Florida Democrats Respond to Constitutional Carry Proposal

Concealed Carry

Immediately following the House Speaker announcing the expansion of constitutional carry, Florida Democrats responded to the Republican permitless carry proposal.

“Permitless carry is dangerous for Floridians. Responsible gun ownership means knowing how to operate and store your firearm for your own safety and for the safety of those around you,” said Leader Fentrice Driskell, a Tampa Democrat. “Floridians deserve the freedom to be healthy, prosperous, and safe, and as the current data available to us shows, this will not make Floridians safer.”

Orlando Democratic State Representative Anna V. Eskamani blasted the Republican legislation announced by Republican House Speaker Paul Renner.

“Freedom should include the freedom to live a life free of gun violence. That’s not the case today in Florida and it won’t be the case with permitless carry either,” said Rep. Eskamani. “We are experiencing a historically high level of gun violence and the evidence is clear that this policy is bad for public safety, and passing it will be dangerous. Florida families and communities deserve real solutions to address gun violence—not extremist proposals that jeopardize public health and safety.”

Even U.S. Representative Maxwell Alejandro Frost, who represents Orlando in Congress, blasted Florida Republicans, calling their priority “despicable” and that elected officials are “in the pocket of the gun lobby.”

“Two weeks before the 5th anniversary of one of the most tragic and horrible mass shootings in America — one that took place right here in Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — House Republicans are once again making clear where they stand on gun reform by introducing a bill that would allow anyone to carry a loaded gun in Florida,” said U.S. Rep. Frost. “When your state is home to tragedies like the Parkland and Pulse shootings, you would think our leaders would join their communities in rallying behind common-sense gun reform that takes guns off our streets, not puts more on them. But instead, Florida Republican leaders have decided the NRA is more important than Floridians. It’s despicable.”


Rep. Frost added that “Floridians will die if this legislation becomes law.” 

Other Florida Democrats joined a video conference to criticize the legislative proposal.

“Untrained carry does not make our communities safer. We should be focusing on responsible gun ownership which includes universal background checks, safe storage, education, expanded risk protection orders, and regulating ghost guns. Responsible gun ownership leads to safer communities,” said Parkland State Representative Christine Hunschofsky.

“I find it deeply troubling that while just over two weeks from now we will memorialize the 5th Anniversary of the mass shooting at my alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, we are taking steps backwards on common sense gun safety,” said Coral Springs State Representative Dan Daley. “Today’s announcement by Republican Leadership pushing permit-less carry not only takes our state back in time, pre-MSD shooting, but back to the days of the Wild West where gun slingers could wear their guns on their hips and pursue their own “justice” whenever they saw fit. Permit-less carry doesn’t belong in a civilized society, but it’s a priority of Florida’s ‘golden boy’ Governor and presumptive Presidential Candidate, and this Legislature will never stand in his way – regardless of the public safety implications in doing so. There’s a reason law enforcement has opposed this measure in each state who has passed it. According to research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, states who have relaxed restrictions on concealed carry have seen an increase, on average of 12.9 percent, of police involved shootings. We talk about Florida being a pro-law enforcement and public safety state. That is clearly no longer the case.”

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis previously promised constitutional carry would come to Florida. Democrats are still calling on him to stop this legislation from moving forward, but it likely will not make a difference, especially since they constantly attack the politics of the Florida Governor.

“Floridians are done seeing their elected leaders in the pocket of the gun lobby,” said U.S. Rep. Frost. “They’re done seeing their loved ones murdered in the streets because the people they elected to represent them don’t care. I refuse to be that person. This is a reckless, dangerous piece of legislation, and I join survivors and Floridians in calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to put an end to it now.”

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