The Florida State Legislature convenes on Tuesday, and one of the most contentious proposals for new gun legislation, Bill 543, will be considered during this session.
Conservatives, including a prominent sheriff, claim that criminals have firearms and do not obey the laws. Democrats are using a horrific school shooting to attempt to block legislation in support of stricter gun control.
The supporters of the proposed legislation have nicknamed it “constitutional carry.”
If Bill 543 succeeds, which is likely given the Republicans’ 2–1 edge over Democrats in both the Florida House and Senate, Florida will become the 26th state to enable concealed carry of loaded firearms without a permit.
But other gun rights activists would go farther, requesting that loaded firearms be openly displayed in public spaces.
Luis Valdes, the Florida director of Gun Owners of America, recently asked Governor Ron DeSantis if he would approve such an amendment to Bill 543.
“Yeah, absolutely,” responded DeSantis.
But, DeSantis believes lawmakers would not adopt a “open carry” amendment to the proposed bill.
According to USConcealedCarry.us, although the words constitutional carry, permitless carry, and unrestricted carry are sometimes used interchangeably, their meanings differ:
Constitutional carry: Constitutional carry indicates that the state’s legislation does not restrict persons who are lawfully permitted to possess a weapon from carrying firearms (openly or hidden); hence, no state authorization is necessary.
Constitutional carry may exist under certain situations, such as in jurisdictions with no laws preventing the open carry of a pistol but which need a permit for concealed carry.
Permitless carry: Permitless carry includes constitutional carry states and states where a person must fulfill particular conditions, such as no DUI convictions within the past decade, in order to legally carry a firearm (Tennessee).
Several states are completely unrestricted, meaning neither open nor concealed carry need a permit. Others enable the open carry of a weapon or pistol without a permission, but concealment requires a permit.
On March 5, a Florida Republican close to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said to a journalist that permit-less ownership and concealed carry of weapons, often known as constitutional carry, might become law in Florida within three weeks.
Seen on video, as reported by Toby Hazlewood, “Republican Representative Jessica Baker – who was elected to serve by voters in Florida’s 17th District in the November 2022 midterm elections – was quoted as saying that gun controls in the Sunshine State could be further relaxed with three weeks. While her estimate may not come to fruition, it’s the latest indication of the law changing in Florida in favor of legal gun owners who want fewer restrictions.”
Hazlewood also reported, “It also means that a promise made by Governor Ron DeSantis – to pass constitutional carry into law – could come to pass. If it did, Florida would join over 20 other states that have passed the law in some form. Her impassioned rhetoric, and optimistic promises about how quickly such a fundamental law could change, will likely go down well with Republicans. Many Democrats, however, are unlikely to share her enthusiasm or optimism.”
Watch the interview:
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
The bill, proposed by Rep. Charles Brannan, R-Macclenny, eliminates the longstanding requirements for a concealed weapon license that includes fees, a criminal background check and completion of a firearms training course. CONTINUE READING…