Florida Legislature OKs concealed carry of guns without a permit

Under bill, a gun owner would only need a driver’s license to conceal carry a gun

Handguns at a shop. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) (Robert F. Bukaty, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Senate passed its permitless carry bill Thursday, sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.

The bill would allow people to carry concealed guns in Florida without needing a permit to do so. It passed 27-13 in the Florida Senate. The bill had already passed the House.

HB 543 would allow also allow concealed carry without state licensure, background screenings and required training. The gun owner would only have to carry a Florida driver’s license.

Read the full bill below:

Nearly 3 million Floridians have a concealed weapons permit. While a background check and a three-day waiting period will still be required to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, they are not required for private transactions or exchanges of weapons.

People can still obtain permits to avoid the purchase waiting period and to carry in states with reciprocal agreements.

Supporters of the bill insist it will remove barriers that violate the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, while also acting as a deterrent for mass shootings because people will be able to defend themselves.

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Critics say the measure will flood the streets with guns, gun violence and potential accidental shootings.

Democrats attempted to add a raft of amendments to the bill Wednesday, including one by State Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, that would have required firearms to be safely stored and upped the penalties if a child got their hands on a gun that was not safely stored.

All of those amendments were rejected by the Republican majority in the Senate.

The bill also provides money for school hardening and takes other steps to address school safety, including coordinating threat-assessment services, allowing armed “guardians” in private schools and calling for firearm-detection dogs at schools.

DeSantis has said he would sign a permitless carry bill if the legislature passes it.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.