A renewed push for permit-less carry of handguns
On April 13 Florida Representative and Republican Anthony Sabatini made a renewed call for the state legislature to consider and pass constitutional carry legislation. In a letter shared on Twitter, Rep. Sabatini shared that Governor Ron DeSantis had "demanded" the session after bill HB103 was rejected during the 2022 legislative season.
According to Sabatini, HB103 was blocked by so-called RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) as it had been in previous years, meaning that Floridians would still require a permit before buying and carrying handguns and other firearms in the state. HB103 was sponsored by Sabatini and was intended to remove the need for gun permits in the state.
If Florida had passed the bill it would have joined 20+ other states including Texas that allow permit-less carry of handguns. Instead, the bill was rejected. Well it now seems that Rep. Sabatini is acting on Gov. DeSantis' demand to revisit the matter.
Would constitutional carry be a good or a bad thing?
The bill is likely being revisited after numerous other Republican states pushed forwards with constitutional carry. In Indiana, constitutional carry was approved in spite of initially being rejected in committee discussions. It is now possible to carry a gun openly in the state. Ohio and Alabama also adopted constitutional carry during this legislative season.
Constitutional carry laws came into effect in Texas in September 2021 - allowing handguns to be carried in the state without any requirement for licenses, training, finger-printing for gun-owners or even a shooting proficiency test for anyone wanting to buy a handgun.
In the first 7 days after the law changed in Texas on September 1 there were 35 gun-related deaths and 7 injuries - 15 of those deaths occurred in Houston alone.
What happens next?
Rep. Sabatini has previously been dismissive of the value of gun permits, stating that requiring individuals to get a permit to bear arms was akin to asking for:
“...a permission slip from government before concealing a weapon for their self defense.”
In the past there have been objections to constitutional carry in Florida from politicians on both sides of the political aisle. It might just be that this renewed push from Rep. Sabatini is what's needed to finally bring a change in the law in Florida. Time will tell what the effects of this could be.
Are you in favor of constitutional carry of guns in Florida or do you believe it will be a dangerous move, putting guns more easily in the hands of criminals? Let me know in the comments section below.