TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Today, House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) announced proposed legislation that would assist Floridians in exercising their Second Amendment rights without government interference. HB 543 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,” said Speaker Renner. “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.”
Bill sponsor and Chair of the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Representative Chuck Brannan (R-Macclenny), a retired chief investigator with the Baker County Sheriff’s office and former Deputy U.S. Marshal said, “I filed this bill because I believe all Floridians have the right to bear arms to protect themselves, their families, and their property without any government interference.”
“Through their service at home and abroad, Speaker Renner and Senator Collins have sacrificed to protect our constitutional rights,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples). “I stand with these brave warriors, with our law enforcement leaders, and with law-abiding Floridians across this state who should not have to ask the government for permission to protect themselves.”
If the law passes and is signed by the Governor, a person carrying a concealed weapon would no longer need to apply for a permit. Floridians would still be required to obey existing laws prohibiting carrying in restricted locations such as schools, athletic events, and correctional facilities.
OWNERSHIP RESTRICTIONS STILL IN PLACE
The proposed bill would not affect laws relating to the purchase of a firearm such as the three-day waiting period for purchase and other requirements. Additionally, anyone prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a previous felony, misdemeanor or other provisions under federal law, would not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon.
When asked at the Capitol press conference if the new law would increase criminals’ availability to guns, Sheriff Al Nienhuis, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association said, “We don’t know of any criminal that ever planned to do a drive-by shooting and in the process said, ‘Oh, I’ve got to go get my permit first.’ They’re going to break the law regardless of whether a permit is in place or not.”
More information on who is eligible to purchase a firearm and the necessary requirements can be found at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website.