Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has promised to sign a “Constitutional Carry” bill if it reaches his desk, and his Democrat challenger—anti-gun Democrat Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried—is already taking him to task, calling the promise “absurd political pandering,” according to WSVN News.
Fried’s office is responsible for issuing Florida Concealed Firearms Licenses, and Sunshine State gun rights activists have complained about her administration.
DeSantis, eyed as a potential 2024 candidate for the presidency, reportedly told an audience at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago facility two months ago that he expects such legislation to come from a special session, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. WSVN says a special session will begin May 23.
If DeSantis gets a bill to sign, it will make Florida the 26th state to adopt such a law, and it will cause the gun prohibition lobby heartburn, grassroots activists suggest. More than half of the nation will then be “Constitutional Carry” jurisdictions.
Fried’s statement was quoted in part by WSVN: “This is absurd political pandering from the governor of a state that has experienced some of the worst mass shootings in our country’s history and in a nation where we have the highest rates of gun violence in the world. It’s an insult [to] the memories and families of every victim of gun violence.”
Fred Guttenberg, father of a 17-year-old girl who was among the victims at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and a gun control activist, posted a message on Twitter ripping DeSantis and declaring there is “no such thing as Constitutional carry.”
Let's be clear. There is no such thing as Constitutional carry. It is a marketing term for weak feckless people like Desantis to avoid saying permitless open carry. Ron, grab yourself by the testicles and be prepared for me. https://t.co/D4pXfjMsYK
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) April 29, 2022
Florida is currently one of the top states for licensed concealed carry with more than 2 million active licenses in circulation, including many held by non-residents. Florida’s license is recognized by many other states.
DeSantis may be one of the top contenders for the Republican nomination, though Trump has apparently signaled he may run again. Both men are strong on gun rights.
Georgia became No. 25 last month when Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation. This year, three other states also went “Constitutional” against opposition from the gun control lobby: Ohio, Alabama and Indiana.