Florida has become the 26th state to permit its citizens to carry concealed firearms without a permit. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on Monday, after it was overwhelmingly approved by Florida’s state legislature last week. The law allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons with only a valid ID, without undergoing background checks or firearms training. The fine for failing to do so is $25.
Permitless concealed carry is now legal in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and North Dakota (for residents only).
The Florida Senate’s approval of the bill came just days after six people, including three children, were killed at an elementary school in Nashville. Democratic lawmakers have called for renewed gun control measures, including an assault weapons ban. Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, have reiterated calls for stricter school security measures and mental health resources.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is believed to be planning a 2024 presidential run and has previously stated his support for the bill. His visit to a gun store outside Atlanta, dubbed “the world’s largest gun store,” as part of a book tour promoting his book, The Courage to Be Free, sparked pushback from Georgia Democrats, who issued a statement condemning the visit just days after the Nashville shooting.
The U.S. Concealed Carry Association reported that Florida’s bill comes amid a wave of GOP-led initiatives to loosen gun regulation, despite calls from Democratic lawmakers and gun violence prevention groups to tighten them.