- Florida House Speaker Paul Renner announced a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would grant Floridians the right to carry a firearm without needing to obtain a permit.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis previously pledged support for such measures. The legislation is expected to receive swift support from the state’s Republican lawmakers and officials.
- Past lawmakers introduced bills to grant Floridians the right to carry firearms without a permit, but none made it to the floor for a vote.
- Democrat lawmakers were quick to criticize the bill, citing statistics showing an increased rate of violent crime following the passage of Constitutional carry laws.
House Speaker Paul Renner unveiled new legislation on Monday that would grant Florida residents the right to carry firearms without a permit.
State Representatives Chuck Brannan and Jay Collins introduced the bill, which aims to allow anyone legally authorized to own a firearm to carry it without the requirement of obtaining a permit or paying fees to the state.
“Today, we are here to celebrate a universal right that applies to every man and woman, regardless of race, gender, creed, or background,” said Renner during the announcement.
Under the bill, Floridian residents would still be required to go through the preexisting set of background checks before purchasing a firearm. Only when the purchase is processed and registered would the individual be allowed to carry a firearm without obtaining a concealed carry license.
In the bill’s presentation, the National Rifle Association (NRA) voiced its support for Constitutional Carry measures in Florida.
The gun rights organization has long been a strong advocate for permit-less carry policies and has undertaken lobbying efforts in states across the country to assist in its passage.
“Half of the country currently recognizes the fundamental right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a firearm for self-defense as enshrined in our Constitution,” said Art Thomm, NRA Florida state director. “The NRA is proud to have led this effort across America and looks forward to welcoming Florida into the fold of freedom that constitutional carry provides.”
Currently, 25 states have laws that allow constitutional carry, with Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia being the most recent adopters of policy variants last year.
Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed support for constitutional carry measures, stating that he would back a law allowing “freedom to carry” if it was introduced in the legislature’s regular session.
Former Representative Anthony Sabatini previously introduced bills that sought to grant Constitutional carry rights, but none of the bills made it to the House floor for a vote.
“Throughout the 2020, 2021, and 2022 legislative sessions, constitutional carry was blocked from being heard in any committee by Republicans,” said Sabatini, who called for a special session focused on constitutional carry last year.
Brannan’s bill is expected to receive strong support from fellow Republican lawmakers and the governor, though Democratic lawmakers have criticized the measure.
“Permit-less carry has no place in a civilized society,” said Representative Dan Daley. “It is a priority for Florida’s governor, who is rumored to be a potential presidential candidate, and this Legislature will never stand in his way, despite the public safety risks associated with it. According to research by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, states that have relaxed restrictions on concealed carry have, on average, seen a 12.9% increase in police-involved shootings.”