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Florida gun owners react to Gov. Scott's gun control proposal

Posted at 8:51 PM, Feb 25, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. -- Business is booming at the Florida Gun Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds. But as doors open there is a buzz in the air over the possibility of stricter gun laws.

In response to the Parkland school shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott says no to bump stocks, no guns for the mentally ill and yes to raising the age you can buy legally buy one.

You won’t find an AR-15 ban or extended background checks in Scott's plan. But in a break from the National Rifle Association, of which Scott is a member, he does not want to arm teachers.

At the gun show, Scripps station WFTS in Tampa found a split in support from his own constituents.

“Change needs to happen and I don’t see why not try something," said Jason Walker said, long-time gun owner and an Air Force member.

When it comes to Scott's plan, Walker said he supports it overall.

Eric Oyola on the other hand said he does not. He is the owner of Class 3 Outbreak, a gun manufacturer.

"I think the laws that we have in place right now are good enough to prevent any crime," said Oyola. “They’re just taking the rights from the law abiding citizens for people that are going to do it anyways.”

Oyola is talking about the bump stock ban. As an AR-15 dealer, he especially rebuffs any plans that would target these types of guns. No worries for him under Scott’s proposal. The governor also rejects banning them.

Scott does, however, want to raise the age you can buy from 18 to 21-years-old.

“If you can fight for your country, come home and not be able to have an AR-15 or even buy a rifle, I think it’s not fair," Oyola said.

“I don’t believe you should be able to buy a long gun at age 18," said Walker.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said believes without an AR-15 ban the proposal does not have any teeth.

“It’s a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t get at the core problem of how you are going to stop a person with an assault weapon of walking into a crowded place," Sen. Nelson said.

What about Scott’s plan to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill?

“It’s going to be a hard thing to do because people at any time can flip out whether they are under the radar or not," said Walker.

Neither Walker nor Oyola are convinced it will work. What about the so-called gun show loophole where private sellers aren’t required to conduct a background check?

“Absolutely, everybody should have a background check," said Walker.

“I’m a licensed dealer," said Oyola, "If you can’t pass a gun background check, you shouldn’t have a gun.”

A consensus? 

Still, background checks aren’t in Scott’s plan either. The governor is also calling for a $450 million plan to increase school security. It includes placing police officers in every school in the state. Plus, hiring more mental health professionals.

The Florida House and Senate have until the end of session on March 9 to pass any new gun legislation.