Florida Governor Calls For Restraining Order To Prevent Mentally Ill From Purchasing Firearms

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Florida Governor Rick Scott listens during a February 20 meeting with law enforcement, mental health and education officials about how to prevent school shootings in the wake of last week's killings at a high school. REUTERS/Colin Hackley

Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced a plan for a new restraining order to prevent purchase of a firearm if a court finds a person mentally ill or dangerous.

Scott made the announcement on Friday during a press conference. He said he wants to make it "virtually impossible for anyone who has mental issues to use a gun" under his new plan, called the Violent Threat Restraining Order. Scott said he will also require that no one under 21 is allowed to purchase a gun and is calling on a ban for bump stocks.

"I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who has mental issues to use a gun. I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who is a danger to themselves or others to use a gun," Scott said during the press conference.

Scott also said he also wants to place a restriction on buying and owning guns for individuals with mental health issues, under a state law known as the Baker Act. Additionally, he wants to prohibit individuals from purchasing or possessing guns who could receive an injunction for protection against stalking, cyberstalking, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence or domestic violence.

"Keeping guns away from dangerous people and people with mental issues is what we need to do," he said.

The announcement comes after a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people and injured many others on February 14. Nikolas Cruz, 19, was a former student of the school and was psychologically evaluated by Henderson Behavioral Health professionals in 2016 but was not hospitalized.

This is a big move for the Florida governor. In 2011, Scott signed a bill that stopped doctors from asking their patients if they owned a gun, unless their health care provider "believes that this information is relevant to the patient's medical care or safety, or the safety of others."

Florida Governor Calls For Restraining Order To Prevent Mentally Ill From Purchasing Firearms | U.S.
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