By: Friedrich Seiltgen
Copyright © 2023
New legislation that would “allow” Floridians to carry concealed firearms without licenses began moving through the Florida House on Tuesday. Simultaneously, debate rages about Florida RINO’s who are once again denying Floridians the right of “constitutional carry.”
The Florida House Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law, & Government Operations Subcommittee held a three-hour meeting filled with the usual objections from liberals about an explosion of violence, fascism, etc. The meeting resulted in a vote along party lines of 10-5 to approve the legislation.
The bill (HB 543) would eliminate a concealed weapons licensing process that includes people undergoing criminal background checks and completing firearms-training courses. Under the proposal, people with concealed firearms would only need to carry a valid I.D. and “must display such identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer.”
Most of the people who testified about the measure opposed the bill, criticizing it for not going far enough. They urged lawmakers to pass what’s known as open carry, meaning firearms would not have to be concealed. Many said the bill’s “constitutional carry” title was false advertising and described the legislation as a promise that was not delivered.
“This bill is not constitutional carry. This bill is not close to constitutional carry. This bill is not what the other half of the country has, and I am fed up with being a second-class citizen to those folks.” Chris Rose – Gainesville.
Democratic lawmakers heavily criticized the bill as it would eliminate the firearms-training requirement. Rep. Dotie Joseph, D-North Miami, proposed adding various training requirements to the measure; but all amendments sought by Democrats were rejected.
“It makes no sense that people have to pass an exam to drive a vehicle but not to own a gun,” Joseph said.
Well, Ms. Joseph, bearing arms is a constitutional right, but driving a vehicle is not.
Several groups that support gun-control measures warned that the bill would make Florida less safe. The usual suspects talked about shootouts in the streets, etc. All those arguments were brought up when the concealed carry system started in Florida, and the situation never happened.
Bill sponsor Chuck Brannan, R-Macclenny, described the proposal as simply removing the requirement that gun owners seek the government’s permission to carry firearms.
“If you’ve ever gotten a concealed-weapons permit, it certainly is not extensive training. So, I think the differences are going to be negligible after this bill,” Brannan said.
The bill, filed for the March 7 legislative session, appears to be on a fast track in the House. It now needs approval only from the Judiciary Committee before it can go to the House floor.
Hopefully, changes can be made to make this true constitutional carry, but with the RINOs, we have in Florida, I’m not getting my hopes up.
That’s all for now, folks! Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s Be Careful Out There.”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism Counterstrategies, Firearms, and Active Shooter Response. His writing has appeared in RECOIL, www.floridajolt.com, The Counterterrorist Magazine, American Thinker, Soldier of Fortune, Homeland Security Today, Off Grid, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.