Adam Putnam has a few problems with the gun bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed March 9.
The Republican candidate for governor once again criticized two of the more controversial aspects of the new law in a Monday interview with the National Rifle Association's television outfit, NRATV. Putnam, Florida's agriculture commissioner, does not support raising the gun purchasing age from 18 to 21, nor does he back a mandatory three-day waiting period for all firearm purchases.
"If you are 18 you can fight and die for this country," Putnam said in the interview with the network's Cam Edwards. "And yet, you wouldn't be able to be trusted at the same age to go to the sporting goods store and purchase a shotgun to go dove shoot."
The fact that Putnam disapproves of these policies isn't news. The agriculture commissioner came out against the new firearm purchasing age in a Feb. 28 press release.
However, it is noteworthy that Putnam took to the NRA's broadcasting outfit to express his views. The gubernatorial candidate has become a target of liberal scorn because of his cozy relationship with the gun rights group.
The NRA thanked Putnam in February for opposing the new gun buying age.
And many Florida Democrats — including the Democratic candidates for governor — have harshly criticized Putnam for labeling himself a "proud NRA sellout."
Putnam's interview Monday focused mainly on policy. He said the gun restrictions in the new law — particularly the new three-day waiting period — would not have prevented the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland.
"(The shooter) purchased that firearm over a year ago. He was mentally unfit and should not have had a firearm at 18, at 21 or at 41," Putnam said.
The agriculture commissioner also criticized the media coverage of mass shootings, saying the press is pushing a gun control agenda. (At least one Parkland survivor agrees with Putnam.)
The National Rifle Association is already making waves in the nascent governor's race. On Monday, Tallahassee lobbyist Marion Hammer blasted Richard Corcoran, a likely Republican governor candidate, for his work in passing the Legislature's gun bill. The NRA opposed the bill.
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