Florida’s Republican-controlled state legislature passed a bill Thursday, permitting the concealed carry of loaded guns without a permit.
The bill now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has stated previously his intent to sign the decision into law.
Under the current law, Florida residents who wish to carry a concealed firearm in public must first obtain a license from the state and go through a series of background checks.
The new law would cancel these measures, allowing anyone to carry a loaded weapon as long as they have a valid ID on them at the time, or risk a $25 fine. However, those barred from carrying or buying guns under other Florida laws would still be restricted.
The ruling comes just three days after Monday’s mass shooting in Nashville, which DeSantis has not yet spoken about publicly.
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The governor, who is presumed to be a 2024 presidential candidate, has previously spoken out in favor of “permitless” or “constitutional” carry.
“A constitutional right should not require a permission slip from the government. It is time we joined 25 other states to enact constitutional carry in the state of Florida,” he said in an address to the Florida legislature last month.
Once signed, the law will indeed make Florida the 26th state to allow residents to carry concealed loaded weapons anywhere without a permit.
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The proposition has alarmed gun safety groups, who have mounted a significant ad campaign attempting to gather opposition to the bill. But the campaign seems to have had little affect on the GOP supermajority that exists in the state legislature.
Republican lawmakers in favor of the bill said they believed it would help to combat issues of school safety.
They pointed to parts of the legislation that call for the creation of a standardized school threat assessment process, in addition to allowing school district employees to carry guns at schools.
With News Wire Services
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