FL governor signs sensible gun buy ban by mentally ill

July 6, 2013 

Gov. Rick Scott recognized reasonable legislation to close a loophole in Florida law on firearms sales, signing into law a ban on gun purchases by mental health patients who voluntarily enter an institution for treatment. The names of those patients will be entered into a national database that already contains a list of people involuntarily committed.

Even one of the nation's staunchest supporters of Second Amendment gun rights, Marion Hammer, backed this sensible bill. The longtime Florida lobbyist for the National Rifle Association very publicly issued her approval by mounting an email campaign, critical support for a governor leery of crossing conservatives with a re-election campaign in the offing.

Even in signing the measure, the governor issued a statement affirming his Second Amendment bona fides while noting the new law placed "reasonable parameters on firearm purchases" by denying sales that "put firearms in the hands of dangerous mentally ill individuals."

Outside organizations attempted to derail the measure, decrying Scott's signature as a sign of his "disregard for law-abiding gun owners." That hard line on any gun legislation completely ignores the public safety threat presented by armed mental patients.

Thankfully, the governor did not succumb to the opposition's desperate argument.

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