A year after gleefully proclaiming that Florida loves "tourists, new residents and the Second Amendment" at a National Rifle Association forum, Gov. Rick Scott plans to skip the NRA's annual convention in Dallas this weekend.
The Tampa Bay Times reports the governor's spokesperson says he won't be at this year's convention.
Scott, who once said "the Second Amendment has never shot anybody, evil does this," has been distant from the organization ever since they sued him for passing gun restrictions after the Parkland mass shooting. The killing of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February pushed lawmakers to call for a ban on bump stocks, a three-day waiting period on all firearm sales and an increase on the age limit to buy a rifle from 18 to 21.
After Scott signed the measures into law, the NRA sued over the increase to the age limit, arguing it "prohibited an entire class of law-abiding, responsible citizens from fully exercising the right to keep and bear arms —namely, adults who have reached the age of 18 but are not yet 21." Before then, Scott proudly flaunted an "A+" rating from the NRA for his record on guns.
Scott had no problem, though, attending the NRA convention in 2017, months after a gunman killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.
"We (Republicans) need a larger majority in the U.S. Senate," Scott told the crowd. "We need a majority that has the intellectual capacity to comprehend these three words in the Constitution: 'shall not infringe.' What does shall not infringe on the people’s right to bear arms mean? It means shall not infringe. That is not really very complicated."
Florida Democrats accused Scott of trying to "hide his record on guns and inaction after Pulse."
"Rick Scott didn’t have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby for seven years and now he's trying to hide his record of putting himself and the gun lobby over the interests and safety of Floridians," FDP spokesperson Sebastian Kitchen said in a statement. "In the 612 days between Pulse and Parkland, Rick Scott did nothing to address gun violence but used the 2017 NRA convention to essentially announce his U.S. Senate campaign, proving he has no interest in keeping our communities safe from gun violence."
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