Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed on Friday that he would make Florida a so-called constitutional carry state, which would allow people to publicly carry firearms without permits.”The legislature will get it done,” DeSantis said during a news conference in north Florida. “I can’t tell you if it’s going to be next week or six months, but I can tell you that before I am done as governor, we will have a signature on that.”In Florida, people must obtain concealed weapon permits in order to carry hidden guns in public
. About 2.5 million people have permits, more than any other state where they are required. The permit can be obtained by taking a gun training course and submitting proof of competency. In most cases, gun owners in Florida cannot openly carry firearms without permits, either, except in certain circumstances, like while hunting.
For DeSantis, successfully ushering a constitutional carry measure into law would be another conservative victory as he builds a resume that could appeal to Republican primary voters if he decides to run for president.
“We used to be a leader on the Second Amendment,” said DeSantis, who is up for reelection in November.
DeSantis laid the urgency to pass a constitutional carry provision at the feet of state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat and the head of the office that manages weapons permits in Florida. DeSantis asserted that Fried “doesn’t support Second Amendment rights.”
“So why would you want to subcontract out your constitutional rights to a public official that rejects the very existence of those rights,” DeSantis said.
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