Florida Republican leaders want to get rid of gun permits


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Saying gun owners don’t need a permit slip from the government to protect their God-given rights, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives proposed legislation Monday to eliminate gun permits. hidden, a move that Democrats say would be a state with a history of gruesome massacres. less safe shootings.

Republican leaders, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, have voiced support for the idea, so the bill should have no trouble passing in a legislature with a large GOP majority.

“What we are discussing here today is a universal right that applies to each and every man or woman, regardless of race, gender, creed or background,” Chairman Paul Renner said at a news conference.

Democrats immediately responded that the proposal could lead to more accidents and gun violence. They said the bill that supporters of the bill call constitutional carry will allow people to buy guns without training or background checks.

“Untrained bearing is what it is,” said Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, who was mayor of Parkland when a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alumnus fatally shot 17 students and teachers. “You are not making our communities, our schools or anywhere safer with this.”

Renner said law-abiding gun owners will take safety seriously.

“Anyone who owns a gun and uses guns knows that safety comes first,” Renner said. “That is important, but it is not mandatory. Then the permission and all aspects of that permission will be gone.”

Manuel and Patricia Oliver became advocates for stricter gun regulations after losing their 17-year-old son Joaquin in the 2018 massacre at Parkland High School. They said that with more people carrying guns without restrictions, Florida will become a more dangerous state.

“How about some paperwork, some rules, before you take that step? It’s not right and it’s not protecting (the wearer) from anything. In fact, it is putting a lot of people in danger,” Manuel Oliver said.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said people who want to harm others will not be stopped by the permit requirement.

“Criminals don’t get a permit. None of them. They don’t mind obeying the law. Our law-abiding citizens have that immediate right, guarantee and freedom to protect themselves,” Ivey said.

About half of the states allow people to carry a gun without a permit, a movement that has been growing particularly among conservative states.

Florida firearm owners would still have to conceal their guns in public, although there have been discussions to allow gun owners to openly carry guns.

Associated Press writer Terry Spencer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida contributed to this report.