By Lydia Nusbaum
April 29, 2022 Updated 3:14 P.M. ET
WILLISTON (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis promised to legalize constitutional carry in Florida before his term ends as Governor. It would allow Floridians who follow the gun laws to conceal a handgun without obtaining a concealed weapons permit.
“The legislature will get it done. I can’t tell you if it’s going to be next week, six months, but I can tell you that before I am done as Governor we will have a signature on that bill,” DeSantis said.
The Governor made those remarks at a press conference Friday after being asked about strengthening second amendment rights.
State Rep. Spencer Roach, R-Lee County, is an avid supporter of constitutional carry and said there are “credible” rumors that it may be addressed in the May special session. DeSantis called a special session this May to address the unstable property insurance market.
“I think that I don’t need a permission slip from the government to carry weapons to protect my family,” Roach said. “The only permission slip I need is the Second Amendment.”
Roach said he has supported a constitutional carry bill every year since being elected to the House of Representatives in 2018. However, the bill did not appear in front of a House committee.
“I don’t think there’s any question, at least in my mind that the governor supports the idea of constitutional carry, and would find it if it got it on his desk. He’s been very clear and very consistent on that theme,” Roach said.
There are 24 other states with constitutional carry or permitless carry laws on the books.
“We used to be a leader on the second amendment,” DeSantis said. “There’s like 25 other states that have already done it and I think if you look now you have a situation where the official in charge of these permits [Nikki Fried] doesn’t support second amendment rights.”
DeSantis is referring to Democrat Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried, whose department oversees concealed weapons permits in Florida.
“So why would you want to subcontract out your constitutional rights to a public official that rejects the very existence of those rights,” DeSantis said.
Fried announced Friday that she suspended seven more Florida licenses held by people at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. She also responded to the Governor’s push for constitutional carry.
“We should be passing laws to prevent gun violence and working to fix our state’s affordable housing crisis, not creating chaos to score political points,” Fried said in a statement Friday.
It is illegal for Fried to provide names on those residents. Florida law says someone can not have concealed carry license if “you are under arrest or currently charged with any felony, or crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; or any crime of violence.”
Roach said he did not know the circumstances surrounding Fried’s decision to suspend seven concealed carry licenses.
“It does look like she’s trying to she’s trying to convey that this is a punitive response in reaction to those people’s involvement in January 6,” Roach said. “I don’t know if those people were engaged in a peaceful protest, or if they were, if they were among the few folks who did commit crimes inside the Capitol.”
There are constitutional carry laws that still allow the state to take away weapons from criminals.
“Just because you have a constitutional carry law in place, it doesn’t it doesn’t mean that the other laws that are on the books that seek to take away weapons from criminals are not going to be enforced,” Roach said.
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