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Florida Legislative Leaders Push Proposal to Allow Concealed Carry Without Permits

This week, the leaders of the Florida Legislature showcased their support for a proposal “to ensure that Floridians can exercise their Second Amendment rights without government interference” and “will eliminate the need for a concealed weapons license (CWL) in the state of Florida.”

State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, and state House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, are backing the proposal from state Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, and state Rep. Chuck Brannan, R-Macclenny.

“Constitutional carry allows Floridians who are currently qualified to obtain and maintain a CWL to carry a concealed handgun or weapon without a license,” Renner’s office noted.

“Through their service at home and abroad, Speaker Renner and Senator Collins have sacrificed to protect our constitutional rights,” said Passidomo. “I stand with these brave warriors, with our law enforcement leaders, and with law-abiding Floridians across this state who should not have to ask the government for permission to protect themselves.”

“Floridians shouldn’t need a government permission slip to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Renner. “House Bill 543 will ensure Florida will remain a beacon of freedom. Florida was the pioneer in the modern carry movement in America and this historic legislation continues our proud tradition.”

“As a retired chief investigator with the Baker County Sheriff’s office, former Deputy U.S. Marshal, and gun owner, I filed this bill because I believe all Floridians have the right to bear arms to protect themselves, their families, and their property without any government interference,” said Brannan.

“As we stand here today, we have brave men and women in the farthest corners of the world safeguarding our freedom. As a retired U.S. Army Green Beret, I’ve been blessed to serve shoulder to shoulder with many of them. I believe we have an obligation here in Florida to respect their sacrifice by protecting our God-given and constitutional rights here at home,” said Collins. “I’m honored that President Passidomo has entrusted me with running this critical legislation in the Senate. I am also proud to stand with my fellow military veteran Speaker Renner, along with a 30-year law enforcement veteran, Representative Brannan, and with so many sheriffs from across our great state to make it clear that here in Florida under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the government will not get in the way of law-abiding Americans who want to defend themselves and their families. I am looking forward to passing this vital legislation to codify our rights as U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms.”

With Republicans with large majorities in both chambers of the Florida Legislature and with Gov. Ron DeSantis backing the proposal, it is expected to pass. Democrats in the Legislature warned about the proposal.

“Permitless carry is dangerous for Floridians. Responsible gun ownership means knowing how to operate and store your firearm for your own safety and for the safety of those around you,” said state House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa. “Floridians deserve the freedom to be healthy, prosperous, and safe, and as the current data available to us shows, this will not make Floridians safer.”

“Freedom should include the freedom to live a life free of gun violence. That’s not the case today in Florida and it won’t be the case with permit-less carry either. We are experiencing a historically high level of gun violence and the evidence is clear that this policy is bad for public safety, and passing it will be dangerous. Florida families and communities deserve real solutions to address gun violence—not extremist proposals that jeopardize public health and safety,” said state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando.

“Untrained carry does not make our communities safer. We should be focusing on responsible gun ownership which includes universal background checks, safe storage, education, expanded risk protection orders, and regulating ghost guns. Responsible gun ownership leads to safer communities,” said state Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, D-Parkland.


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