TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A controversial bill that would allow people in Florida to carry a concealed weapon without a permit has cleared another major hurdle in the state legislature.
Inside the Florida Capitol on Tuesday, the bill eliminating permits required for concealed carrying of a firearm cleared its last house committee.
“We have to go back to the US Constitution,” said State Rep. Chuck Brannan. “People have a right to carry.”
Permitless Carry is gone as the title, the bill is now called Public Safety.
There are additions, like school security enhancements, but opposition remains to the firearm safety measures the bill does not have.
“It’s very difficult to go along with something called Public Safety when it’s relaxing requirements for background checks in order to conceal carry, and it’s also removing the requirement to show competency,” said State Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, who represents Parkland and who previously served as the Mayor of Parkland from 2017 until 2020.
Taking away proof that gun owners know how to safely store and shoot is a concern that been voiced even from NRA-member instructors, but there are others.
“More people walking around with more guns make our communities less safe,” said Florida House Minority Leader Rep. Fentrice Driskell.
Added State Rep. Dan Daley, a Democrat from Coral Springs: “Let’s call Permitless Carry what it is, political carry. It serves no public purpose, no public safety purpose.”
Florida’s Republican super majority has made this one priority, and some Republicans do oppose…that it doesn’t go far enough to allow free and open carry.
“You don’t have to get permission from the government to carry that gun that you already got permission from the government to own,” State Rep. Randy Fine said during an appearance on This Week in South Florida earlier this month.
The bill does not change the law about purchasing a gun and does have a list of places where concealed carry will not be permitted.
With Tuesday’s vote, the bill is ready for the house floor vote when session starts on March 7.
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