Florida's special legislative session may include permitless carry

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

On Tuesday March 29th, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that a special session is being called to open in April from the 19th to 22nd. The statement came when DeSantis vetoed a bill involving redistricting of the congressional map. While it’s not confirmed, DeSantis hinted at permitless carry being potentially added to the agenda for the session.

Legislators could bring other issues up during the special session, DeSantis said Tuesday, including a bill allowing “constitutional carry” — allowing legal gun owners to carry handguns openly or concealed on their person without a permit.

“I would love to have property insurance, I would love to have data privacy, I would love to have constitutional carry,” DeSantis said. “I will ask the legislative leaders, ‘Is there something that you can get across the finish line?’ And I will encourage them to do that.”

This is a promising sign. Since the legislative session ended with no real action on permitless carry in the Gunshine State, this left many proponents of the Second Amendment scratching their heads in disbelief. The coverage of Florida’s failure to advance their permitless carry bill has been mostly negative. With both legislative houses having the GOP holding a healthy, if not “super” majority, how was it possible for them to drop the ball in the first place?

Some pundits allude to the politics of a couple of counties allegedly running the show, in a manner similar to how Manhattan pushes around Albany on who’s in charge. Regardless of the power structure, it’s difficult to take these seeming to be RINOs seriously when they were unable to deliver a real no-brainer legislation to DeSantis, which he indicated he’d be willing to sign.

Florida CCW permits are highly sought after, with strong reciprocity in several states across the country. A Florida non-resident permit is akin to a carry passport through most of the freedom loving states. The possibility of permitless carry affecting the number of permits issued, would with all probability, not be much to talk about. As long as there are permitting requirements in other states that include reciprocity with Florida, Florida permits will remain a commodity. 

What’s something to consider is the issuing authority of the permits in Florida would be the Department of Agriculture. A department with a head that’s alleged to be very unfriendly to the Second Amendment. Having a permitless option in Florida (really, the whole country honestly) is more important now, than ever. Granted, any hostility that may or may not be expressed through the permitting process in Florida would still be felt by those seeking permits, but at least those carrying within the state would have a level of relief should things go south administratively.

The matter of permitless carry being brought up in this special session is not a slam dunk certainty, but we can all be hopeful the topic does get not only the attention it needs, but full passage. It’s been a long time coming for Florida, the state that started the shall-issue permitting movement in the United States, to get with the times and go permitless. Everyone else is doing it. The home of Florida Man shouldn’t be left behind.