TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Florida has become the 26th state to adopt a permitless or constitutional carry law after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday, allowing eligible residents aged 21 and up to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
With this development, the majority of US states now have constitutional carry laws in place.
The bill was passed by the Florida Senate in a 27-13 vote last week and will come into effect on July 1, 2023, according to USA Today.
Supporters of the legislation, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), argue that it advances Second Amendment rights and promotes self-defense without bureaucratic barriers.
Randy Kozuch, Interim Executive Director of the NRA-ILA, praised the move, stating that it “empowers Floridians to exercise their Second Amendment rights” and affirms their “fundamental right to self-defense,” according to Fox News.
Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison criticized DeSantis for signing the legislation, arguing that it “could make it easier for criminals to carry guns,” according to USA Today.
Meanwhile, some pro-gun advocates expressed disappointment that the bill does not include “open carry” provisions, which is why this will be referred by some as “permitless” rather than “constitutional” carry.
Despite the elimination of permit requirements, Florida residents will still have the option to obtain a carry permit for travel to states that require it and have reciprocity agreements with Florida. Their non-resident permit remains extremely popular with residents from other states.