Florida's Gun Laws Take a Dangerous Turn With Permitless Carry
• After winning reelection in November with nearly 60% of the vote, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had political capital to spend on any number of priorities. Sadly, he’s settled on one of the most ill-considered choices available: allowing the public to carry concealed firearms without a license.
• The policy is as bad as it sounds. It removes any requirement for a gun owner to obtain a license or take a training course to carry a concealed weapon in public (a license is still required to carry a firearm visibly). The bill is now advancing through the legislature, and given its Republican supermajority and the governor’s backing, it’s likely to become law. Florida would thus become the 26th state to legalize “permitless carry” (or “constitutional carry,” as fundamentalists call it).
• It’s a disappointing turn just five years after the nation’s worst high-school mass shooting took place in Florida in 2018, when a 19-year-old armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 14 students and three staff members, and wounding 17 others.
• While a tragically familiar story, what followed was more unusual. Despite having a Republican governor and legislature, the state moved promptly to strengthen its gun laws: Less than a month after the shooting, Florida had raised the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21, imposed a three-day waiting period on the purchase of long guns, outlawed bump stocks (devices that allow a semiautomatic weapon to fire more rapidly), and authorized a red-flag law to allow authorities to temporarily confiscate the firearms of those demonstrating an intent to harm themselves or others.
Source : Bloomberg Businessweek February 20,2023 , Page 5