Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a “permitless carry” bill into law on April 3, making Florida the 26th state to do so, according to pro-Second Amendment groups.
The legislation, passed by the Florida Legislature, allows people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and without state-mandated training. It will go into effect starting July 1.
John Velleco, executive vice president of Gun Owners of America, confirmed to the Miami Herald that DeSantis, a Republican, signed the legislation in front of a group of about 20 people. An official with the National Rifle Association (NRA) also confirmed DeSantis signed the measure.
After DeSantis’s signature, Florida is now the 26th state in the United States to allow permitless carry, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). Before Monday, DeSantis said he would sign the bill into law.
There has been debate about the meanings of the terms “permitless carry” and “constitutional carry.” The USCCA says the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, the group notes on its website that permitless carry can refer to laws in states that allow people to openly carry a firearm without a permit, but that require a permit for concealed carry.
Ahead of the bill signing, DeSantis said that Florida supports the Second Amendment during a book tour event on March 30.
“You don’t need a permission slip from the government to be able to exercise your constitutional rights,” he said.
The sponsor of the measure, Republican state Rep. Chuck Brannan, said residents should be able to carry their firearms without “government interference or local preemption.”
“In the State of Florida, government bureaucracy will no longer stand between law-abiding Floridians and their freedom to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Brannan said in a statement. “This bill recognizes that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, its citizens have a right to protect themselves.”
The measure passed 76–32 in the House and 27–13 in the Senate, mostly along party lines. Democrats, who opposed the bill, said it would cause a spike in gun-related crimes and deaths.
Democrat state Sen. Shevrin Jones wrote after the bill’s passage that “guns are killing our children and tearing apart families. It’s not books, it’s not drag queens, it’s not even ‘wokeness’, it’s guns!”
“Even with the loss of these precious lives, the FL legislature is STILL pressing forward with its permitless carry bill. It’s a damn shame,” he wrote.
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