DeSantis’ signature tips US into majority 'constitutional carry' nation with new Florida gun rights law

The U.S. now has a majority of states with constitutional carry laws on the books after Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday that eliminates the requirement for an individual to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm.  

"The NRA applauds Florida for becoming the 26th state to adopt the vital Constitutional Carry legislation. This NRA-spearheaded initiative empowers Floridians to exercise their Second Amendment rights without undue bureaucratic barriers, affirming the fundamental right to self-defense," NRA-ILA Interim Executive Director Randy Kozuch exclusively told Fox News Digital in a statement.

The Florida Senate voted 27 to 13 last week on the constitutional carry bill, sending the legislation to DeSantis, who signed it into law on Monday morning. There were already 25 states that had permitless or "constitutional carry" laws on the books, meaning Florida tipped the U.S. into becoming a constitutional carry-majority nation.

The law allows eligible citizens 21 years of age and up to carry without asking the government for a permit and without paying a fee. The legislation does not change who is eligible to obtain a carry permit, and those who still wish to get a permit may do so under the law. 

READ: Pinellas sheriff: Florida's constitutional carry bill 'protects people’s right to protect themselves'

"We thank Gov. DeSantis for his support of self-defense and Second Amendment laws and for prioritizing the safety and security of Florida residents. This historic moment is a testament to the dedication of the NRA, our members, gun owners, and Second Amendment supporters working together in the state. Today's NRA victory inspires us to continue advocating for Constitutional Carry laws across the nation, ensuring the protection of Second Amendment rights for all Americans," Kozuch added in his comment to Fox. 

"We extend our gratitude to the Florida legislature and all those who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality in the Sunshine State."

The law will officially go into effect on July 1, 2023.

READ: Gun legislation proposed by Tampa Bay senator causing controversy

Republicans in the state argued over the last few months that the bill would further protect residents and their families from potential crimes, while also continuing to advance Second Amendment freedoms. 

"This bill is a big step, a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen, to keep them from having to go through the hoops of getting a permit from the government to carry their weapon," Republican state Rep. Chuck Brannan said last month. 

Florida state Democrats and activists argued that easier access to conceal carry would lead to more violence. 

Neighboring Georgia became the 25th state with a constitutional carry law on the books when Gov. Brian Kemp signed a similar bill nearly one year ago.