Florida: The Gunshine State?

February 8, 2023

Here we are. February 2023. The Florida Legislature is back in session.

Early up? HB 543: Concealed Carry of Weapons and Firearms Without a License

In the midst of a national crisis of murder and mayhem (mostly caused by people with long guns), elected officials in Florida are considering loosening controls over handguns?

Currently, to carry a loaded gun in Florida you need a license, training, and background check. But House Bill 543 would remove these important safeguards, increasing the risks to each and every one of us.

As a person of peace, I much prefer not to carry a firearm; not to take on the responsibility for regular training or proof of competency; not pay an insurance premium for concealed carry; and most important, not to have to wonder every time I leave my house:  Is that person over there carrying a weapon, and if so, are they mentally stable? Are they fully competent?

Permit-less carrying goes against the will of law enforcement, Florida voters, and public safety experts who know this bill will only exacerbate gun violence and make it easier for dangerous people to carry a gun in our communities.

I’m an NRA member, and I believe in the 2nd amendment.  I have the 2nd amendment posted on the bulletin board by my desk.  There is no reference in the 2nd amendment to unfettered concealed carry.

I cannot imagine how or why anyone – particularly those of us who live in a densely populated state like Florida – would need, desire or expect to carry a weapon without a bonafide reason; without a minimum amount of training and proof of competency; without a formal background check; and without current proof of insurance.

I hope the legislative debate on this matter will conclude quickly, and with a commonsense outcome.

Instead of relaxing the requirements for concealed carry in Florida, I hope our legislators will consider adding requirements – such as proof of insurance – to bring the responsibility of firearm possession and ownership on par with that of automobile ownership and operation.

Florida Legislators: Please oppose this very bad bill and focus on legislation that will protect Floridians, not put our lives at risk.

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