Politics
4:26 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Clock Ticking For Governor To Veto Mental Health Gun Bill

Floridians who voluntarily get mental health treatment could find themselves on a gun ban list.
Floridians who voluntarily get mental health treatment could find themselves on a gun ban list.
Credit Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net

The only gun control measure passed by the Florida Legislature this year is finally on Gov. Rick Scott's desk.

It puts people who are committed for mental health treatment on a list that prevents them from being able to buy a gun.

The National Rifle Association usually fights any proposal that could erode a person's right to bear arms – also known as the U.S. 2nd Amendment -- but the association strongly supports this bill.

It only affects those who are diagnosed as being an imminent danger to themselves or others.

Even so, Gov. Rick Scott is being pressured to veto the bill.

Dana Farmer with Disability Rights Florida laid out her group's concerns in a letter.

“When people hear that you may be placed on a list even for just going in for a voluntary examination,” Farmer said, “we're afraid that it may dissuade people from seeking voluntary assessments and perhaps voluntary hospitalization, and that's very worrisome.”

Farmer says the bill wrongly penalizes people with mental illness – most of whom are not likely to be violent.

The governor's office has logged 20,000 emails and phone calls requesting a veto.

Scott could avoid some of the controversy simply by not signing the bill. Unless he opts for a veto, it will go into effect July 1st with or without his signature.