Partial Constitutional Carry Bill Introduced in Florida Legislature

Jan 30, 2023

House Bill 543 introduced by Rep. Chuck Brannan and Sen. Jay Collins doesn’t repeal open carry ban.

Tallahassee, FL – In a press conference held this morning, Rep. Chuck Brannan and Sen. Jay Collins introduced House Bill 543 – a bill which would allow some adults in Florida to carry a concealed handgun without first having to obtain a permit. However, the Brannan and Collins legislation excludes Floridians between the ages of 18-20 and upholds Florida’s ban on open carry of a firearm.

“While this bill does allow for most adults to carry a concealed handgun without a permit, we’d love to see it also include open carry as well,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights. “Gov. Ron DeSantis is already on the record supporting Constitutional Carry and Republicans control the state legislature – amending the legislation to include open carry would be an even greater win for the Constitutional Carry movement. I hope the bill sponsors are willing to amend the bill and make it stronger.”

During the press conference, Brannan and Collins confirmed that the bill does not allow for open carry, and the penalty for illegally open carrying in Florida is a second-degree misdemeanor with a $500 fine or a maximum of 60 days in jail. HB543 also ties the right to carry concealed without a permit to the ability to obtain and keep a permit in Florida – thereby excluding 18–20-year-old law-abiding gun owners.

Twenty-five states have enshrined Constitutional Carry as state law, and none of them exclude open carry of a handgun from their law. Florida has banned open carry of firearm since 1987.

Constitutional Carry is the basic principle that if you are legally eligible to possess a firearm, you should be able to carry that weapon, open or concealed, for self-defense without government permission.

“Florida is one of the most populous states in America and passing Constitutional Carry into law — especially a Constitutional Carry bill which applies to all law-abiding adults – would be a major victory for the gun rights movement nationwide,” concluded Brown.

The National Association for Gun Rights is urging its members to call Brannan and Collins, urging them to amend their bill so that it affirms the right to open carry and include 18–20-year-old adults.

For more information on Constitutional Carry, please visit: http://nationalgunrights.org/about-us/key-issues/constitutional-carry/

The National Association for Gun Rights is the nation’s largest “no compromise” pro-gun organization, with 4.5 million members nationwide.

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