The Florida Senate approved a bill Thursday that would allow people to carry a concealed firearm in public without a government-issued permit, a top priority for Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The legislation will also end an existing state requirement to receive training before carrying a concealed firearm outside the home. Permit applicants must demonstrate proficiency with a weapon by taking a firearms training or safety course. The permit application process also includes a background check, which will no longer be required if the bill becomes law.
A press release for the legislation notes that it “leaves in place the current licensing process and vetting, so that those who choose to obtain a permit for reciprocity or other purposes are free to do so.”
DeSantis stated that he is proud to “support the Second Amendment” at a recent event on his book tour and reaffirmed his commitment to signing the legislation when it reaches his desk. “You don’t need a permission slip from the government to be able to exercise your constitutional rights,” DeSantis said Thursday.
If signed, the bill would take effect July 1, making Florida the 26th state to recognize carry without a permit. The bill was previously approved by the Florida House of Representatives last week.
As of July 1, 2022, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has rejected 4,134 permit applications because the applicant was deemed ineligible. However, the bill does not change who is qualified to carry a firearm in public. Also, you would still need to undergo a background check to purchase a gun.
As of last month, the state issued more than 2.6 million concealed firearms permits.