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House Committee to Hear Open Carry Bill

The Florida House Judiciary Committee will hear a bill to legalize open carry in Florida Thursday morning. 

HB 163, sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, would make it legal for concealed carry permit holders to carry their firearms in public. Anyone who willfully infringes on concealed weapons permit holders’ right to openly carry (like law enforcement officers) would face a $5,000 fine. Government entities who try to infringe upon the open carry rule could face an even higher penalty, $100,000. 

Florida law currently prohibits open carry. 

Some law enforcement groups and city mayors around the state have already voiced concerns over the legislation, saying it would make law enforcement officers' jobs more difficult and would hurt Florida's economy.

 

It's legal for gun owners to carry handguns openly in 30 states without a license or permit, while 15 states require a license to carry openly. If the Florida Legislature approves the measure, Florida would become the 46th state to allow open carry.

 

Comments

46 other states allow open carry and it is not a major concern of visitors to those states. Pass open carry in Florida now!

I support open carry although it isn't something I would do. Personal choice. What I don't support is the emotional appeals to "protect the Second Amendment" via open carry. This is not a 2A issue. It is an internal Florida issue governed under our state constitution,Declaration of Rights,Section 8,Part "a." Federalism matters. Calling every firearm issue a 2A emergency only weakens real 2A issues. Win or lose, open carry has nothing to do with the Bill of Rights prohibition on the federal government. However,ALL federal gun laws re RKBA are illegal,beginning with the NFA of 1934. The NRA is silent on this,and actively opposes any Florida legislative efforts to make federal firearms "laws" effectively impotent in FL using the legal anti commandeering principle. Open carry is a state issue. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise,including the bill's sponsors.

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