New Florida law sparks controversy

Currently, Florida requires no permit whereas Pennsylvania requires a permit but no live-fire training.

Currently, Florida requires no permit whereas Pennsylvania requires a permit but no live-fire training.

Veronica Langrehr, Co-Editor-in-Chief

    On April 3, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill to allow the concealed carry of firearms in the state without a permit or license after it was approved in a 28-13 state Senate vote. This law will go into effect July 1. 

    Concealed carry is legal in all 50 states but some states require additional training and permits, in order to carry a weapon. Before Senate Bill 150/House Bill 543 was signed into law by DeSantis, Florida required a permit to carry a weapon. 

    “Constitutional Carry is in the books,” said DeSantis. 

    The new law states that anyone carrying a concealed firearm does not need a permit, but is required to have valid identification at all times if carrying the weapon. In addition, if the individual is prohibited from owning a firearm but is carrying one it is a third degree felony. 

     The law also highlights that concealed weapons can be shortly shown, stating people can “briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.”

    There are restrictions to this legislation including police or patrol stations, detention centers, courthouses, polling areas, schools, airports, careers centers and “establishments devoted to dispensing alcohol for consumption on premises.” 

    And while this has overwhelming state government support, it has faced heavy criticism from Florida residents and citizens across the U.S. 

    “I think it’s a little concerning considering all the mass shootings that have been happening in the U.S. I believe that people should be able to conceal carry, but they should definitely have to have a permit and/or training. Personally, I hope this would not get passed in a state like Pennsylvania,” said senior Owen Hill. 

     A poll from University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab found 77% of Floridians do not support this decision with 62% being republicans, a party that typically supports the expansion and protection of gun laws. 

    Legislation like this can influence other states by reinforcing lawmakers who are attempting to restrict gun-free zones, eliminate background checks and diminish “red-flag laws” in states like Kentucky, Ohio, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia. 

     “It (laws) can definitely influence legislation in other states, because we generally do live in a copycat society, and that’s not a bad thing. It can be used as an example. It allows for other states to look at it for the positives and negatives,” said law teacher Matthew Astorino. 

    On one hand, the law allows for the ability for citizens to be able to defend themselves but others see this as concerning and potentially resulting in gun-related violence. 

    Increase in gun-related violence across the country has all eyes on Florida. What others do to follow is yet to be seen.