Florida is on the verge of joining the growing list of states that allow constitutional carry, which means that law-abiding citizens can carry firearms without the need for a permit. While some are expressing concern about the proposed legislation, I believe that it is a critical step towards upholding our Second Amendment rights and ensuring the safety of citizens.
The Florida House of Representatives passed the Constitutional Carry Bill, also known as HB 123, on Friday, March 24th, 2023, with a vote of 76-42. The bill, which would allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms without a permit, has been a controversial topic in the state, with both opponents and proponents voicing their opinions. The bill’s passing in the House is a significant step towards upholding Second Amendment rights in Florida. However, the bill still has to pass through the state Senate and be signed by the governor to become law.
Under the proposed bill, HB 123, anyone over the age of 21 who is not a convicted felon or otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm would be able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. The bill also eliminates the need for gun owners to complete a firearms safety course or undergo a background check.
Opponents of the bill argue that it would make it easier for criminals to obtain and carry firearms. However, the truth is that criminals do not obey the law in the first place, and they will carry guns regardless of whether or not a permit is required. The current permit system only serves to burden law-abiding citizens with fees and bureaucratic hurdles that do little to prevent criminals from carrying guns.
Furthermore, the Second Amendment clearly states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Requiring law-abiding citizens to obtain a permit to carry a firearm is an infringement on that right. Constitutional carry is about restoring that right and ensuring that law-abiding citizens are able to protect themselves and their families.
In addition, studies have shown that states with constitutional carry have lower violent crime rates than states with restrictive gun laws. In fact, the data suggests that criminals are less likely to commit violent crimes when they know that law-abiding citizens are armed and able to defend themselves.
It is important to note that the proposed bill does not allow just anyone to carry a firearm. It only applies to law-abiding citizens who are not prohibited from owning a firearm. Additionally, individuals who do not know how to use a firearm safely or are not comfortable carrying one are not likely to do so, even if the law permits it.
The next step for the Constitutional Carry Bill to be passed in Florida is for it to go to the state Senate for review and a vote. If the bill is passed by the Senate, it will then go to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. If the governor signs the bill, it will become law, and Florida will join the growing number of states that allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms without a permit.
In conclusion, Florida’s proposed constitutional carry legislation is a critical step towards upholding the Second Amendment and ensuring the safety of citizens. It removes unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and empowers law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families. Rather than restricting our rights, we should be promoting responsible gun ownership and supporting measures that make our communities safer.