Lawmaker killed permitless carry, now wants permit authority

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Florida has been billed as “The Gunshine State” because people there really love their guns. However, the state isn’t really as pro-gun as they’ve been billed. One law that could have restored gun rights was a permitless carry bill that, unfortunately, went nowhere.

Yet as our friends at The Truth About Guns note, the guy responsible for that now wants to be in charge of issuing permits.

Florida’s Senate President Wilton Simpson has only to snap his fingers and a constitutional-carry bill will appear on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk – a bill DeSantis has already promised he would sign. It’s that simple.

Instead, Simpson, an alleged Republican from Trilby, is content to once again let constitutional carry die off quietly during the current legislative session, even though it would restore the God-given constitutional rights of millions of Floridians to what the Framers had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment.

Simpson apparently isn’t interested in restoring the Framers’ intent. He is already looking past the end of the session and has amassed a whopping $12 million in donations to run for Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner.

Florida Carry, its board of directors and its thousands of members strongly oppose allowing constitutional carry to die a slow death, again, and we’re also fiercely opposed to rewarding the man who killed it by putting him in charge of Florida’s vaunted Concealed Weapon and Firearm Licensing program. In our opinion, Simpson has cashed enough government paychecks and caused enough harm. We’ve seen the damage the current Ag Commissioner, Nikki Fried, inflicted on our gun rights, so we don’t want to put another anti-gunner in charge.

Now, will Simpson be quite as bad as Fried?

Realistically, I doubt it.

However, Simpson also isn’t exactly buffing up his resume for the job he wants by opposing constitutional carry. He’s not precisely telling gun owners that he can be trusted.

If anything, his refusal to advance permitless carry looks to be more of a power grab for his potential new office. After all, the agriculture commissioner is an office many people only take interest in because of that permitting authority.

It’s really hard to look at Simpson’s refusal to advance the bill to be anything but trying to retain power for the office he feels like he’ll win in November.

Honestly, how can anyone support a politician like that?

Anyone who tries to hold onto power rather than looking to improve the lives of Floridians is someone who shouldn’t get any power in the first place. They clearly can’t be trusted to do what’s right, only what serves them best.

Folks have long said that power corrupts. I’m not so sure, though. I think the problem is that power is attractive to the corruptable. I think those people seek out power because they want what power can bring, and not because they believe they can do good for their city, state, or nation.

Simpson’s refusal to usher along permitless carry really feels problematic in light of the office he is now seeking for just that reason.

I mean, sure, it’s possible he really believes that constitutional carry is a bad idea, but if so, he needed to come out and say it a while ago. As best as I can tell, he hasn’t.

Instead, he hopes that his status as a Republican will be more than enough to ward off any accusations of being anti-gun when he has done absolutely nothing to help restore gun rights in Florida.

Florida Carry is working against Simpson, and I urge any Floridians not part of their number to also oppose Simpson until/unless he does the right thing and helps constitutional carry pass in Florida.