The Washington Post points out that the Florida GOP, then led by Governor Rick Scott, passed gun control legislation after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre.

But now Senator Scott and the rest of the Senate Republicans are opposed to passing similar federal gun control measures.

After a teenage gunman killed 19 fourth-graders and two teachers inside a Texas elementary school Tuesday, Democrats on Capitol Hill quickly lamented Republican lawmakers’ years of intransigence on gun control.


“No matter the cause of violence and no matter the cost on the families,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday, “nothing seems to move them.”


But that broadside wasn’t entirely accurate: Not long ago, GOP lawmakers bucked ferocious pressure from the National Rifle Association to pass significant new gun restrictions after a deadly school shooting, which were then signed into law by a fiercely conservative Republican.

It just didn’t happen in Washington.

Three weeks after 17 people were gunned down in 2018 inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed into law a bill that included provisions banning weapons sales to those younger than 21, imposing a three-day waiting period on most long-gun purchases, and creating a “red flag” law allowing authorities to confiscate weapons from people deemed to constitute a public threat.

The NRA’s powerful leader in the state, Marion P. Hammer, condemned Republicans backing the bill as “betrayers.” But 75 out of 99 GOP lawmakers voted for it anyway, and Scott — who was preparing to seek a U.S. Senate seat — signed it, calling the bill full of “common-sense solutions.” Other provisions of the bill included $400 million for mental health and school security programs, and an initiative, fiercely opposed by Democrats, that would allow teachers and school staff to be trained as armed “guardians…”

Interviews this week with Republican senators revealed little stomach for the sort of sprawling bill that Florida Republicans passed in 2018. None said they are open to a federal waiting period. Some are curious about “red flag” laws but skeptical about their implementation on the federal level. And asked about age limits for rifle purchases, one key GOP negotiator, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) said, “I don’t think that’s on the table.”


Scott himself — who went on to narrowly defeat Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in 2018, even after his NRA rating was downgraded from an A-plus to a C — said this week that he does not favor passing a federal version of the Florida law.


“It ought to be done at the state level,” he said. “Every state’s going to be a little bit different. … It worked in Florida, and so they ought to look at that and say, could that work in their states?”