Fort Lauderdale—During her “Lower Costs, Higher Standards” town hall meeting and press event at the Mt. Harmon AME Church, Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried was asked if she would veto Republican-led legislative to legalize Constitutional Carry in Florida if she to defeats Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial election.
Earlier in the day, The Floridian reported that Speaker-designate Paul Renner supported passing Constitutional Carry legislation once he gaveled in the 2023 legislative session.
“Yes,” said Commissioner Fried as she argued the case for concealed carry in Florida.
Fried, who reiterated that she owned a firearm, said that she also had a concealed carry license and believed that while citizens had the right to defend themselves, Constitutional Carry was not the way to go.
“The@NRA says I'll take your guns—that's a lie. I own a gun, I'm not anti-gun, I'm pro-public safety,” said Fried during her 2018 campaign for Agriculture Commissioner.
Fried also stuck to her belief that “gun violence” and new comprehensive gun control measures should be entertained in the aftermath of the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
Fried is in a head-to-head Democratic gubernatorial primary race against Rep. Charlie Crist, who Fried has been admonished for his consistently changing positions on many issues, including the gun issue.
"I have a concealed carry permit. I have a gun, I am a supporter of our Second Amendment, I am very supportive of sensible gun laws that need to be passed"- AG Commissioner Nikki Fried
“I don't say things or take positions because I want to win an election. I take positions and I'm supportive of issues because I want to make a difference,” said Fried when asked about Rep. Crist.
Crist, the former Republican Governor of Florida, used to wear his NRA A+ rating on his sleeves, as his support for the “right to bear arms” without any restrictions garnered widespread support throughout Florida’s expansive gun lobby.
Fried is now calling Crist a flip-flopper on this issue, pointing to the fact that in the past Crist has received thousands of dollars in campaign finance from the NRA, and is now supporting gun restrictions, including background checks on every firearm purchase and transfer.
Now a Democrat, Crist recently voted in favor of H.R. 8, the “Background Check Expansion Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Crist was also a proponent of citizens being able to own AR-15-style rifles, but not anymore.
Crist’s “Safer Florida for All” plan calls for expanding background checks, preventing domestic abusers from having access to firearms, prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines and “assault weapons.”
Gov. DeSantis supports Constitutional Carry in Florida and has called for the Florida legislature to send him over a bill that he can sign into law.
Fried things that DeSantis’ call for Constitutional Carry legislation is “absurd political pandering” and “an insult to the memories and families of every victim of gun violence.”
“This is absurd political pandering from the Governor of a state that has experienced some of the worst mass shootings in our country’s history and in a nation where we have the highest rates of gun violence in the world. It’s an insult the memories and families of every victim of gun violence. We should be passing laws to prevent gun violence and working to fix our state’s affordable housing crisis, not creating chaos to score political points,” said Fried in a statement back on April 29, 2022.