Florida's New Gun Law Carrying Firearms Without a Concealed Weapons Permit

Florida’s New Gun Law: Carrying Firearms Without a Concealed Weapons Permit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Significant changes to Florida’s gun laws will take effect on July 1. A new law will allow eligible individuals to carry guns without a concealed weapons permit, eliminating the previous requirement of applying for a license, attending a class, and undergoing a background check.

The change is part of a larger bill (HB 543) supported by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

However, the language of the law is complex, leading to questions from the public. To address these concerns, News4JAX sought answers from a police supervisor at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

According to JSO Chief of Patrol Jaime Eason, eligible individuals will no longer need to apply for a concealed weapons license but must still adhere to the requirements if they choose to obtain one. The law enforcement agency has been preparing for this change by educating officers who will in turn educate the public.

Eason stated that despite worries about Florida becoming a lawless state, he is not concerned about an increase in people resorting to gun violence due to the new law.

Law-abiding citizens, who typically do not engage in such behavior, can now exercise their Second Amendment right without obtaining a license. Individuals who were not law-abiding citizens to begin with already possessed guns unlawfully, and this change does not affect their status.

Certain restrictions still apply under the new law. Convicted felons and individuals with restraining orders against them remain prohibited from owning or carrying firearms.

Additionally, Florida does not become an open carry state, and individuals must keep their weapons concealed. There is a list of locations where firearms are still prohibited, including schools, government buildings, airports, and bars.

Individuals without a permit will also face a three-day waiting period when purchasing a handgun. Furthermore, those who choose to carry without a permit must carry a valid ID and present it to law enforcement upon request. While not mandatory, it is recommended that individuals inform an officer if they are carrying a firearm when pulled over.

Eason emphasized that firearms must be kept concealed and should only be drawn in genuine self-defense emergencies.

The new law prohibits using firearms in an aggressive manner and mandates compliance with Florida’s existing laws. Engaging in unlawful displays of firearms, such as during an argument at a gas station, can lead to arrest.

While firearms training is not a requirement for carrying without a permit, Eason advised that continuing safety classes are always a wise choice.

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