What does permitless carry mean for Florida residents?

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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Four days after the nation’s latest school shooting, Florida is set to loosen its gun laws.

The state Senate approved permitless carry Thursday afternoon, sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his expected signature.

The bill is certainly controversial, but what does it mean for Floridians?

Opponents of permitless carry for handguns have fought the idea, calling it dangerous, especially in an age of school shootings and rising crime.

"It's deeply offensive," David Hogg, a gun control advocate and survivor of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High killings. "It's more than insensitive, and it's going to get people killed."

But most members of the conservative Florida Legislature are in favor of what they call "constitutional carry," saying it is an extension of Second Amendment rights.

"Twenty-five states enacted this law, and the sky hasn’t fallen," state Rep. Mike Beltran, R-Riverview, said. "I believe that Floridians have the right to bear arms, protect themselves, their families and their property without government interference."

So, how do the new rules change the way people can carry concealed weapons?

  • They won't have to apply for a permit
  • They won't have to have their background checked
  • They won't have to take an instructional course

But gun owners still will not be able to carry concealed weapons in places like airports, courts, schools, and other places where gun possession is restricted or banned.

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