Constitutional carry gun law passes Florida House

Bill allows people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a state permit.

The bill, HB 543, passed with 76 yeas and 32 nays Friday afternoon, with a version, SB 150, ready to go before the full Florida Senate.

Republican supporters of the bill call it a “public safety” measure.

“This bill is a big step, a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen, to keep them from having to go through the hoops of getting a permit from the government to carry their weapon,” said State Rep. and bill sponsor Chuck Brannan, R-Macclenny. “It is also not going to change who can and who cannot carry a gun. People that are prohibited now are still going to be prohibited.”

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The bill allows people to carry concealed firearms without going through background screening and training that is currently required to have a concealed carry license.

Democrats argue easing gun restrictions will lead to increased violence.

“I want to make sure that the right people who are supposed to have access to guns are the ones who do while ensuring those that are not supposed to don’t,” said State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando.

An analysis of studies by the Rand Corporation in January found that evidence for a relationship between permitless-carry laws and gun violence was inconclusive.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has already signaled his intention to sign the bill.

Information from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.