Florida Democratic Party




While Rick Scott Hides From His Record, New Questions About Tax Incentives for Gunmakers


While Rick Scott Hides From His Record on Guns, New Questions Arise About Tax Incentives for Gunmakers


While Governor Rick Scott failed to face students, parents, and Floridians at last night's CNN Town Hall, Senator Bill Nelson and Congressman Ted Deutch showed up to answer questions, and talk about real solutions and commonsense gun legislation. It is clear who wins in Rick Scott's Florida: gunmakers, not students. 


The Tampa Bay Times, 2/21/2018, Rubio faces tough audience at CNN forum, backs some gun restrictions while refusing to disavow NRA

  • "Nelson credited Rubio for having the "guts" to show and told a national TV audience that he and Rubio work well together, while blasting Scott for giving incentives to gun makers to set up shop in Florida."


The Washington Examiner, 2/21/2018, Florida Gov. Rick Scott booed for skipping gun town hall

  • "Florida Gov. Rick Scott was heavily booed Wednesday night for refusing to show up at a live, televised town hall on guns hosted by CNN."
  • "Being here isn't courage," he said, citing the experiences of the victims of the shooting. "That's courage."


Scott Faces New Questions Over Tax Incentives for Gun Makers


Florida BullDog, 2/20/2018, Gov. Scott skirted Russia sanctions to offer tax breaks to maker of AK-47 assault rifle

  • "Gov. Rick Scott’s administration offered $162,000 in state tax breaks to bring to South Florida the manufacturer of the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, even though the U.S. had imposed sanctions against Russian-made military assault weapons."
  • "The Department of Economic Opportunity signed the tax refund dealwith the owner of Kalashnikov USA – RWC Group LLC – in October 2015." 
  • "Taxpayer money was offered under the department’s qualified target industry program that looks to create jobs in exchange for state benefits. In this case, the target industry the governor was trying to attract is listed as “small arms manufacturing.”
  • "Since Scott’s first year in office, the governor has sought to bring gun makers to Florida. In 2011, for example, he promised $1.6 million in incentives to Colt Manufacturing Co. to open a plant and add 63 jobs in Osceola County to build AR-15 rifles, like the one police say was used in last week’s slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland."


Miami Herald, 1/19/2013, Gun makers feast on Florida tax breaks

  • "With Florida’s tax code more business-friendly in recent years, economic incentives and tax breaks have flowed to companies and industries currently under fire for their roles in America’s gun violence."
  • "Meanwhile, the state has cut funding for mental healthcare and school safety programs, two areas at the forefront of the national gun-control debate."
  • "In 2012, a tough budget year when the Legislaturecut funding for school safety by $1.8 million and  Rick Scott vetoed $5.7 million for mental health programs, lawmakers were able to find more than $10 million for economic incentives that went to violent film productions, bloody video games and gun manufacturers.

"At least three gun makers have been on the receiving end of lucrative tax break deals aimed at spurring job creation. Colt Manufacturing Co. was approved for a $1.6 million deal in December 2011, after it opted to open a new regional headquarters in Osceola County, bringing 63 jobs. Scott hailed the tax credit program as a “clear message that Florida is both open for business and a defender of our right to bear arms.”