Florida anti-gunners moved quickly Monday to attack a proposal that would make the Sunshine State number 26 on the roster of states with so-called “constitutional carry” statutes, following the announcement that Republicans will introduce House Bill 543, which will allow lawful concealed carry without a license.
The measure is being introduced by State Rep. Chuck Brannan (R-Lake City) with a companion bill in the Senate coming from Sen. Jake Collins (R-Tampa). The announcement came Monday morning from House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast), surrounded by other officials including several lawmen.
But the gun prohibition lobby almost immediately launched an effort to defeat the legislation. According to WFLA News, Giffords Florida called the measure “reckless” and claimed it will allow almost anyone to carry a gun in public, without any training or background check.”
However, there is nothing in the bill that allows a felon or anyone else disqualified from owning a firearm to carry it concealed. There is also nothing in the proposal about open carry. This is strictly a concealed carry measure.
The Speaker of the Florida House just announced a permitless carry bill.
No more training, background checks, or permits. Just lawlessness.
There is NOTHING safe about letting anyone and everyone carry loaded guns in crowded spaces, no questions asked.
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) January 30, 2023
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported a group called Prevent Gun Violence Florida is claiming in a statement “Permitless carry laws endanger the public by removing vital safety measures designed to ensure that those carrying concealed weapons have been properly trained and vetted.”
But Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called such rhetoric “nonsense.”
“The gun prohibition lobby will say anything to convince people permitless carry is an awful idea,” Gottlieb stated. “Remember, they also predicted blood flowing in the streets when they opposed shall-issue concealed carry laws from being passed a generation ago. All they could talk about was minor fender-benders and neighborhood disputes turning into gunfights.
“It’s the same rhetoric and the same nonsense all over again,” he observed.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida now has 2.6 million active concealed carry licenses. In its report, the newspaper noted, “The permitless carry approach backed by state Republican leaders doesn’t change current laws for buying a gun. But it would lift the need for a state permit with firearms training.”