Florida Speaker Unveils Constitutional Carry Bill ‘We’re Removing the Government’s Permission Slip’
After declaring the 2nd amendment “central to our freedom,” Florida Speaker of the House Paul Renner removed licensing and training requirements for concealed carry in the state of Florida.
Renner said that Florida “led the nation in concealed carry” but that it was time for the state to remove the burdensome requirements for a concealed carry permit as well. The speaker was flanked by allies in the Florida legislature and sheriffs from across the state.
He triumphantly announced that he was removing the government’s ‘permission slip’ for concealed carry.
Thank you, Representative Brannan, for filing HB 543 and protecting Floridians' right to protect themselves without the need for a government permission slip. pic.twitter.com/LFIH716TZq
— Paul Renner (@Paul_Renner) January 30, 2023
Law enforcement officials from across the state-backed Renner’s proposal in what seemed to be a strong consensus behind the bill introduced by Republican Florida Representative Chuck Brannan.
“It’s about time. Florida is making a huge step,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said.
Other sheriff’s also voiced their support for the legislation.
“We trust people to do the right thing,” said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association.
The Florida Sheriff’s Association announced its support for the bill shortly after it was unveiled in a post on Twitter.
“Our Constitution protects gun ownership rights and the ability to carry a firearm…"
— Florida Sheriffs Association (@FLSheriffs) January 30, 2023
Much of the criticism did not come from gun control advocates but instead came from second amendment groups who believed the bill should be expanded.
Brenden Boudreau, director of field operations for The National Association for Gun Rights, said the bill did not go far enough.
“They shouldn’t be calling this bill constitutional carry,” he said. “It’s a version of permitless carry, but it’s not constitutional carry.”
Luis Valdes, Florida director of Gun Owners of America, said that the bill was a ‘step in the right direction’ but also thought it could be more ambitious. “It is a step in the right direction, and we’ll support the bill, but we think the bill could be better.” He said.
Conservative firebrand and Former State Representative Anthony Sabatini echoed the concerns on Twitter, calling the bill ‘counterfeit carry.’
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
Still, leading second amendment groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), backed the legislation.
🇺🇸 BREAKING NEWS: NRA-Backed Constitutional Carry Introduced in Florida pic.twitter.com/kKGzGAxCBd
— NRA (@NRA) January 30, 2023
Democratic Representatives in Florida said that the legislation would make communities less safe, including Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, who represents Parkland.
“This is not constitutional carry. This is untrained carry,” Hunschofsky said.
“Untrained carry does not make our communities safer.”
Changing a state law that’s been on the books for three decades should be “based on data and facts,” Hunschofsky further said of Renner’s press conference announcing constitutional carry.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, a frequent critic of DeSantis, offered similar reasons why he opposed the bill.
FACT: Permitless carry does not make you safer. States that allow concealed carry have higher gun homicide rates.
DeSantis’ bill would remove:
And he’s proposing it near the 5th anniversary of Parkland https://t.co/N4W3GLAt6V
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 30, 2023
Still, second amendment advocates claim that states who have introduced constitutional carry have not seen an uptick in violent crime, including New Hampshire which showcases one of the lowest violent crime rates in the country.
They have given ample statistical justification for constitutional carry. Just because you don’t acknowledge facts doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
New Hampshire has had constitutional carry on the books since 2017. They have a much lower crime rate than the rest of the country. pic.twitter.com/gFFInNLw3O
— Ty’s Tough Talk🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@toughtalkty) January 30, 2023
Gun rights advocates have frequently argued that defensive gun use, which occurs at higher rates in states with lax gun laws, is an effective deterrent to crime.
“Criminals are less likely to target individuals who may be carrying firearms, and law-abiding citizens are better able to defend themselves against criminal attacks.” One user said.
States with constitutional carry laws have lower crime rates than states with restrictive gun laws. Criminals are less likely to target individuals who may be carrying firearms, and law-abiding citizens are better able to defend themselves against criminal attacks.
— Patriot-Revolution.com Veteran & Retired Attorney (@HiDesertgolf) January 26, 2023
Other stories you may want to read: