Florida Gun Rights Calls for Special Session to Pass Constitutional Carry

The 2022 session of the Florida State Legislature ended in disappointment as Florida’s political class refused to bring up Constitutional Carry for a vote. Yet another session went by as Constitutional Carry died and no public vote on said legislation occurred. For people who have been involved in Constitutional Carry legislative campaigns for well over 5 years, this scene is all-too familiar. 

However, there is perhaps another chance for Florida gun owners to flex their muscles and at least bring Constitutional Carry forward for a public roll call vote. Florida Gun Rights, a no compromise gun lobby in the state, is currently leading the push for getting Governor Ron DeSantis to call a special session of the state legislature to pass Constitutional Carry. 

In a press release published on March 25, 2022, FLGR demanded that DeSantis take action and organize a special session that would feature Constitutional Carry as a principal agenda item. 

FLGR noted that the state legislature failed to move HB 103, Florida’s Constitutional Carry bill introduced by Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini. HB 103 made no real progress despite having 26 elected officials who went on record supporting the bill.

Per the FLGR press release, State Representative Chuck Brannan, the Chair of the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Subcommittee, was the individual responsible for killing Constitutional Carry in the Florida State Legislature.

“We are being left far behind other pro-gun states which are passing Constitutional Carry and repealing gun control,” declared Matt Collins, Director of Legislation for Florida Gun Rights. “Ohio and Indiana passed their Constitutional Carry bills already – and Georgia is slated to pass their bill soon. Nebraska might even get Constitutional Carry passed before the summer arrives. Yet our legislators refuse to restore the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Floridians.”

DeSantis has previously voiced his support for Constitutional Carry. In a video published on December 7, 2021, DeSantis even promised Collins that he would sign Constitutional Carry. DeSantis doubled down on March 3, 2022 when he pushed the state legislature to bring Constitutional Carry to his desk.

Along with Sabatini, State Representatives Jason Fischer and Michelle Salzman are the only state legislators calling for a special session. 

“It’s time to get this done. If Florida passes Constitutional Carry into law, millions of Americans will have their gun rights restored and our state will become a safer place to live,” Collins said in a concluding remark. 

Currently, 24 states have Constitutional Carry as law of the land. Constitutional Carry is the simple concept that any lawful adult who is legally allowed to possess a handgun should be allowed to carry it openly, or concealed, without having to beg the government for permission or pay it a fee.

Constitutional Carry has been the most successful political movement the Right has pursued in the last three decades. It’s likely that all red states will have Constitutional Carry as law of the land by the end of the decade.

However, this won’t be a walk in the park as evidenced with Florida’s current legislative ordeal. There’s no excuse for a state like Florida, where Republicans hold solid majorities in the Florida State House (78-42) and State Senate (24-16), to be lagging on Constitutional Carry. 

It’s up to Florida gun rights activists to set the record straight and continue putting pressure on their legislators  to pass constitutional carry. The Florida GOP has demonstrated that it won’t pass Constitutional Carry on its own, so it’s going to need lots of external pressure from the grassroots in order for it to carry out the will of gun owners.

José Niño is a freelance writer and political analyst based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter on political strategy here. Subscribe to his Substack here.

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