Florida: Constitutional Carry – HB-543

Its “permitless carry” not “constitutional carry”.

The first bill regarding “constitutional carry” in Florida has been filed by Representative Robert Brannan, of Lake City. It is HB-543. The bill is 63 pages long.

Contrary to common understanding the bill is “permitless carry”, not constitutional carry. Basically, in summary, the bill provides for the permitless carrying of a handgun or other weapon, by both Florida residents and non-residents.

The bill (HB-543) does not require training, fingerprinting or background checks in order to legally carry a firearm or other weapon, anywhere other than where otherwise prohibited. In the Bill, otherwise prohibited maintains all the locations where a firearm or other weapon currently cannot be legally carried. Everything remains the same. That includes businesses or other private property whereby the owner prohibits the possession or carrying of a firearm on his, her or their property.

The bottom line: An individual’s 2nd Amendment right does not trump personal property rights.

As good as permitless and constitutional carry sounds, a surge in the appearance of NO GUNS ALLOWED signs can be expected in private business. Private business that currently tolerate the carrying of firearms by trained, background checked and licensed firearm owners.

Yes, Florida’s concealed carry weapons licensing process needs revision; however, it is not believed that “permitless carry” is the answer.

Florida is the 3rd most populated state in the country, with a population similar to Texas. In September 2021, Texas’ “constitutional carry” law went into effect. Since that time, there has been a 550% increase in firearm violation convictions. That is convictions, not arrests. Firearm violation convictions rose from 1,049 in 2020 to nearly 7,000 since the last year reporting data was available. The same can be expected to occure in Florida. The question begs: Who benefits from “constitutional carry”? Follow the money!

You may not be aware that Florida currently has a “permitless” vehicle carry law in effect. Specifically defined in FS: 790.06, a person who is not otherwise prohibited from owning and possessing a firearm can legally transport a loaded firearm, in a vehicle or other conveyance, without a concealed carry weapons or firearms license, if done so in the manner described.

No background checks are required for vehicle “permitless” carry. No fingerprinting is required for vehicle “permitless” carry. No firearm training is required for vehicle “permitless” carry.

Have you noticed the sky rocking increase in road rage shootings in recent years?

“Permitless carry” in Florida . . . Be careful what you wish for. The result may be that where you currently enjoy the right to carry your concealed carry weapon or firearm (private business property), you will no longer be able to exercise that right. It must be kept in mind that private property rights supersede your 2nd Amendment right.

In the event you are not aware, government takes care of and protects itself.

Neither currently, nor in the proposed bill (HB-543), can a person or will a person be allowed to carry a firearm or other weapon, in any government building where government business is conducted. In addition, neither currently, nor in the proposed bill, can a person or will a person be allowed to carry a firearm or other weapon on any property owned by a public or private school. That includes: pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school or college. It also includes any school sponsored event.

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