Floridians split on open-carry gun law

Lawmakers propose making Florida an open-carry state

ORLANDO, Fla. – The debate over controversial open-carry gun laws is taking place in Florida.

Two state lawmakers, Don Gaetz and his son, Matt, are proposing legislation that would make Florida an open-carry state, meaning people with concealed weapons permits could openly carry firearms. 

A recent poll by the Tampa Bay Times and News 6 sister station WTSP-TV in Tampa found that registered voters were split down the middle.

While 49 percent were in favor of making Florida an open-carry state, 49 percent were also against it.

Of the supporters, 33 percent support open-carry for only people with a concealed weapons permit. Sixteen percent support open-carry for all legal gun owners.

Several law enforcement officials, including Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, have spoken out against the change, while groups like the NRA support the measure.

Lawmakers will likely discuss the proposed bill when the legislative session starts next week.