Open Carry to be Debated by Florida Legislature

Open Carry to be Debated by Florida Legislature

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
January 9, 2024

Florida legislators could soon enact laws permitting individuals to freely and openly carry firearms thanks to Representative Mike Beltran’s (R-70) recently filed bill.

Representative Beltran’s bill would also deregulate certain aspects of concealed carrying in Florida. 

First, Beltran’s proposal would make it completely legal for Floridians to openly carry any legal weapon or firearm while out in public. If passed, Florida law would be updated to permit “for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any otherwise legal firearm or electric weapon or device.”

Beltran’s legislation would also streamline concealed carry weapons permit application processes by removing application fees, which can amount to hundreds of dollars. 

Additionally, the law would remove prohibitions on concealed or open carrying on university campuses and on storing firearms in personal vehicles. 

As such, Beltran’s proposal represents an ambitious liberalization attempt of Florida’s firearm regulations. Beltran already moved to legalize open carry during the last legislative session in a failed attempt to amend concealed carry bill HB 543. 

HB 543 was ultimately signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, which removed requirements for a government-issued permit for concealed carry in Florida. 

If Beltran’s new attempt succeeds, open carry could be legal in Florida upon Governor DeSantis’ approval. 

Florida republicans seem to be pushing for firearm law reform as representatives Tommy Gregory (R-72) and Tyler Sirois (R-31) have also filed additional firearm deregulation legislation. 

Representatives’ Gregory and Sirois’ bill would repeal current laws prohibiting the sale or public display of firearms or ammunition during an officially declared state of emergency. 

Nationally, Senator Rick Scott (R-Fl) filed the Protect American Gun Exporter Act to nullify President Joe Biden’s recent ban on gun exports. 

Senator Scott’s proposal responds to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) announcement of a 90-day ban on the export of firearms, ammunition, and component parts.  

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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