On Monday, Florida lawmakers introduced legislation which would allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a government-issued permit. The move would be historic as it would make the majority of U.S. states permitless-carry territory. HB 543 was introduced by Republican Chuck Brannan and Florida House Speaker Paul Renner and was applauded by a handful of law enforcement officials as a step towards further protecting citizens.
“Our right to bear arms, of course, is enshrined in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Brannan said a press conference in Tallahassee. “The bill that I will file later today continues to advance Second Amendment freedoms through legislation known as constitutional carry.
“I believe Floridians have the right to bear arms to protect themselves, their families and their property without government interference,” he added. “This bill is a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen to keep from having to go through the hoops of getting a permit from the government to carry their weapons.”
Brannan says criminals will get guns not matter what, “They’re breaking into houses, they’re breaking into cars, and they’re carrying guns illegally. They don’t care what the law says. We are only giving our law-abiding citizens a simpler way to have the ability to protect themselves, their families, their homes and their places of business.”
The bill would immediately allow lawful gun owners in the state to conceal carry without obtaining a permit from the government. The National Rifle Association was quick to praise the bill, saying, “The NRA has worked to pass constitutional carry in half of the country. If this bill passes, Florida could become the 26th state to fully recognize your right to self-defense. There is no reason why a law-abiding citizen should have to apply for a government permission slip to carry a firearm to protect themselves and their family.”