DeSantis Affirms Support for Open Carry, Calls on Legislature to Pass the Law
DeSantis gave the Florida legislature his go-ahead on Thursday night, telling a member of a gun rights group about his approval of open carry legislation but doubting that it will happen.
Luis Valdes, Florida director of the Gun Owners of America organization, said he asked DeSantis at a book tour stop in Jacksonville Beach if he would support constitutional carry in 10-second audio clip. “Sir, quick Question, do support open carry, or would you have it added to the current bills?” Valdez asked.
“Yeah, absolutely, I don’t think they’re going to do it but I would, absolutely.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Governor’s office declined to confirm if the clip was authentic and said they did not organize the book tour.
The question comes in the wake of some criticism from DeSantis’ right flank that the current bills making progress through the Florida Legislature do not go far enough, as they currently do not allow for open carry, which permits the carrying of firearms in public and in public view. Constitutional carry provides for the public carrying of firearms without a specialized permit, but the weapons must be concealed
Floridians wants TRUE Constitutional Carry
NOT "Counterfeit Carry"
A Bill with no Open-Carry is NOT Constitutional Carry
We have a GOP SUPER MAJORITY in the Florida Legislature—use it!
Amend the Bill ASAP pic.twitter.com/wL8UftXrw8
— Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) January 30, 2023
Governor spokesman Bryan Griffin did not speak on open carry but re-affirmed that the ideas expressed in the clip are consistent with the Governor’s views on the issue.
“The governor strongly supports the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms, and he has repeatedly stated publicly that he hopes to sign constitutional carry legislation this year,”
Griffin is correct; DeSantis has not been quiet on the issue. In a press conference in December, the Governor announced his support.
“This was something that I’ve always supported. The last two years it was not necessarily a priority for legislative leadership,”
In April earlier that year, he promised he’d get it done.
“I can tell you that before I am done as Governor, we will have a signature on that bill.”
However, based on that recent audio clip, DeSantis is less optimistic about the likelihood of open carry amendments made to the bill.
As it stands now, the constitutional carry bill, 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. After passing through the judiciary committee, it will head to the House floor.
Representative Chuck Brannan (Rep) told the Florida Jolt last month about the bill’s importance, even without an open carry amendment.
“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.”
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