Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a measure that will allow Floridians to carry guns without concealed-weapons licenses. The Republican-controlled Senate gave final approval to the measure (HB 543) on Thursday, about a week after the House passed it.
The bill will do away with a decades-old licensing process, which has included requiring that people undergo firearms training and background screening to carry concealed weapons. The bill will require people carrying concealed firearms to have valid identification and “display such identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer.” The measure also includes various changes designed to bolster school safety, including providing additional money for school hardening.
The governor signed the proposal without holding a media appearance.
Sen. Jay Collins, a Tampa Republican who sponsored the bill, called it “monumental.” Collins said in a tweet, “You don’t need a permission slip from the government to exercise your constitutional rights. We are restoring the Second Amendment here in the Free State of Florida.”
Democrats criticized the bill signing and have contended the measure would make Floridians less safe.
“Permitless carry increases the risk of both intentional violence and unintentional shootings, with the facts clearly showing an increase of fatalities and gun crimes in the dozens of states that have passed similar laws,” Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-Miami Gardens, said in a statement Monday.
Many supporters of the bill labeled it “constitutional carry,” referring to Second Amendment rights. Some gun-rights advocates have disputed the constitutional carry label, arguing the bill should have gone further to include open carry, which would not require weapons to be concealed.
Matt Collins, a former firearms lobbyist who lives in Central Florida, said in a statement that the bill not including open carry is “embarrassing” for DeSantis. “The governor is weak if he cannot even get his own supermajority legislature to add part of his agenda, which is open carry, to the permitless carry bill,” Collins said.
For crying out loud, READ THE DANG BILL! It is NOT an open carry law.
It simply says that effective July 1, 2023:
*Persons not disqualified from obtaining a concealed carry license may conceal carry a weapon in Florida without obtaining the license (new law);
*Anyone disqualified/prohibited by law from possessing a weapon commits a felony by possessing a weapon (status quo);
*Still illegal (misdemeanor) to open carry except in certain circumstances (status quo)
*If a person is prohibited from possessing a weapon, AND concealed carries, it is multiple offenses including a misdemeanor and a felony (status quo).
*Persons desiring to obtain a concealed carry license may still do so and exercise reciprocity in other states (status quo).
*It is really that simple
It is your constitutional right to bear arms, but this is a bad idea. I would rather keep people guessing who is carrying and who is not. Agree with DeepSix on this.
“The measure also includes various changes designed to bolster school safety, including providing additional money for school hardening.”
You know what would make our schools safer from mass shootings? Arming everyone in it. The teachers, the principals, the janitors, the bus drivers, the crossing guards, and most importantly, the kids. *That* is school hardening. And all of our children would be so much safer because of it.
I don’t see any age limit in the Constitution; why are our citizens less than 21 years old not allowed to own handguns?
I worked in Arizona where they have an open carry law. I have had to stand in line next to some fairly scary looking freaks wearing some serious artillery on their hips. They are scary enough without the Glock. It makes people nervous to have strangers walking around with their cocks out and ready to rock out. Collins is just being obtuse if he can’t figure that out.