Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’s aiming to allow Floridians to express their second amendment rights by publicly carrying firearms without a permit or without a training course.
He has promised to sign this into law before leaving the governor’s office. This policy is known as “constitutional carry.” DeSantis made the promise while addressing citizens near Gainesville on Friday.
“I can’t tell you exactly when, but I’m pretty confident that I will be able to sign ‘constitutional carry’ into law in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “I can’t tell you if it’s going to be next week, six months, but I can tell you that before I am done as Governor, we will have a signature on that bill.”
Under current state laws, handgun owners are required to get a license to carry weapons in most public places. In order to get a concealed weapon permit, owners must take a firearms training class. Gun owners can carry their guns without a permit in certain limited circumstances: for example, while hunting or while traveling to and from a hunting expedition.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat whose department oversees the state’s concealed carry permit program, blasted DeSantis’ call for permit free carry in a statement on Friday.
“This is absurd political pandering from the governor of a state that has experienced some of the worst mass shootings in our country’s history and in a nation where we have the highest rates of gun violence in the world,” Fried said. “It’s an insult (to) the memories and families of every victim of gun violence.”
Fried is campaigning for the Democratic nomination for governor to oppose DeSantis in his re-election bid in November.
25 states have already enacted a permit free carry law, according to the United States Concealed Carry Association.
Andrew Warren, the Democratic State Attorney for Hillsborough County, also blasted the idea of “permit less carry” in a series of tweets Friday.
“Permit less carry is not a (constitutional) issue,” Warren tweeted. “No sane person thinks the (Second Amendment) protects owning a nuclear weapon, which shows (the Constitution) permits reasonable regulations on (the) right to bear arms. Only issue is whether it’s reasonable to require permit to conceal, and it is.”
A spokesperson for the Florida Sheriffs Association said the organization’s legislative committee had not discussed anything related to constitutional carry because no such bill has been heard by the Legislature.
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