FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2023
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Luis Valdes, Gun Owners of America’s Florida State Director, took a moment to speak with Governor Ron DeSantis at an event in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Valdes asked the Governor where he stands on Open Carry and whether he supports having it added to HB 543 and SB 150.
The Governor’s response was simple and encouraging: “absolutely.” He supports Open Carry and would like to see it added to the current permitless carry legislation working through Tallahassee, but he believes the current Republican-controlled Legislature would not be willing to add it to the bills. Hear the Governor’s own words right here.
Last month, Floridians traveled from all over the state to the Capitol and testified before the House’s Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee. Gun rights supporters told legislators that they wanted Open Carry added to the bill.
Frustratingly, when Rep. Chuck Brannan, the House’s version sponsor of the bill, was asked about Open Carry being added to the current text after the hearing, he simply stated, “[the bill] is what it is as it’s filed.” Despite being both the House sponsor and a Republican who campaigns on being pro-gun, Mr. Brannan’s words have been discouraging and hypocritical, and these sentiments have been echoed by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.
“The Republican Supermajority is refusing to advance true Constitutional Carry legislation, even though the Governor promised to give Florida’s voters exactly that, and it’s what the citizenry is demanding,” said Valdes. “A real Constitutional Carry law will allow law-abiding Floridians and our guests to legally Conceal and Open Carry firearms without a government permission slip.”
GOA will continue to invest time and resources in Tallahassee to ensure that Florida gets Constitutional Carry across the finish line, the right way. Read more about the issue in Luis Valdes’ recent op-ed in Florida newspapers here, and read more about the racial history behind Florida’s current permitting scheme here.
This story was first covered by the Tampa Bay Times, read more here.
GOA spokesmen are available for interviews. Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit grassroots lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over two million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Press Center.