Anti-gun prohibitionists aren’t just freaking out about the prospects of permitless carry in the Sunshine State. As we discuss on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, they’re misleading the public about what the bill does and doesn’t do; claiming that thousands of violent criminals would be able to carry a gun “no questions asked” if the bill becomes law.
This has become a major talking point for the gun control lobby, as a matter of fact, even though it’s completely false.
Between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, 7,605 Florida residents with a disqualifying history were denied concealed carry permits.
Permitless Carry will allow these "bad guys with guns" to legally carry a loaded firearm in public.
— Logan Rubenstein (@loganrub_17) January 30, 2023
In the last two fiscal years of my administration alone, 11,596 applicants for Concealed Weapons Licenses were found to be ineligible.
Florida’s proposal would allow for those 11,596 ineligible individuals to have guns on our streets.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) January 31, 2023
Yeah, that’s pretty f*cking dumb all right, or at least it would be if it’s true. Maybe it’s Fried herself who’s an idiot, or maybe the former agriculture commissioner is just knowingly spewing bullsh*t to try to drum up opposition.
If Florida’s permitless carry bill becomes law, as appears likely, then the only people who can legally carry a firearm without a concealed carry license are going to be those who can lawfully possess a firearm. Here’s what the actual text of HB 543 says:
(1) A person is authorized to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm, as that term is defined in s. 790.06(1), if he or she:
(a) Is licensed under s. 790.06; or
(b) Is not licensed under s. 790.06, but otherwise satisfies the criteria for receiving and maintaining such a license under s. 790.06(2)(a)–(f) and (i)–(n), (3), and (10).
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), a person who does not meet the criteria in subsection (1) and who carries a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device, as those terms are defined in s. 790.001, on or about his or her person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4)(3), a person who does not meet the criteria in subsection (1) and who carries a concealed firearm, as that 303 term is defined in s. 790.001, on or about his or her person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
If you’re ineligible for a concealed carry license in Florida, then you’re not able to carry without a permit either. In fact, it’s a felony offense for you to do so.
The bill does not “allow ineligible individuals to have guns on the streets”, as Fried claims. Bad guys with guns will not be able to “legally carry a loaded gun in public” as Brady’s Logan Rubenstein alleges. Quite the opposite. If you’re caught carrying a gun and you’re not allowed to have one under the permitless carry legislation, you’re going to be facing serious charges.
What about the claims by Fred Guttenberg that sheriffs admit they won’t be able to tell who can legally carry a gun until after a crime’s been committed? Well, as it turns out, that’s not what the sheriffs on hand for the bill’s announcement actually said. Instead, they pointed out that, just like under the current law, it’s a person’s actions at the time that would lead to a stop and an investigation into whether or not they were legally armed. There needs to be a reason why police would need to stop the individual in the first place. Do these activists really want law enforcement to have the power to pull people over and search them at will? If so, that’s not going to go over well with their progressive allies demanding major police reforms, is it?
There are already 25 permitless carry states across the country, so it’s not like this is some brand new idea that no one knows how to implement. Yes, violent criminals still exist those jurisdictions, but enabling law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to bear arms without a government permission slip doesn’t automatically lead to a spike in violence. Criminals aren’t following gun control laws in the first place, and good policing that focuses on the most violent offenders instead of responsible gun owners can lead to serious reductions in violent crime and homicides, even when permitless carry is the law of the land.