Gun Laws & Legislation

DeSantis Signs Florida Constitutional Carry Into Law

(Photo by CHENEY ORR/AFP via Getty Images)

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Florida joined 25 other states Monday after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed permitless concealed carry legislation, often referred to as “Constitutional Carry,” into law.

The newly-enacted bill, HB 543, allows Floridians to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, bolstering Second Amendment rights throughout the state. However, the bill leaves in place previous background check requirements.

“Constitutional Carry is in the books,” DeSantis said in a statement accompanying the press release. (RELATED:Florida’s Upcoming Legislative Session To Include Long List Of GOP-Backed Bills)

The legislation requires that those who carry without a permit have valid ID on their person and readily provide it to law enforcement if asked, the law reads. Nonresidents are also allowed to carry a concealed firearm if they meet the same requirements as Floridians.

“This is an historic day as the majority of states in our nation now recognize the inherent right of every citizen to defend themselves, their loved ones and their communities with a firearm. On behalf of our 750,000 members nationwide, the USCCA thanks the Florida Legislature, Governor Ron DeSantis, and the countless Second Amendment champions across the country who have played a role in ensuring more responsible gun owners can exercise this fundamental right,” U.S. Concealed Carry Association Chairman and Co-Founder Tim Schmidt said in a statement.

Permit-holders will no longer be required to carry their license on them while in possession of a concealed firearm, according to the law. The Office of Safe Schools is now required to create a “behavioral threat management operational process,” the law reads. This provision comes after last week’s Nashville, Tennessee school shooting where 3 students and 3 adults were shot and killed.

Florida’s legislative session began on March 7 and will conclude on May 5, and has a long list of GOP-backed bills the governor is pushing through ahead of an expected 2024 presidential announcement. DeSantis recently signed a bill that created a universal school choice program and introduced legislation to ban abortion after 6 weeks gestation.

Two pieces of legislation were introduced to expand on the Parental Rights in Education bill by focusing on LGBTQ students and the use of preferred pronouns. Teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity would be restricted from K – 8, as opposed to the previous K – 3.

The concealed carry law will go into effect on July 1.

“Our members and law-abiding gun owners from coast to coast know that exercising a right does not eliminate personal responsibility. Firearms education and training are fundamental to their ability to protect themselves and others, but they don’t need a government mandate forcing them into it. The USCCA will continue to support policies like constitutional carry in the states and National Concealed Carry Reciprocity in Congress,” Schmidt said in a statement.

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