It’s finally a reality. Florida’s legislature has now presented HB543: Concealed Carry of Weapons and Firearms Without a License. Introduced by Republicans, this bill authorizes a person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm if he or she is licensed to do so or meets specified requirements; requires person who is carrying concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license to carry identification & display upon demand by law enforcement; prohibits person who is carrying concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license from carrying such weapon or firearm in specified locations; authorizes nonresident to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm in this state if he or she meets same requirements as resident; provides person authorized to carry concealed weapon or concealed firearm without license is subject to specified penalties for possessing such weapon or firearm at school-sponsored event or on school property. (verbatim from The Florida Senate).

This bill is now in Judiciary Committee. HB 543 by Rep. Charles Brannon, R-Macclenney repeals longstanding requirements for a concealed weapon license that includes fees, a criminal background check and completion of a firearms training course.

Additionally, permitless carry would allow people to carry firearms, openly or concealed, into public places without a criminal history check or safety training and would overturn Florida’s prohibition on openly carrying firearms, including assault rifles, in public.

This will have devastating effects on our communities, as data and facts have proven in states passing similar legislation. States who have moved toward permitless carry have experienced a 13-15% increase in violent crime rates. The Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Police Chiefs Association have spoken against permitless carry.

What can you do? SPEAK OUT. Below are actions you can take to voice your opposition to this dangerous bill.

  1. Email, call or write to your state legislators TODAY and voice your opposition. Tell them why you oppose permitless carry and ask them to support common-sense gun safety laws. Be sure to include your zip code in your communications.
  2. If you are a business owner, sign on to this letter opposing permitless carry with other Florida business leaders. Should this legislation pass, business owners in Florida are going to be adversely affected, infringing on private property rights and endangering their patrons and employees.
  3. Share this information with your employer, friends, co-workers, exercise partners and family members. Forward this page in an email from your smartphone or browser, and like and share our posts on social media.

We’re in this together, Florida. Keep the Sunshine State safe!