New bill would allow Floridians to conceal carry firearms without a permit

A state representative says he seeks to strengthen your Second Amendment rights by filing a new bill on Tuesday that allows Floridians to carry firearms in public without a license.

Anthony Sabatini, Florida representative for District 32, filed the “constitutional carry” measure, HB 273. The measure lets lawful gun owners carry their weapons concealed in public without a license, as long as the person is in a place that allows concealed firearms.

If the bill passes, it will make Florida the 17th constitutional carry state. “Our Second Amendment Right should not be determined by a government bureaucracy,” Sabatini said in a Facebook post. “All Americans have the right to protect themselves.”

Passage of the bill would keep gun prohibitions in place in legislative meetings, college campuses and courtrooms. However, the consequence of having a firearm in areas with restrictions will lessen from a third-degree felony to a second-degree misdemeanor.

Jon Dezendorf, manager of Fowler Firearms and Gun Range, said the bill could help people who accidentally carry a gun into a restricted area.

“When it comes to those certain areas,”  Dezendorf said, “anything that will help somebody out to be able to protect themselves, I am all pro-for it.”

Lawmakers will likely look at the bill during the 2020 legislative session. However, at least one lawmaker in Florida opposes the proposed legislation.

You can count on us to fight this bill and to make sure it never gets to the Governor’s desk,” State Rep. Anna Eskamani for District 47 said on Twitter.

Chris Brodd has had a gun permit for around 30 years and said he is not in favor of the proposed legislation. Right now, his 21-year-old son is in the process of getting a concealed carry permit.

“I’m sure there’s some benefits for some people, but I’m sure having a permit to carry is more important,” Brodd said. “If I were voting on it, I would definitely vote against it.”

Reporter:Anika Henanger
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