Bill that would allow concealed carry weapons without a permit, training heads to Gov. DeSantis’ desk
TAMPA, Fla. - A bill that would allow you to carry concealed weapons without a permit or training is headed to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk.
The Florida Senate approved the bill in a 27 to 13 vote on Thursday.
Opponents say the bill will create a back door for thousands of people whose applications are rejected each year and doesn’t incentivize people to get proper firearms training.
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"What does this bill do to ensure responsible gun ownership? It goes backwards because there’s no training. Nobody is learning how to use a gun properly or store a gun properly unless they choose to take that kind of training on their own," said Senator Tina Scott Polsky.
Some gun rights advocates criticize the bill, because they say it isn’t truly "constitutional carry," because it doesn’t allow Floridians to carry their weapons in the open.
However, supporters also say the bill restores freedom for Floridians.
"This bill attempts to return the God-given rights of humanity, the God-given rights of self-defense, the God-given rights that weren’t given to us by government, but the God-given rights that were given to us because of the essence of how we were made and who we were made from," said Senator Jonathan Martin.
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Governor DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law. If and when he does, firearms experts say it’ll be up to Floridians to make smart choices without the government requiring permits, training or background checks.
"This is a major responsibility," said Ryan Thomas, a firearms instructor and owner of Warrior Cloud. "If you are choosing to own a firearm, you have a responsibility to develop your skills to the point that you actually know what to do and when you are legally allowed to do it."
Thomas says he has trained more than 80,000 people in Hillsborough County on how to safely use and store guns. He says he supports the bill, but stresses the importance of taking the initiative to learning about gun safety.
"If I bought my daughter, a young 16-year-old a Lamborghini, she is going to crash and die, because, just because she has an amazing tool, doesn’t mean she understands how to use the tool," Thomas said. "So just because somebody owns a gun, doesn’t mean they actually understand how to use that firearm the right way, and if you’re going to move into this lifestyle and actually own a gun, carry a gun, then you need to invest the time and the energy to make sure you have a deep understanding of this subject matter."
If Governor DeSantis signs the bill, it will go into effect in July.