Today Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Permitless Carry Bill in Florida, making it the 26th state to allow people to freely carry concealed guns in public. With this bill, the state of Florida pushes the number of states with constitutional carry to over half. This is good news for lawful gun owners who understand the need for self-defense in today’s tumultuous climate.
Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Florida Permitless Carry Gun Bill
SB 150/HB 543 passed the Florida Senate on Thursday, March 30, 2023, with an overwhelming 27-13 victory. Although it was a hard-fought battle, the bill moved to Governor DeSantis’s desk. After long promising to do so, he signed it yesterday, Monday, April 3, 2023.
According to WESH 2 Orlando, “The Senate battle over a measure to eliminate the need for permits to carry concealed weapons in Florida drew intense debate, with bill (SB 150/HB 543) sponsor, Republican Jay Collins of Tampa, saying, ‘academic studies show that a right to carry law, does not increase crime.’”
However, there are people on both sides of the issue that wish it did more. For example, some Second Amendment advocates feel it falls short without allowing for open carry. And detractors decry the lack of requirements for any kind of firearms training or safety course.
Something the bill does that everyone should agree with is to make it possible for lower-income individuals to carry concealed firearms.
WESH 2 Orlando continues, “[Carey Baker, owner of A.W. Peterson Gun Shop in Mt. Dora and former state lawmaker] says the background checks for concealed carry permits are not substantially different than they are for purchasing a gun, and requiring a concealed carry permit at an initial cost of roughly $150 (with $45 renewals) amounts to an unnecessary expense.”
The law, set to take effect July 1, 2023, does not change anything in regard to purchasing a firearm. For example, you will still need to pass the required background checks in order to purchase.
School Safety Provisions
Although the bill quickly passed the House, the Senate took a little longer to hash out some provisions for school safety.
The Tampa Bay Times writes, “Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who is chairperson of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, provided input on the proposed legislation. He said the bill standardizes and takes “to a new level” previous efforts to set up behavioral threat assessment programs.”
The threat assessment provision improves the flow of information by allowing behavioral reports to follow a student between school districts. Likewise, there is a requirement for a teacher or school official “personally familiar with the individual who is the subject of the threat assessment” to be part of an assessment team. Also included are people with law enforcement, counseling, and school administration expertise.
In addition, the legislation allows private schools to participate in the school guardian program. As a result, a school employee is allowed to carry a concealed firearm. Finally, is the creation of a Florida Safe Schools Canine Program. The program would place firearm detection dogs in some K-12 schools. However, there are currently no details on the selection process.
In a time when Democrats keep pushing mob rule and calling it “protecting democracy,” Governor DeSantis is holding the line. Unfortunately, many Republicans in our current government are cowering to the mob and relinquishing our rights almost daily. But as long as states like Florida—and the 25 other constitutional carry states—keep pushing back, we have a chance.
However, this is far from over. If you’re fortunate enough to have a Republican representative, let them know that their job is at stake. If they refuse to represent you, refuse to vote for them again. It’s time we get back to a true two-party system, not the smoke and mirrors uni-party we are currently suffering.