- Florida’s Republican governor said Thursday that people with mental illnesses should not have access to guns.
- The call for action came after Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school, which killed 17.
- The massacre immediately prompted calls for gun control, though some top Republicans urged caution.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, said he spoke with President Donald Trump and top Republicans about preventing people with mental illnesses from accessing guns.
His remarks came just one day after a deadly shooting in a Parkland, Florida, high school that killed 17 and injured at least 14.
“The violence has to stop. We cannot lose another child in this country to violence in a school,” Scott said at a news conference on Thursday. “If someone is mentally ill, they should not have access to a gun … None of us want anything like this to happen again.”
Scott added that he intends to meet with state leaders next week in Tallahassee to discuss potential legislation on the issue.
The suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He was denied bond in a court hearing Thursday afternoon.
But top Republicans, including Ryan, already have cautioned against impulsive reactions to the shooting.
“I think we need to pray, and our hearts go out to these victims. And I think, as public-policy makers, we don’t just knee jerk before we even have all the facts and the data,” Ryan told a local Wisconsin radio station on Thursday.
Trump also said Thursday he intends to meet with the nation’s governors and attorneys general to discuss how to make schools safer.
“It is not enough to take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference – we must actually make that difference,” he said.
While Americans remain starkly divided on gun control, they do agree on one thing: The mentally ill should be prevented from purchasing guns. A spring 2017 survey found that 89% of US adults held that view.