Bill proposing changes to Florida’s concealed carry laws clears 1st hurdle in Tallahassee

Bill passed committee in a 10 to 5 party-line vote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A bill looking to allow Floridians to carry concealed firearms without a license is moving forward after clearing its first hurdle in the state House.

The bill, HB 543, passed through the House Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law, & Government Operations Subcommittee in a 10 to 5 vote along party lines with the committee’s GOP majority pushing it forward.

In addition to removing the requirement for a license to carry a concealed weapon, the bill also only requires a person that wants to conceal carry to have a valid ID on them while carrying the firearm.

It also allows for non-Florida residents to be able to carry a concealed weapon while in the state, if they meet requirements including having a valid license to carry a concealed firearm in their state.

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Members in the House Constitutional Rights subcommittee heard six proposed amendments to the bill, but they all failed.

The bill also heard hours of public comment from both sides of the gun debate.

“This bill will again in no way change who can carry, where they can carry,” one commenter said. “It simply removes the requirement for them to ask the government for permission and waives the fee.”

“Proponents of this bill said that it will make Florida a more free state, but I submit that a life in constant fear of being injured or killed by a gunman is not a free life,” another said.

The bill now moves on to the judiciary committee before it can head to the House floor for a full vote.

Read the full bill below:

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.