‘Weakens Due Process’: Sen. Rick Scott Announces Opposition to Gun Control Bill

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on June 23 said he opposes the gun control bill the Senate is voting on this week.

Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said the bill “weakens due process” and has key differences with a law that he signed while governor of Florida.

“While there are elements of the bill now being considered in the Senate that I support, like the Luke and Alex School Safety Act that I have been fighting to pass for years, the Senate also, unfortunately, decided to take action that is not consistent with the aggressive due process protections that I fought for when I was Governor,” Scott said in a statement.

The model to remove guns from people with whom law enforcement are concerned that was imposed in Florida through Florida Senate Bill 7026, which Scott signed in 2018, was abandoned in the legislation now being considered by the Senate, Scott said.

“The bill the Senate is considering abandons Florida’s model and allows even the most radical policies, like California’s red flag law, to be implemented and supported with federal funding. Ironclad due process protections are essential to protecting the constitutional rights of Americans and we can NEVER compromise on that,” he said.

Scott also took issue with how the bill, hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators, would let people convicted of domestic violence possess guns automatically five years after the conviction.

“I will not support soft-on-crime policies like this. As Governor of Florida, I always weighed past domestic abuse when considering a restoration of gun rights through the clemency process and I do not support efforts to allow someone who has been convicted of domestic abuse to have the opportunity to automatically get a gun,” Scott said. “I was hopeful the Senate would follow an open and thorough process like we did in Florida. That is unfortunately not the case with the current bill and why I will vote no.”

All 50 Democrats and nominal independents are expected to vote for the legislation, meaning at least 10 Republican senators need to vote with them to clear the filibuster.

Ten Republicans helped craft the agreement, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). They and four other senators voted to advance the bill in a procedural vote this week, setting up the filibuster vote.

If at least 60 senators vote to clear the filibuster, the bill will receive a final vote. At least one lawmaker, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has said he plans to offer amendments to the text.

Zachary Stieber

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Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.

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