TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Democrats have opened fire on a bill that seeks to do away with the requirement for concealed carry permits for eligible prospective gun owners in Florida. On Monday, House Speaker Paul Renner announced HB 543 that would eliminate the need for a concealed weapons license (CWL) in the state of Florida.
“Floridians shouldn’t need a government permission slip to exercise their Constitutional rights,” Renner told reporters on Monday. “House Bill 543 will ensure Florida will remain a beacon of freedom. Florida was the pioneer in the modern carry movement in America and this historic legislation continues our proud tradition.”
Democrats decried the bill and made grand prognostications about the disastrous impact they claim it will have on public safety in the Sunshine State.
“Let’s be clear, Floridians will die if this legislation becomes law,” U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) told the Florida Phoenix. “This is a reckless, dangerous piece of legislation, and I join survivors and Floridians in calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to put an end to it now.”
Rep. Dan Daley (D-97) told the outlet that “Permitless carry doesn’t belong in a civilized society” and Rep. Fentrice Driskell (D-67) called the bill “dangerous for Floridians.”
CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY AND GUN VIOLENCE
Currently, 25 states have some version of “constitutional carry,” according to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Manhattan Institute’s 2022 analysis of the impact Right to Carry laws made on homicide and violent crime in states that passed them reveal that the laws didn’t produce a significant change in the statistics.
Author Robert VerBruggen pointed out that “crime fell throughout the country during the period when states were liberalizing their gun-carry laws” and that the data “do not have any readily noticeable relationship to the periods when these groups of states enacted concealed carry.”
Conservatives have long argued that violent criminals can – and do – easily circumvent gun laws in order to obtain a firearm. Thus, they insist such restrictions do virtually nothing to reduce gun violence. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2016 survey of prison inmates found that 9 in 10 prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense did not obtain it from a retail source.
Additionally, strict gun laws do not produce lower rates of gun violence. Gun safety research site Everytown ranks Illinois’s gun restrictions as the seventh strictest of all 50 states, but the Prairie State’s gun violence rate still exceeds the national average.
Following the Uvalde school shooting last year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott pointed out how gun restrictions fail to make a dent in cities plagued by gun violence.
“We need to realize that people who think that ‘well, maybe if we could just implement tougher gun laws, it’s going to solve it,’ Chicago and LA and New York disprove that thesis,” Abbott said. “If you’re looking for a real solution, Chicago teaches that what you’re talking about is not a real solution.”
Last summer, Governor DeSantis praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that carrying a gun outside one’s home was constitutional.
“With all due respect to these leftists, they just want to come after your Second Amendment rights,” DeSantis said. “Let’s just be honest, that’s what they want to do […] They view you, as a law-abiding citizen, as the target of what they’re trying to do.”