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Scott Faces Pressure from Rival Gun Rights Groups Over Bill

Governor Rick Scott is being flooded with calls and emails about a bill that would stop some gun sales. What's unusual is: almost all are Second Amendment supporters.

House Bill 1355 is backed by the National Rifle Association's Marion Hammer, one of the best-known gun-rights advocates in the country. That made her all the more effective at helping to pass the bill, which would block gun sales to some people who voluntarily admit themselves for mental-health treatment. It passed the Legislature with just one 'no' vote, which Hammer says is as bipartisan as it gets.

"I would think it would be very difficult for the governor to veto a bill that is designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people with mental illnesses", Hammer said. "It's just irresponsible to allow dangerous people to buy guns."

But the bill has been under fire from two out-of-state gun-rights groups.

Danielle Thompson is press secretary for the Colorado-based National Association for Gun Rights, which she calls the fastest-growing gun rights group in the country, with more than two million members. She says the bill would strip the rights of people who haven’t been charged with a crime.

"The NRA supports a bill that will result in about 100,000 law-abiding Floridians losing the right to bear arms", said Thompson. "And the NAGR will never support a bill that infringes on a citizen's right to bear arms."

As of Thursday, nearly 4,000 people had contacted Scott's office about the bill, and all but 26 asked him to veto it.

Hammer is rallying her forces with an e-mail blast.

The governor has until July second to decide.