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Rick Scott talks guns at the White House

Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke at the White House this morning at a gathering of governors hosted by President Trump.

Here is the White House transcript of Scott's remarks:

GOVERNOR SCOTT: Well, the first thing I want to do is I want to thank the President for making something happen. All of us, as governors, know, in any jobs we've had, you have to get something done. If you -- anybody that has gone through one of these -- and if you've gone to the funeral of a 14-year-old girl that her parents just loved her, you know that you have to make a change.

 So what we've done in the last -- I guess, it's a little less than two weeks -- we've looked at what other governors have done. We've brought people together. I'm very appreciative of what the President has done by bringing us all together to talk about this, and also what he did last week by bringing people together because it has created momentum to make sure something happens this time, that we dont go through this and nothing happen.

So, in our state, the way I've done this is I've broken it down into three things. Number one, we're going to have school safety. No parent in our state is going to say, "I'm concerned whether my child can go to school safely." If you go to school in Florida, you're going to know that your child can come home safely. If you're a teacher, if you work at one of these schools, you're going to know you're going to come home safely. That's step one.

We're going to spend $500 million. I have two weeks left in my legislative session; I'm not waiting for the federal government. We're going to invest $500 million, and we're going to have significant law enforcement presence at every public school in our state.


We've already been investing dollars in hardening our schools. We're not only going to invest a lot more state dollars, but we're going to say any local dollars that go to capital outlay by our school districts, the first thing all those dollars have to be spent on is school hardening. It's the most important thing we can do, is harden these schools. So we're going to do it.

And, by the way, the way it's going to happen is our sheriffs are going to oversee how all the money is spent to make sure that the money is spent the right way. There will be a plan annually, and the money will be spent the right way.

Number two, mental illness. We're going to have mental health counselors in every school to make sure that all of our students can go through counseling or meet with a mental health counselor as often as they want. We're going to do it.

 We're also going to have threat assessment teams. Virginia did that after their shooting. We're going to have that in all of our schools, where you'll have children, families, juvenile justice, teachers, principals, local law enforcement, all together, and say, "What are the threat assessments in our schools?" And we're going to do that.

Next, we're going to invest more dollars in mental health in our Children and Families Program. We do that around our state, but we're going to invest more dollars to make sure we have youth teams all around our state to help them.

Finally, we're not going to have -- you're not going to, in Florida, have access to a gun -- if you struggle with mental illness, are you going to make violent threats -- you're not going to have access to a gun in our state. You shouldnt have access to a gun, and you're not.

 So what we're going to do is we're going to have a violence threat restraining order that a family member, a mental health individual, or law enforcement can go to the court system -- there will be due process -- but they can make sure that you dont have access to a gun.

If you've been involuntarily committed because you're a threat to yourself or others, you will not have access to a gun. You'll have to give those guns up. There will be due process. You can get those guns back, but we're going to make sure that doesnt happen.

We're going to make sure, as you do background checks, all this information is out there so we can make sure we know who has the guns.

 So, in our state, we are going to get all this done, and we're going to get it done in the next two weeks. I've been talking to my legislative leadership every day. They're committed to be a partner. But in Florida, I want to make sure every parent knows that their child is going to come home safe and sound every day.

Thank you, Mr. President. 


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