The Tampa Bay Times has reported that the “permitless carry” bill (HB 543) has passed in the Florida House of Representatives. Assuming the likely possibility that it will pass in the Senate, the bill is now incredibly close to Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) desk.
Sponsored by state Representative Chuck Brannan (R), the legislation is not an “open carry” bill or a “constitutional carry” bill that gun rights activists in Florida have stood up for and supported for months, but the bill does look to remove the current bureaucratic steps it takes in order to conceal carry a firearm.
“Florida will not come between you and your freedom to protect yourself anymore,” stated Rep. Brannan.
The bill passed in the House by a vote of 76-32.
Despite supporting open carry, gun rights activists such as Matt Collins have called out Gov. Ron DeSantis and even his leadership skills due to his inability to get open carry across the finish line in the state legislature.
“I like Gov. DeSantis, but quite frankly, the inability to get open carry included in this bill is embarrassing for him,” said gun activist Matt Collins said. “It’s failed leadership and it’s weak. And finally, it begs the question that if the governor cannot get a very friendly Legislature to add open carry to this bill, then how do we think he’s going to do trying to convince Congress to act on anything if he becomes president?”
Speaker of the State House Paul Renner (R-FL) was supportive of the current bill despite it not having open carry.
“There are a lot of things I don’t get as speaker that I want, and I’m very, very happy that this bill moves us forward, expands rights in a way that are material and important,” Speaker Renner said.
The Senate version of the bill (SB 150) will be voted on sometime in the near-future.