The Florida legislature has passed a bill allowing concealed carry of guns without a permit.
On Thursday, the Florida Senate finally passed a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in public without government permission, a top priority. Governor Ron DeSantis.
The law will also remove the state’s existing requirement for training before carrying a concealed weapon outside the home. Applicants for a permit currently must demonstrate proficiency with a weapon by completing a firearms training or safety course. The permit application process also includes background checks, which will also no longer be required if the bill is signed into law.
The law’s press release notes that it “retains the current licensing process and background checks so that those who choose to obtain permission for reciprocity or other purposes may do so freely.”
DeSantis said he was proud to “support the Second Amendment” at a recent event on his book tour, and reaffirmed his intention to sign the bill when it hits his desk. “You don’t need permission from the government to be able to exercise your constitutional rights,” DeSantis said Thursday.
If signed, the bill will go into effect on July 1, making Florida the 26th state to recognize unauthorized carry. The bill previously passed the Florida House of Representatives last week.
Effective July 1, 2022 Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 4134 applications rejected for permits because the applicant was deemed ineligible. The bill, however, does not change who is otherwise entitled to carry firearms in public. In addition, you will still need to pass a background check to purchase weapons.
As of last month, the state has issued more than 2.6 million gun permits.
The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Chuck Brennan, said Florida residents should be able to hide their firearms without “government intervention or local preemption.”
“In the state of Florida, government bureaucracy will no longer stand between law-abiding Florida residents and their freedom to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Brannan said in a statement. “This bill recognizes that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, its citizens have the right to defend themselves.”
While Democrats and gun control advocates have criticized DeSantis for removing one of the few firearm inspections in the state, gun rights activists have said the measure does not go far enough. They want Florida to allow people to carry guns in public outdoors and the state to eliminate gun-free zones. In Florida, it is currently illegal to carry a firearm in school or on college property.
“Calling this bill “constitutional” is a lie,” Luis Valdez, director of Florida-based Gun Owners of America, said during a recent committee hearing on the bill.
DeSantis has publicly supported the open carry of weapons, but has refused to use his considerable political capital to pressure lawmakers to adopt a less restrictive gun policy, as he has done with other priorities. State Rep. Mike Beltran, a Republican, introduced but then withdrew an amendment that would have allowed an open transfer after Republican legislature leaders voiced their opposition.
“If they send me something that’s 90% or 80%, I mean I’ll take that win and we’ll be back again in the future,” DeSantis said at an event in Georgia.
Critics of the law have spoken out against the expansion of gun rights, calling them “dangerous”, and spoke out about the bill passed after the Nashville shooting that killed three children and three adults at a Christian school.
Democratic State Shevrin Jones tweeted: “Guns are killing our children and destroying families. It’s not books, it’s not transvestites, it’s not even “wakefulness”, it’s guns! Even with the loss of these precious lives, the Florida legislature is STILL pushing for its illegal transfer bill. It’s a damn shame.”