Legislation introduced by lawmakers in Florida could potentially hand gun owners throughout the rest of the country a significant victory.
Republican state Rep. Chuck Brannan and Florida House Speaker Paul Renner introduced HB 543 on Monday.
The bill “authorizes person to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm if he or she is licensed to do so or meets specified requirements; requires person who is carrying concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license to carry identification & display upon demand by law enforcement.”
It also “prohibits person who is carrying concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license from carrying such weapon or firearm in specified locations; authorizes nonresident to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm in this state if he or she meets same requirements as resident; provides person authorized to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license is subject to specified penalties for possessing such weapon or firearm at school-sponsored event or on school property.”
#TheFloridaWay respects Floridians' right to bear arms. HB 543 ensures that those who are eligible to own a gun do not need additional permission from the government to carry it. pic.twitter.com/7aYv1J00cd
— Paul Renner (@Paul_Renner) January 30, 2023
Renner explained during a news conference, “Florida led the nation in allowing for concealed carry, and that extends today as we remove the government permission slip to exercise a constitutional right.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has made it clear he would support the bill.
As reported yesterday, Florida House Speaker Paul Renner and Florida State Sen. Jay Collins have just announced legislation to introduce permitless gun carry in Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has stated he will support the bill. https://t.co/aIc7eWN8AA
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) January 30, 2023
The executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, Jason Ouimet, told Fox News the organization has “worked to pass constitutional carry in half of the country.”
He added, “If this bill passes, Florida could become the 26th state to fully recognize your right to self-defense. There is no reason why a law-abiding citizen should have to apply for a government permission slip to carry a firearm to protect themselves and their family.”
Still, the bill has received opposition from Democrats.
Rep. Christine Hunschofsky (D-Parkland) told Politico, “We are united in opposition to this policy proposal.”
Her district notably includes the scene of the 2018 shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, leaving 17 dead.
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