Florida Republicans are pushing a gun bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit & no training KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Saturday, February 11, 2023

Florida Republicans are pushing a gun bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit & no training

Florida Republicans are pushing a gun bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit & no training.

Florida is set to become the 26th state to allow citizens to carry firearms without a permit under legislation outlined Monday by Republican House Speaker Paul Renner.

Conservatives and gun rights groups in Florida have long pushed to give Florida residents to ability to carry firearms with a permit, known by supporters as “constitutional carry,” but past legislation has routinely gotten bogged down. This year’s efforts are bolstered by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has repeatedly said he would sign a permitless carry bill if lawmakers sent it to his desk.

As the 2023 legislative session approaches, though, the Renner-led House appears to be taking point on getting the bill through the Legislature.

“Florida led the nation in allowing for concealed carry, and that extends today as we remove the government permission slip to exercise a constitutional right,” Renner said Monday during a news conference, where he was flanked by a handful of county sheriffs.

Renner spearheaded the press conference, a signal it’s a clear top priority for the speaker, but the bill is being sponsored by state Rep. Chuck Brannan (R-Lake City) and state Sen. Jay Collins (R-Tampa). Lawmakers did not formally file a bill at the time of the news conference but are expected to by Monday afternoon.

Under the proposal, the state will no longer require individuals to get a permit from Florida to own a gun. The state also won’t mandate other provisions, including a training requirement needed to get a permit. Permits would still be an option for gun owners who want to get them, something needed to be able to legally carry a gun in states that do not have permitless carry.

Newsom was referring to a bill introduced by state Rep. Chuck Brannan III, R-Macclenny, that would allow people to carry concealed guns in public without a Florida license. DeSantis hasn’t commented publicly on the bill, HB 543, but has said he would sign a bill allowing people to carry firearms in public without a permit.

Does HB 543 remove gun background checks, instruction, training and oversight, as Newsom claimed?

Because getting a license becomes voluntary under the bill, those requirements would no longer be needed to carry a gun in Florida. But the concealed carry license would remain for those who want it, and background checks on gun purchases from federal dealers would remain in effect.

HB 543 would not eliminate the requirements for obtaining a concealed carry license in Florida. But people would no longer be required to have such a license before entering public spaces with a concealed firearm.

A Newsom spokesperson told PolitiFact that the governor was “referencing the fact that these requirements would become voluntary under this new law.”

Under existing Florida law, people who wish to carry concealed weapons in public must obtain a license from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Applicants must:

Be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States;
Be at least 21 years old;
“Desire a legal means to carry a concealed weapon” for lawful self-defense;
Pass a fingerprint-based background check;
Complete a firearms training class, among other requirements.
More than 2 million Floridians have a concealed weapon license, according to the agriculture department.

If passed, HB 543 will authorize people to conceal weapons in public, without a license, if they meet the age and citizenship or permanent residency criteria, among other requirements. However, people don’t need to pass a background check, demonstrate competency with a firearm or affirm that the weapon is for self-defense.

The bill requires gun carriers to have valid government-issued ID and present it to a law enforcement officer when asked.

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