Governor DeSantis Didn’t Mention Constitutional Carry During His ‘State of the State’ Speech – What Could This Mean?

Toby Hazlewood

Vague mentions of the second amendment but no promises

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On January 11 Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis made his 'State of the State' address, kicking off the 2022 legislative season. In the speech he set out his priorities and intentions for the year. Many Floridians will have been watching with interest to see if they agree with his points of focus.

Many of his points will appeal to those on both sides of the political aisle; $1000 bonuses for teachers, school principals and first responders would be a measure that few could take issue with. The same is true of a proposed suspension of state taxes on gas.

Then there were the things that are more contentious such as the proposed ban from teaching critical race theory in Florida's schools.

What seemed most notable through its absence, was any real mention of proposals to adopt constitutional carry of firearms in the state. Changes to gun laws would effectively remove the need for permits or training for those who want to own and carry guns.

Gov. DeSantis didn't make any real mention of the change in law which was disappointing to those who favor looser restrictions on gun ownership.

A vague mention of the second amendment

If Florida were to adopt constitutional carry it would join 20 other states including Texas that now allow permit-less carry of firearms for citizens who are old enough and who haven't been convicted of a felony. Many are against this loosening of control and point to continued issues of gun-related violence that have followed similar legal changes in other states.

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There was nothing explicit in the Governor's speech to suggest that it's a priority for him, based on his general comments about second amendment rights:

"I also recommend that the Legislature strengthen protections for Floridians’ 2nd Amendment rights. These important rights should not depend on the whims of politicians who reject the existence of those rights." - Gov. DeSantis

What happens next?

The legislative season will consider 13 bills related to gun-control, and Gov. DeSantis has indicated he is willing to approve constitutional carry if it is approved more widely in the state legislature. Whether it gets that far remains to be seen.

What are your feelings about gun control in Florida? Are you in favor of more relaxed rules in line with the second amendment, or do you believe this will result in more gun-related violence? Let me know in the comments section below.

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