June 23, 2022

Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio Vote Against Advancing Senate Gun Legislation

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By Lydia Nusbaum

June 23, 2022 Updated 11:56 A.M. ET

WASHINGTON (FLV) – Florida U.S. Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio voted against a procedural move to advance a new bipartisan gun control bill. 

However, in a 64 to 34 vote Tuesday, the Senate approved a procedural motion, signaling that there may be the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster in the Senate when the bill comes up for an official vote. The bill needs 10 Republicans and all Senate Democrats to avoid a filibuster. 

Senator Rick Scott, R-Florida, said the bill has “unacceptably weak language” on protecting due process.

“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.

Scott said this bill should not be compared to the legislation Florida took after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. 

“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,” Scott said. 

Scott said he is against a provision to automatically restore gun rights to convicted domestic abusers after five years. 

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said Florida passed a “responsible” red flag law where there is due process. However, the legislation would provide grants for states that implement their own red flag laws. 

“What I’m concerned about is the way laws in other states are written,” Rubio said. “Red flag laws, for example, in states where your coworker can take you to court and try to take away your gun, so you can almost envision a scenario where the due process provisions are not strong enough, then you could have your coworkers taking you to court, harassing gun owners, shopping for the right judge who’s anti-gun to begin with, and suddenly we have an abuse of this and a big, big problem. 

The 80-page bill includes expanded background checks for gun buyers under 21 and offers additional funding for school safety measures and mental health services.

The legislation requires more gun sellers to register as Federally Licensed Firearm Dealers. It prohibits gun access for people convicted of domestic abuse against an intimate partner. It also creates penalties for straw purchases of firearms. 

A group of Republican and Democrat Senators who worked on the text of the bill said Tuesday that the bill includes “common sense” legislation to “protect America’s children.”

“Our legislation will save lives and will not infringe on any law-abiding American’s Second Amendment rights. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense legislation into law,” the Senators said in a statement.

The Senate is expected to vote on the 80-page bill this week.

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