Sheriff on the side of constitutional freedom
It was recently reported that a well-known Sheriff from Brevard County in Florida - Sheriff Wayne Ivey - is pushing for the rights of Florida's gun owners to openly carry their handguns, exercising what he believes is the most literal interpretation of second amendment constitutional freedoms.
From Saturday July 1, it became legal for gun owners in Florida to carry a concealed firearm about their person without a permit. The law which was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in a surprisingly small (some might say, covert) ceremony in April of this year.
And now, Sheriff Ivey of Brevard County believes that the next logical extension of second amendment freedoms is to allow open carry of handguns just as is legal to some degree in 45 other states.
As Sheriff Ivey put it during an interview earlier in November:
“I just want our citizens to have the absolute rights they’re guaranteed by the Constitution and I think we’ll eventually get there.”
Ivey continued, stating why he believes that open carry is embedded within constitutional freedoms:
“It says you have the right to bear arms. It doesn’t say you have to conceal it. It doesn’t say you have to have a permit, anything of that nature. You don’t have to have a permit to exercise your First Amendment right, so why would you need one to exercise your Second Amendment right?”
DeSantis criticized for relaxing gun controls
While gun owners likely applauded the move by Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis when he signed constitutional carry into law, Democrats were less enthusiastic.
As news emerged that DeSantis had signed the new law in the immediate aftermath of another school shooting in the United States, comments made by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made it abundantly clear that it was the timing of the new law coming into effect as well as the substance of it that were viewed extremely negatively:
"It is shameful that so soon after another tragic school shooting, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a permit-less concealed carry bill behind closed doors, which eliminates the need to get a license to carry a concealed weapon."
Another Democrat, and vocal critic of Ron DeSantis - Governor Gavin Newsom of California - has also repeated his concerns about the danger presented by guns, going back to when DeSantis promised in late 2022 that he would push for permit-less concealed carry in 2023. Guns are likely to feature when Newsom and DeSantis finally hold their long-awaited debate on November 30.
DeSantis would relax gun controls if elected president
What's also become increasingly clear, is that Ron DeSantis sees campaigning for the rights of gun owners as a key part of his presidential campaign strategy. Earlier this year he suggested that he would push for national concealed carry if elected to the White House.
He has also attacked other Republican candidates, including Nikki Haley and even the one-term former president Donald Trump based on their records related to guns. In DeSantis' view, neither is as in favor of constitutional freedoms as he is.
It remains to be seen whether Sheriff Ivey's hopes for open carry in Florida will ever come into effect.
Do you think it would be a positive for gun owners to allow open carry in Florida? Would you feel safer or more at risk with guns more visible in society? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.