Florida, nicknamed the “Gunshine State” due to their favorable gun laws and enthusiastic gun culture, is once again attempting to repeal the state’s archaic laws on open carry.
State Rep. Matt Gaetz is leading the latest attempt to pass an “open carry” gun law in Florida.
The Shalimar Republican filed HB 163 on Monday; in part, the bill would allow a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm or weapon to “also openly carry such firearm or weapon.”
In a Facebook post in July, Gaetz – who is seeking the Senate seat held by his father, former Senate President Don Gaetz – called Florida “an outlier” in prohibiting the open carry of firearms.
“Texas recently made the change and it’s time we change too,” he wrote. “Share if you believe in protecting our 2nd Amendment freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”
HB 163 (PDF) would allow a concealed carrier to also open carry a firearm, chemical spray, or stun gun.
Further, the bill affirms:
The right to bear arms and defend one’s self is a fundamental and individual right that exists in any place that a person has the right to be, subject only to exceptionally and narrowly tailored restrictions that employ the least possible restriction on the right in order to achieve a compelling government interest.
The bill appears to be a very solid piece of legislation, and we hope that it is able to gain support in the Florida legislature.