Rick Scott addresses student debt, questioned on gun control

Senator spoke to students at FSCJ downtown campus

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sen. Rick Scott was in the River City on Monday to address the issue of student loan debt, but he was also asked about gun control during his visit.

Scott met with students, parents and education officials at the Florida State College at Jacksonville's downtown campus.

During the meeting, Scott was asked in light of a Washington Post op-ed whether he believes Sen. Mitch McConnell should call back the Senate to address gun reform. The article makes reference to the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

"What's important to me is that we get something done. When I was governor and Parkland happened, I got everyone together quickly. Within three weeks, we passed historic legislation and we (got) more money for our schools for not only students, but for law enforcement, mental health counselors and also red flag laws," Scott said. "I'm hopeful that they'll use look at some of the things we did (in Florida) in Washington, D.C. and do it nationally, and I'm going to work hard to get that done."

Following the shooting in Parkland, the Florida Legislature passed a red flag law, which Scott signed into law. A red flag law is a gun violence prevention law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temorary removal of firearms from someone who may present a danger to others or themselves.

"Use some common sense. If you're threatening to harm yourself or you're threatening to harm someone else, you shouldn't have a gun. You shouldn't have any weapon," Scott said.

The former Florida governor's key reason for visiting Jacksonville was to find ways to make higher education more affordable for students. He's been traveling across the state to hear different strategies on the issue.

"Across the country, students end up with so much debt. It impacts their ability to start a business, buy a home and so many things," Scott said. "I've been doing this around the state to get people's ideas about how we can figure out how to get students higher education at a lower price with no debt."

Scott said the conversations are critical to finding solutions to the problem.

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