The Florida Republicans have passed a bill that would allow individuals to carry concealed loaded weapons anywhere without a permit, a move that has been met with mixed reactions from various groups, NBC News reported. The bill, which eliminates existing requirements for concealed weapons permits, such as background checks, licensing, and firearms training, has been dubbed “constitutional carry” by conservatives and gun rights activists, and “permitless carry” by gun safety activists, supporters of gun restrictions, and neutral groups.
Florida Republicans Allow Concealed Loaded Gun Carry
If the bill is signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida would become the 26th state to allow individuals to carry concealed loaded guns without permits, a trend that has alarmed gun safety groups. Florida has been the site of several mass shootings, including the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018.
Critics have accused DeSantis of trying to win over the MAGA base and boost his national profile by supporting the bill. DeSantis, however, has argued that “a constitutional right should not require a permission slip from the government.”
Despite heavy advertising by gun safety groups opposing the bill, the GOP supermajority in the state Legislature ensured its easy passage. The bill includes measures aimed at increasing school safety, such as creating a standardized school threat assessment process and expanding a program that allows school district employees to carry guns at schools. Democrats in the state have criticized the combination as a political ploy to make the permitless carry proposal more palatable to voters.
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Victory for Florida Republicans?
The passage of the bill allowing concealed loaded gun carry without a permit is a significant victory for Republicans in Florida and across the country who have been pushing for looser gun laws. However, it remains to be seen what impact the law will have on public safety in Florida and whether it will lead to an increase in gun violence.
The bill is one of several priorities DeSantis has set for the current legislative session as he builds out a policy position roadmap ahead of his likely 2024 presidential bid. The Florida Legislature is also considering bills that would further restrict diversity efforts at public universities and expand the ability to sue media outlets for defamation.
In conclusion, Florida Republicans have allowed individuals to carry concealed loaded weapons without a permit, a move that has garnered mixed reactions. While supporters of the bill argue that it upholds their constitutional right to bear arms, opponents fear it will increase the risk of gun violence in the state. The bill’s passage is a significant victory for Republicans in Florida and across the country who have been pushing for looser gun laws, and it remains to be seen what impact the law will have on public safety in Florida.
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