Florida Police Chiefs Association Supports “Permitless Carry” Bill in State Legislature

On February 13, 2023, the Florida Police Chiefs Association announced that it backs permitless carry, which would allow law-abiding Floridians to carry handguns without having to beg the government for permission. According to a CBS News report, FPCA has joined the Florida Sheriffs Association in endorsing this legislation. 

 “Responsible gun ownership doesn’t begin with the issuance of a government permit,” Fellsmere Police Chief Keith Touchberry, president of the police chiefs association, declared in a statement. “It begins with training in how to safely handle, carry, use and store a weapon, and it continues with maintaining those competencies while complying with all applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations. Ultimately, gun safety means that a lawful gun owner who meets the statutory requirements for a concealed weapons permit, whether obtaining one or not, can protect themselves while not compromising the safety of their family, the community, or law enforcement.” 

There are bills in the Florida State House and State Senate (HB 543 and SB 150) that would scrap the requirement that people obtain concealed weapons licenses to carry handguns. 

Should Florida pass a clean Constitutional Carry bill, it will become the 26th state in the Union to have Constitutional Carry as law of the land. Florida is a state that still has significant work to do on gun rights. It’s ranked in a sub-par 27th place, per Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owner rankings. Passing Constitutional Carry would go a long way in improving the state’s pro-gun profile. 

Second Amendment activists must continue dialing up the pressure to ensure that this legislation passes. Just because a state is under firm Republican control does not guarantee easy passage for pro-gun legislation. As always, the grassroots must watch their elected officials like hawks and hold their feet to the fire. 

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