Earlier this week Tom reported on Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., signing into law a permitless carry bill. The permitless carry bill was under fire, as proponents of constitutional carry pointed out that the measure would not decriminalize the open carry of firearms by non-prohibited persons in the Gunshine State. While a huge debate was raging over the finer points of the legislation, a subtle but important detail concerning the actual signing of the bill went unnoticed by many. Perhaps to draw the ire of the progressives, a more commonly circulated image of the bill signing included representatives of the National Rifle Association. However, looking at the image included with the Governor’s release, we’re greeted with a truer cross section of what makes up the American gun owner today.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 543 which strengthens Floridians’ Second Amendment rights by allowing Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permit. HB 543 goes into effect on July 1, 2023, making Florida the 26th state to enact Constitutional Carry legislation.
“Constitutional Carry is in the books,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
The accompanying image included a cadre of different people from the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Florida Carry, and the DC Project. Looking at the faces of who were invited to be part of this monumental moment in Second Amendment history, we see women well represented. Present at the signing, 14 out of the 26 invitees – excluding DeSantis – were women. The majority of the people who were present represent the fastest growing demographic of gun owners in the United States, women.
The progressive gun-grabbing politicians and talking heads don’t want the true message that the Second Amendment belongs to everyone to get out. Fear campaigns from Astroturf groups of commie mommies – women who simply do what a rich man tells them to do – cannot control the narrative when the population is shown that the American gun owner is not just middle aged, overweight bearded men, but also includes women of all demographics, ages, and backgrounds.
Specifically from the DC Project, founder Dianna Muller, along with Debbie Hannifan, Eve Haney, Shirley Watral – the Florida State Director, and Katey Powers, were present. The DC Project chronicled the event with their own statement, highlighting the importance of including as much of the gun owning population as possible in the conversation.
Our Founder Dianna Muller and other DC Project members provided testimony at the Florida Capitol on multiple occasions in recent months, outlining the benefits of permitless carry for individual personal safety and the need for removing monetary barriers and training requirements for responsible firearms owners.
The signature “Educate not Legislate” teal shirts, along with insightful testimony, caught the eye and ears of Governor DeSantis, causing him to extend a gracious invitation to witness this monumental step for Florida’s gun owners.
This is the action many have been craving and women are speaking up to have every opportunity available to protect themselves. The DC Project is proud to stand by legislators and Governor DeSantis as they remove restrictions on Floridians having access to the best means of self-protection. The DC Project applauds the gun rights groups, legislators, and the Governor who have all been instrumental in this meaningful step towards Constitutional Carry. Florida State Director Shirley Watral, a survivor of domestic violence, comments “rights aren’t just for those who can afford it.”
There’s a reason these important guardians of our Second Amendment were invited to be present when DeSantis signed HB 543 into law. Their work, and the work of many like them, has aided in bringing to the surface the importance of this civil liberty. As noted, permitting laws set up restrictive barriers for those who wish to self-defend, and if the Second Amendment truly is a right for all the people, it must include those who cannot afford to get a permit, or vulnerable sections of the population that may need to bear arms in an expeditious manner.
While there’s paranoia that the state going permitless will limit the funds going into the different coffers that benefited from the permitting scheme, Florida has a very robust set of reciprocity agreements, and it’s doubtful that’ll have an appreciable difference. This hearty step towards a truer constitutional carry was an important one, and the debate over open carry can continue to occur as time marches on. The tourism industry – and other obstructionists who allege to be Second Amendment supporters – are going to have to eventually come to terms with the concept of open carry.
Congratulations to the residents and visitors of Florida! And congratulations to the many people who were included in a slice of Gunshine State history. The Second Amendment belongs to all Floridians, even those who cannot afford or manage access to the permitting process.