Florida’s Constitutional Carry Bill Faces Opposition From Broward County Sheriff

Florida may be on the verge of becoming the 26th state to adopt Constitutional Carry. Constitutional Carry is the simple concept that a lawful individual should be allowed to carry a firearm for self-defense without having to beg the government for a permit to carry. 

With solid Republican control of the Governor’s Mansion, the State House (85-35), and the State Senate (28-12), Constitutional Carry should pass without issue.

Naturally, the legislation has attracted opponents such as Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was ironically appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis. At a public hearing, Tony declared that he would “absolutely 100,000-plus-10-percent disagree with it.”

“We are very divided in this state once we pass Orlando. The dynamics change, the philosophical approach to politics and everything else,” Tony declared. “So I would imagine we are not going to get every sheriff to support that,” meaning to oppose a further weakening of state gun laws. “I will represent us the best I can, and the interests of this community, and I won’t waver in my commitment to that.”

Tony stressed that licensing is a way of preventing dangerous individuals from acquiring firearms. 

“Let’s keep the checks and balances and expand on them,” Tony said to lawmakers. “I don’t think we need to reduce our due diligence to safeguard this community.”

Broward County remains one of the last Democratic strongholds in Florida, which has grown blood red in recent years.

As for Florida’s political class, Republicans seem to be onboard. When State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo was asked if she would support Constitutional Carry, a spokesperson responded, “Yes.”

“President Passidomo supports permitless carry legislation,” stated Katy Betta, Passidomo’s spokesperson.

State House Speaker Paul Renner also hinted at moving Constitutional Carry forward in the House.

In December, DeSantis indicated that passing Constitutional Carry was a legislative priority for him in 2023. 

“This was something that I’ve always supported,” DeSantis said to the Tampa Bay Times in December. “The last two years, it was not necessarily a priority for the legislative leadership. But we’ve been talking about it … and it’ll be something that will be done in the regular session.”

Florida needs to catch up with the rest of red America on Constitutional Carry. With such strong Republican majorities, there is no excuse for Florida to not pass Constitutional Carry. Florida gun owners must be ready to flame elected officials, especially Republicans, who aren’t doing their job to restore gun rights in the Sunshine State. Such legislation is long overdue for a staunchly red state like Florida.

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