapons in accordance with applicable law.

The bipartisan bill would close the boyfriend loophole, something Democrats have long wanted to do. But as a compromise with the Republicans, the proposal would allow dating partners convicted of a misdemeanor to return their guns after five years if they avoid another violent crime conviction.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the GOP’s lead negotiator on the deal, on Thursday dismissed Scott’s characterization of the position.

“It’s ridiculous,” Cornyn told HuffPost.

As governor of Florida, Scott signed a series of gun restrictions following the 2018 Parkland shooting in which a 19-year-old stabbed 17 people to death at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School with a legally purchased assault rifle. The reforms included a red flag law allowing law enforcement or family members to petition the courts to seize someone’s weapons if they pose an imminent threat. (Scott said the new bill’s troubling provisions would encourage states to violate the rights of gun owners, presumably in a way that Florida doesn’t.)

Florida has also raised the age for buying long guns from 18 to 21, a reform Scott pointedly refused to support nationally after two recent mass shootings of 18-year-olds in Buffalo, New York, and Uwalda, Texas.

But even though there are laws in 19 states that eliminate the guy loophole, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, not in Florida. (The state prohibits perpetrators of domestic violence from owning guns while under a restraining order.)

As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Scott is responsible for efforts to get more Republicans elected to the Senate and is on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership team. This puts Scott at odds with his Republican counterparts.

McConnell (R-Kentucky) backs the bipartisan gun bill, saying Thursday it will “make our country safer, not less free.”

Fourteen more Republicans have said they will support the bill, including several people running for re-election this year, such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va), another member of the GOP leadership supporting the bill, dismissed the notion that he was lenient with criminals.

“Of course I’m not soft on crime,” Capito said.

Democrats, meanwhile, noted that Republicans were seeking to restore gun rights to those convicted of domestic violence.

“It seems strange and ironic to me to complain about the limited amount of time that we have sought to expand, and the Republicans have sought to reduce,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut).


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