Yesterday, Bearing Arms called out local Miami station WSVN for irresponsible reporting on Florida’s permitless carry legislation. While they updated their story to correct their coverage, their original report said that Florida’s permitless carry bill eliminates background checks for firearms purchases. It doesn’t.
If irresponsible reporting weren’t enough, here comes gun control group Giffords to further muddy the waters.
Can you tell who is legally able to carry a gun and who isn’t?
The answer: You can't until it’s already too late.
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) March 9, 2023
Giffords purchased a full page ad in the Miami Herald in what can only be described as an attempt to mislead the public about Florida’s permitless carry bill.
Florida’s permitless carry bill, Senate Bill 150 (SB 150), sponsored by Florida Senator and former Green Beret Jay Collins (R-Tampa). [Note: House Bill 543 is the Florida House of Representatives version of the legislation.]
The Giffords ad shows two men, one red and one blue. Both are carrying firearms. The headline of the ad asks, “Can you spot the difference?” The two men stand toe-to-toe, and appear to be arguing.
In upside down text that requires the reader to invert the page, Giffords provides their answer. “The man in red completed a pistol shooting training course, passed a background check, and holds a license to carry a concealed gun in Florida. The man in blue has never fired a gun in his life. He bought his pistol at a bar last week without a background check. He was convicted of a violent felony last year.”
They conclude, “If Governor DeSantis gets his way, there will be nothing to stop the man in blue from carrying a loaded, hidden gun-no questions asked.”
Can you spot the problems with the Giffords paint-by-numbers scenario? Well, first they want to scare you because blue guy bought his gun at a bar without a background check. No much is said about the person that sold blue guy the gun, but let’s review Florida law on firearms in bars. Florida law does not allow you to carry a firearm in any establishment whose primary purpose is the sale of alcohol or any part of an establishment devoted to the sale of alcohol. If you go in to a restaurant with a bar, you cannot carry in the bar area. Blue guy just broke the law. Second, blue guy is a convicted felon who cannot legally purchase or posses a firearm, that includes carrying a concealed firearm. Blue guy is again breaking the law.
Nothing in Florida’s permitless carry legislation will change the scenario depicted by Giffords. Blue guy is a criminal. Blue guy doesn’t care about firearms laws. He is going to carry a firearm regardless of Florida law. Does Giffords want us to believe that blue guy, a convicted felon, who illegally purchased a gun in a bar, would submit himself to the concealed carry licensing process? Why don’t gun control groups understand that criminals don’t care about gun control laws?
There is only one conclusion. Giffords is purposely misleading Florida residents, hoping to scare enough Florida residents, to embark on what can only be described as a fools errand–opposing permitless carry. Despite opposition, Florida’s permitless carry legislation is moving rapidly to the Governor’s desk and on to becoming Florida law.
Since Giffords graced us with this scenario, but doesn’t allow the scenario to play out, indulge me while I do it for them. Here it goes. The argument between the two men escalates with blue guy escalating and threatening the life of red guy. Because blue guy represents a threat to life, red guy presents his firearm, ready to defend himself. Seeing that red guy has come to the party armed and ready, blue guy decides he’d be better off anywhere but standing at the end of red guy’s muzzle. Our little story becomes one of hundreds of thousands of defensive gun uses in America each year. Red guy did not become another victim of crime thanks to concealed carry.