Florida Senate Contest May Turn on Gun Issue

The Story: 

Term-limited Governor Rick Scott (R) continues his effort to unseat incumbent Senator Bill Nelson (R) in Florida. Polls say the race is a toss up. The Florida Atlantic University poll, for example, shows Scott with the support of 42 percent of the voters, Nelson with 41.3, with the remainder undecided. It also shows a margin of error of 3.3 percent.


Scott has distinguished himself while Governor as a defender of gun rights. He has received an A+ rating from the NRA. Indeed, in 2014, when Scott was running for a second term as Governor, the NRA praised him for having “signed more pro-gun bills into law … than any other Governor in Florida history.”

Since the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018, that reputation may have become a liability.

The Thing to Know:

Even before Stoneman Douglas, on the other hand, Nelson was an outspoken proponent of gun control. He has filed a bill he calls the “Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act,” which would instruct the BATF to create an updated database for an easily accessible and serial-number based trace of any gun taken as evidence in a crime.

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