Constitutional Carry Passes First Hurdle in Florida-‘Citizens Have a Right to Protect Themselves’
Law-abiding Floridians shouldn’t need a government permission slip to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms, says the majority office for the Florida House, regarding what’s sure to be one of the most hotly debated bills in the Florida House 2023 session.
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HB 543, sponsored by Representative Chuck Brannan (Rep), entitled Concealed Carry of Weapons and Firearms Without a License, has passed the Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law, and Government Operations committee. As it stands right now, the Judiciary Committee is the next stop. Then it will go to the House floor.
The companion bill, SB 150, by state Senator Jay Collins (Rep), entitled Public Safety, hasn’t moved through any committees yet. Still, it is unlikely that this bill will not have the support it needs since Governor DeSantis has stated that constitutional carry is one of his top priorities.
Many are concerned about this bill because they think that taking away the need to obtain a concealed carry permit means a free-for-all for anyone to have a gun on them at all times. Not so, says Representative Brannan, who had this to say to Florida Jolt ;
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and the Florida Constitution also guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves. At least 25 other states, including our neighbors in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, have recognized that guarantee by authorizing their citizens to carry a concealed firearm without requiring them to obtain a license issued by the government.
This bill is a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen protect themselves, their families, and their businesses without government interference. It also will not change who can and cannot carry a gun. People that are prohibited now will still be prohibited.
This bill will allow Floridians to conceal carry their firearm without the red tape, expense, and wait to receive a government license. It recognizes that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, its citizens have a right to protect themselves. Florida will not come between you and your freedom to protect yourself. ~Representative Chuck Brannan
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Many believe that open carry and constitutional carry are the same, but they’re not. Constitutional carry is the right to carry a concealed firearm. A right protected by the constitution as opposed to openly carrying a gun, visible to the public, reminiscent of the Wild West.
The main point of this bill, should it pass, Florida residents should not be burdened with the onerous additional step of obtaining a permit to exercise their second amendment constitutional right. Those in support of this bill see this new law as righting a wrong.
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