With little fanfare, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Monday allowing residents to carry a concealed loaded weapon without a permit.
On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill allowing state residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit.
The new legislation,(HB) 543, means anyone who can legally own a gun in Florida can carry one without a permit. Fulfilling prerequisites like firearms training and background checks will not be required to carry concealed guns in public, the Associated Press reports. People carrying weapons would only need to be able to “display such identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer” and have valid identification.
Numerous law enforcement officials backed the bill, as did the National Rifle Association, which called its approval “historic.”
“Government will not get in the way of law-abiding Americans who want to defend themselves and their families,” the bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Jay Collins, said in a news release.
However, Democrats and gun safety advocates, who cite Florida mass shootings like the fatal 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, say that the new law will only make the state more dangerous.
“I am pissed,” Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, said during an online news conference, according to the Associated Press. “I will chase him down across the state as well as possibly across the country … because Ron DeSantis today put his signature to a bill that guarantees there will be more Jaimes.”
Guttenberg said that DeSantis signing the bill behind closed doors makes him a coward. “Somebody in Florida may die … because of this legislation. That will be because of you, Ron DeSantis,” Guttenberg said. “I understand why you hid today…You are a weak, pathetic, small-minded individual.
The announcement also comes one week after six people were killed in a Nashville school shooting, a point raised by the Biden administration.
“It is shameful that so soon after another tragic school shooting, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a permitless concealed carry bill behind closed doors,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “This is the opposite of common-sense gun safety.”