On July 1, 2023, Floridians experienced a significant change in their state's gun laws. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law in April, ushering in a new era of firearm regulations. Starting on this date, Floridians will be able to carry concealed guns without a permit, marking a substantial shift in the state's approach to gun ownership and concealed carry.
The New Law
The bill signed by Governor DeSantis eliminates the requirement for Floridians to obtain a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed firearm. This change means that individuals who meet certain eligibility criteria will be allowed to carry a concealed firearm without having to go through the previous process, which included mandatory training, licensing fees, and background checks.
Key Provisions of the Law:
- Permitless Concealed Carry: The most significant change is that individuals who are legally eligible to possess a firearm can now carry it concealed without obtaining a specific concealed carry permit.
- Elimination of Training Requirement: Under the new law, there is no longer a mandatory training requirement for concealed carry applicants. Previously, individuals seeking a concealed carry permit had to complete a state-approved firearms safety course.
- No Licensing Fees: The law also eliminates the licensing fees that were required to obtain a concealed carry permit in Florida.
- Background Checks Still Required for Firearm Purchases: It's important to note that while concealed carry permits are no longer necessary, individuals must still undergo background checks when purchasing firearms from licensed dealers, in accordance with federal law.
Implications and Controversies
- Second Amendment Advocates: Supporters of the law argue that it strengthens the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens by reducing government restrictions on gun ownership and concealed carry.
- Public Safety Concerns: Critics express concerns that the elimination of mandatory training and background checks may pose a risk to public safety, as it could potentially allow individuals with insufficient firearm knowledge or questionable backgrounds to carry concealed weapons.
- Impact on Crime Rates: One of the key debates surrounding the law revolves around its potential impact on crime rates. Proponents contend that allowing more citizens to carry concealed firearms can deter criminal activity, while opponents worry it might lead to an increase in gun-related incidents.
- Legal Challenges: It is likely that legal challenges may arise in response to this law, with opponents arguing that it violates the Florida Constitution or poses safety risks that need to be addressed.
The implementation of permitless concealed carry in Florida starting on July 1, 2023, marks a significant change in the state's firearm regulations. While proponents celebrate it as a victory for Second Amendment rights and personal freedom, critics raise concerns about public safety and the potential for increased gun violence. As the law goes into effect, its real-world impact will be closely watched, and legal and political debates will continue to shape the future of gun ownership and concealed carry in Florida. It is important for residents to stay informed about the specifics of the law and any potential changes that may occur in its implementation or challenges in the courts.
If you have been charged with a gun crime, The Hoffman Firm can help you prepare a strong defense for your case. Send us a message or call us at (305) 928-1669 to schedule a free consultation.