The National Rifle Association criticized the new gun-control package signed into law by Florida governor Rick Scott (R.) on Friday.
The gun-rights group said it was disappointed in the actions taken by Florida. It said the bill “strips law-abiding adults aged 18-20 of their Second Amendment right to self-protection” and called the expansion of waiting periods for gun purchases “unnecessary.” The NRA said Florida lawmakers are punishing millions of innocent Floridians for the acts of the Parkland shooter who killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
“This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. “Securing our schools and protecting the constitutional rights of Americans are not mutually exclusive. Instead of looking to the root cause of this premeditated violence, the gun control provisions in this law wrongly blame millions of Floridians who safely and responsibly exercise their right to self-defense.”
The new law includes a number of gun-control provisions including raising the age of gun ownership to 21, expanding the three-day waiting period for purchases of shotguns and rifles, and outlawing bump-fire stocks. It also would allow certain teachers to carry concealed firearms at school given they meet certain training requirements and local school and law enforcement officials approve them. The law will institute extreme risk protection orders allowing family members or law enforcement to petition a court for a temporary order that would confiscate the person’s firearms based on evidence they are a threat to themselves or others. It also includes a number of provisions aimed at allowing law enforcement to confiscate guns from those who are being or have been involuntarily committed.
The NRA focused its criticism on the age-based gun ban and new waiting periods. They also criticized federal and state law enforcement officials for failing to use tools currently available under current law to stop the Parkland shooter after he committed several acts of domestic violence and was repeatedly reported to police for threats he made to shoot up a school.
“The deranged murderer in Parkland, Florida gave repeated warning signs that were ignored by federal and state officials,” Cox said. “If we want to prevent future atrocities, we must look for solutions that keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans.”