Gun owners get right to carry without a permit in Florida – but not where lawmakers meet
The Florida Senate Thursday approved doing away with licensing requirements to carry a gun into most public places – but not into the Senate chamber where the bill was approved.
The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has promised to sign the proposal, although it does not include an open carry provision, which he has also endorsed.
The measure allows individuals eligible for a concealed weapons license to carry a firearm without a CWL. The Department of Agriculture has issued more than 2.6 million CWLs. The license, requiring a background check, training, and fees, will still exists as an option for Floridians who wish to carry weapons in states that have a concealed carry reciprocity agreement with Florida.
2024 campaign: Ron DeSantis hits the road again to bolster his case against Donald Trump
DeSantis makes appearance at 'World's Largest Gun Store'
While Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee argued the proposal, DeSantis boosted his pro-gun reputation by greeting fans at a gun store outside Atlanta in what many see as part of a build-up to a run for the Republican presidential nomination.
The store bills itself as the “World's Largest Gun Store,” and had been used as campaign stops in 2020 by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, then-U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker. Conservatives have protested a recent inspection of the shop by federal authorities.
The permitless carry bill loosens gun regulations in the wake of a mass shooting at a Tennessee elementary school March 28, the 128th incident in which a gun was used to either injure or kill four or more individuals – or one every 16.7 hours since January 1, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive.
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James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on him Twitter: @CallTallahasse
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida lawmakers give gun owners right to carry without permit