US Officially Becomes a Majority 'Constitutional Carry' Nation with a Stroke of DeSantis' Pen
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation into law Monday making his state the 26th to recognize “constitutional carry”: the right of citizens to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
During his State of the State address to the Florida Legislature last month, DeSantis said, “We also understand that part of fighting crime is to protect Floridians’ right to defend themselves.”
“A constitutional right should not require a permission slip from the government,” he said. “It is time we join 25 other states to enact constitutional carry in the state of Florida!”
It’s time we joined 25 other states to enact constitutional carry in Florida! pic.twitter.com/tQj1zY9Zwp
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 15, 2023
With the enactment of House Bill 543, a majority of U.S. states will have laws recognizing constitutional carry.
In addition to Florida, the states that recognize constitutional carry are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Fox News reported the new law “allows eligible citizens 21 years of age and up to carry without asking the government for a permit and without paying a fee. The legislation does not change who is eligible to obtain a carry permit, and those who still wish to get a permit may do so under the law.”
Obtaining a permit allows those who want to concealed carry in other states that recognize Florida permits to do so.
HB 543 takes effect July 1.
The National Rifle Association celebrated DeSantis signing the bill into law.
“This is a momentous step in the Constitutional Carry movement as now the majority of American states recognize the Constitution protects the right for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves outside their homes without fees or permits,” Randy Kozuch, interim executive director of NRA-ILA, said in a statement.
“The carry movement began decades ago and the NRA has been working to get this legislation passed throughout America. Therefore, today is indeed a day to celebrate,” he said.
This historic legislation makes Florida the 26th state where law-abiding residents do not need to pay additional fees and apply for a government permit to exercise their right to defend themselves and their families with a firearm outside their homes. #NRAhttps://t.co/rpK359NvGD
— America’s 1st Freedom (@NRAA1F) April 3, 2023
In its news release Monday, the NRA said, “Contrary to claims by the gun-control lobby and their supporters in the legislature, this law does not allow anyone prohibited under state or federal law from possessing a firearm to now carry a firearm.
“Felons and other disqualified persons can still be punished under federal, state and local statutes for unlawful possession of a firearm.”
DeSantis isn’t tired of WINNING 👍🏽
— Jenn (@jennyjupite) April 3, 2023
Kozuch told Fox News, “We thank Gov. DeSantis for his support of self-defense and Second Amendment laws and for prioritizing the safety and security of Florida residents. This historic moment is a testament to the dedication of the NRA, our members, gun owners, and Second Amendment supporters working together in the state.”
“Today’s NRA victory inspires us to continue advocating for Constitutional Carry laws across the nation, ensuring the protection of Second Amendment rights for all Americans,” he said.
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