- Senate President Kathleen Passidomo will only support gun-related legislation that garners the Florida Sheriffs Association’s backing. She stated on Tuesday that she will not endorse open carry firearm policy unless the association supports it.
- The Florida Sheriffs Association supports Constitutional carry legislation but does not back legislation that allows open carry.
- Passidomo expressed support for permitless carry policy, which would allow individuals to carry firearms without a concealed carry license.
- A bill that would allow permitless carry policy in Florida has been approved by every committee it has been presented to since its introduction last month. However, House Democrats have opposed it, arguing that it would undermine public safety by removing background checks and training requirements for gun owners.
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo shut down questions regarding potential open carry legislation in Florida, citing a refusal to endorse such measures unless it garners the Florida Sheriffs Association’s backing.
Passidomo stated that she would only support gun-related legislation that the Florida Sheriffs Association, which represents the views of law enforcement agencies across the state, is in favor of. The organization has strayed from supporting unfettered open carry laws, instead lobbying for Constitutional carry legislation
“I will support what the Sheriffs of this state, who are the experts, [support],” said Passidomo. “I don’t know one end of a gun from another, so I certainly want to support the experts.”
Passidomo does, however, back a permitless bill introduced earlier this year, highlighting her belief that individuals should not have to rely on government authorization to carry firearms. Speaking at a media appearance following the deliverance of the State of the State speech on Tuesday, Passidomo emphasized her perceived importance of individual liberty and the Second Amendment, arguing that law-abiding citizens should be trusted to exercise their right to bear arms responsibly.
“The reality is, this bill basically says you do not need the government’s permission to carry your weapon,” Passisomo said. “That, in my mind, is Constitutional carry.”
The bill, supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), would allow for permitless carry in Florida. In the bill’s purview, Floridians would still be obligated to undergo preexisting background checks before buying a firearm at a gun store but would be granted permission to carry a firearm without a concealed carry license.
Gov. Ron DeSantis previously pledged his support for permitless carry policy, stating that he would sign a law allowing “freedom to carry” if it was introduced in the legislature’s regular session.
House Democrats pushed back against the measure, arguing that its authorization would undermine public safety by eliminating background checks and training requirements for gun owners.
“What we’re seeing with this permitless carry legislation is the removal of the training requirement, and pretty much anyone who wants to have a firearm and conceal it will be able to do it,” said Minority House Leader Fentrice Driskell. “That’s yet another pressing concern and a reason why we should not have permitless carry in the state of Florida.”
To date, the proposed bill has been approved by each committee it has been presented to, including the Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law Government Operations Subcommittee, and the Judiciary Committee.