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Florida Governor Signs Bill Allowing Permit less Concealed Carry of Weapons

Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis ( Photo: CNN )

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a new law that allows residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis ( Photo: The New Republic )

Florida is now the 26th state to have some form of permitless carry legislation

The legislation was signed with little fanfare in a non-public event in DeSantis’ office, attended only by bill sponsors, legislative leaders, and gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association. The signing came one week after six people, including three children, were killed at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Supporters of the law, including the NRA-ILA, the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, argue that this is a momentous step in the Constitutional Carry movement, as the majority of American states now recognize the Constitution’s protection of the right of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves outside their homes without fees or permits.

Opponents of the proposal have argued that it will increase gun violence, and it was telling that DeSantis did not hold a public-signing ceremony as he has done for other high-profile bills.

DeSantis’ office issued a brief statement hours after the bill was signed, saying only that “Constitutional Carry is in the books.” Even as DeSantis pushed the proposal ahead of his expected bid for president, public polling on the issue has shown it to be widely unpopular with both political parties.

A poll conducted by the University of North Florida – 77% of the 1,492 respondents are opposed to the permitless carry legislation

The White House also weighed in, with a statement from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, calling it “shameful” that DeSantis signed into law a permitless concealed carry bill so soon after another tragic school shooting. The legislation, which passed the state House and Senate on mostly party-line votes, got pushback on both sides of the political spectrum.

While Democrats framed the proposal as dangerous and said it would increase gun violence, Second Amendment rights supporters pushed the Legislature to include a provision that would allow people to openly carry firearms.

DeSantis had said he would support open-carry legislation but did not advocate for it as forcefully as he has on other issues. Second Amendment groups criticized Republican lawmakers for not including the open-carry provision, and some have accused DeSantis of political impotence.

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