‘Constitutional Carry’ Bill Allows Carrying Guns in Florida Without a Permit

Tallahassee – Florida could become the 26th state to allow people to conceal and carry guns anywhere without a permit under a law approved Monday by the Speaker of the House. Paul Renner and the Florida Sheriffs Association.

dubbing “Constitutional Carry” The concept also has the backing of Governor Ron DeSantis and Senate Speaker Kathleen Passidomo, R-Napoli, according to supporters.

However, this proposal makes no changes. Restrictions under current law Open displays of sidearms and long guns, so-called “open carry” – some gun advocates want expansion, but it’s drawing backlash in states that rely heavily on tourism.

“Florida led the nation in allowing concealed carry, which is extended today by removing the government permit…to exercise its constitutional right,” said R-Palm Coast’s Renner said.

Florida’s secret weapons license continues under the proposal. According to Renner, some residents may seek permission to carry concealed weapons to other states under reciprocity agreements.

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Florida has 2.6 million secret weapons permits. Residents receiving a permit must also have cleared a background check that shows they have not been convicted of a felony or fall under many other restrictions, as well as being trained in firearms.

The no-license carry approach, backed by state Republican leaders, would not change current laws on gun purchases. However, it would remove the need for state permits in firearms training.

“I think you can assume that citizens do the right thing about carrying weapons,” said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association.

The Florida Gun Violence Prevention Organization condemned the proposal in a statement.

Frequently Asked Questions:What does ‘constitutional carry’ mean and how will Florida’s gun laws change?

“The Unlicensed Carrying Act puts the public at risk by removing important safeguards designed to ensure that those who carry concealed weapons are properly trained and vetted,” the organization said. said.

“In an era of rising mass shootings and rising gun crime, it’s strange that our Congress is being asked to loosen gun control, not toughen it.”

Giffords, a gun safety group founded by former Arizona Congressman Gabrielle Giffords, said it opposes Florida’s action. A poll last fall by the organization showed that 61% of his voters in Florida opposed unauthorized carry.

Giffords senior adviser Debbie McCartell-Powell, a former Democratic congressman from Miami, said Florida had two of the worst mass shootings: Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He pointed out that it was the headquarters of the incident.

Monday’s bill announcement also comes a week after two mass shootings in California.

“We are here to fight back,” said Mukalsel-Powell.

However, the National Rifle Association applauded the proposal.

“Half of the country now has a basic right for law-abiding gun owners to carry guns for self-defense,” NRA Florida director Art Tom said in a prepared statement. “The NRA is proud to have led this effort across America and looks forward to welcoming Florida into the freedoms our Constitution provides.”

The law (HB 543) was introduced Monday by Rep. Chuck Brannan of R-Macclenny. The Senate is sponsored by Tampa Republican Senator Jay Collins.

With Republicans in control of the House and Senate, the bill is almost certain to pass.

However, some allies do not believe that this measure has been well-reached. Because Florida doesn’t allow people to carry firearms openly.

Former state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howie in the Hills Republican who lost a congressional bid last year, challenged DeSantis to demand more.

“A constitutional carry without an open carry is a fraud. Following this weak bill will do a big stain on his record,” Sabatini tweeted Monday.

Luis Valdes, Florida director of Gun Owners of America, said his organization will work to expand measures to include open carry.

Everytown for Gun Safety conducted an analysis that showed an 11% rise in handgun homicide rates in states that weakened gun-licensing laws. A study from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health last year found that from 2014 to 2020, he saw a 13% increase in police shootings in his 10 states that passed permit-free carry laws. understood.

Florida House Democrats also hit a safe point by issuing a warning against the law.

Rep. Christine Fushowski, D-Parkland, who was mayor of the community where the 2018 massacre occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said: He enacted the ‘red flags’ law, raising the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21.

But supporters said expanding people’s right to bear arms would help residents feel safer.

“This bill is a big step forward for the average law-abiding citizen to avoid the hassle of obtaining government permission to carry a weapon,” Brannan said. “There’s no difference between those who can carry guns and those who can’t.”

John Kennedy is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network’s Florida Capital Bureau. You can contact him at jkennedy2@gannett.com or @JKennedyReport on Twitter.

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