Florida Governor Rick Scott proposes gun sale ban to anyone under 21 and people with mental issues

Florida's governor is proposing a three-point plan to prevent gun violence that includes banning the sale of firearms to anyone younger than 21 in the wake of last week's school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the proposal as part of a three-point plan to prevent gun violence.

The Valentine's Day shooting has reignited national debate over gun laws and school safety, including proposals by President Donald Trump and others to designate more people — such as trained teachers — to carry arms on school grounds. Gun-control advocates, meanwhile, have redoubled calls for bans or further restrictions on assault rifles.

Scott, a Republican widely expected to run for the Senate, outlined his plan at a Tallahassee news conference. In addition to banning firearm sales to anyone under 21, the governor called for a trained law enforcement officer for every 1,000 students at every school in Florida by the time the fall 2018 school year begins.

Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which has more than 3,000 students, had one armed resource officer, who never entered the school while a gunman was shooting people inside, officials said.

That failure, plus reports of a delay in security camera footage scanned by responding police and several records about 19-year-old suspect Nikolas Cruz's troubled background added to what the Florida House speaker called an "abject breakdown at all levels."

Among other things, the governor's plan would also create a "violent threat restraining order" that would let a court prohibit a violent or mentally ill person from purchasing or possessing a firearm or any other weapon when either a family member, community welfare expert or law enforcement officer files a sworn request and presents evidence to the court of a threat of violence involving firearms or other weapons.

The proposal would also strengthen gun purchase and possession restrictions for mentally ill people under the state's Baker Act, which allows someone to be involuntarily hospitalized for up to 72 hours. Scott is seeking $50 million for mental health initiatives that include expanding mental health services by providing counseling, crisis management and other mental health services for youth and young adults.

"No one with mental issues should have access to a gun. It is common sense. It for their own best interest, much less the best interest of our communities," Scott said.

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