GOA Pushes for REAL Constitutional Carry in Florida

Legislative Republicans have taken the first step toward allowing any adult Floridian without a criminal record to carry concealed weapons free of any need to take gun-safety classes or register with the state.

They wouldn’t be allowed to openly pack handguns, as in the Wild West. Still, Democrats warned that bills introduced Monday in the state House and Senate could widely expand the presence of deadly weapons in Florida.

“Let’s be clear, Floridians will die if this legislation becomes law,” U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, the Gen-Z former gun-safety organizer turned congressman, said in a written statement.

Still, to House Speaker Paul Renner and a phalanx of county sheriffs who attended a news conference with him in the state Capitol, the overriding question was citizens’ rights to protect themselves under the Second Amendment. They’re calling it “constitutional carry.” But critics use the term permitless carry.

“The Constitution did not give us those rights; our creator gave us those rights. But it does put it down on paper in the Second Amendment. And the courts have interpreted that to mean an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense,” Renner said.

“I think it’s important in the age of political division to know that what we’re about here today is a universal right that applies to each man and woman regardless of race, gender, creed, or background,” he continued.

The bill would eliminate the need for a “government permission slip,” Renner said.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo did not attend the event but endorsed the legislation in a written statement.  “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,” she said…

“Florida has long been at the forefront of supporting their citizens’ right to keep and bear arms,” state director Art Thomm said. “We thank Gov. DeSantis for his steadfast leadership on this issue, Speaker Renner and the Florida Sheriffs Association for their backing, and the millions of law-abiding Florida gun owners for their continued support.”

The law doesn’t go far enough for members of Gun Owners of America who attended the news conference.

“Forty-seven states have open carry. This bill does not address that issue. Only Florida, New York, and Illinois have an outright ban on it. Why are they not going all the way?” state director Luis Vales told the Phoenix.

“That’s what I want. That’s what Gun Owners of America want. That’s what our 2 million-plus members want,” Valdes added.

Read more at Florida Phoenix