Florida permitless carry law takes effect July 1

Anyone legally allowed to own a gun can carry it concealed without a license
Floridians won't need permit to carry firearms starting July 1
Published: Jun. 13, 2023 at 6:33 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida’s Concealed Weapon License is going away. July 1, the Sunshine State will become a “permitless carry” state.

This means anyone legally allowed to own a gun can carry it concealed without a license to do so.

Florida Gun Owners director Luis Valdes said the new law is a step in the right direction for maintaining the right to bear arms.

“Criminals have broken the law. The idea that requiring a permit would stop criminals, doesn’t,” Valdes said.

Valdes and Women for Gun Rights southeast director Amanda Suffecool said requiring a permit to carry a gun creates hardships for many vulnerable people.

“They impact the communities that most need firearms for self-defense and make so they can least afford it,” Suffecool said.

Owen Girard said with Florida becoming a permitless carry state, he expected crime rates would go down.

“When you have this understanding anybody, even the person standing next to you, could be carrying a gun or could be carrying a firearm of some type, and be able to gun you down before you do any harm, that’s going to deter you,” Girard said.

But Patti Bringham disagrees. She said without having a permit process it could lead to even more guns on the streets.

“There will be people carrying weapons who never took a background check because they didn’t buy their gun from a federally licensed dealer who requires a background check,” Brigham said.

Brigham is the president of Prevent Gun Violence Florida, which was created seven years ago after the Pulse nightclub shooting. She’s worried about the safety of members of the LGBTQ+ community because of the numerous laws Gov. Ron DeSantis signed this year.

“This will no doubt make it more dangerous for them, especially when originations have come out and advised LGBTQ people to not travel to Florida,” Brigham said.

Olivia Solomon is a member of March for Our Lives, a gun-violence prevention group formed after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

She said her friends were in the school at the time and now she’s making a plan for her future.

“I’ll be glad I’ll be leaving college soon trying to leave the state of Florida. When this bill passed, it was a thought in my mind that I need to get out of here before I can’t anymore,” Solomon said.

Florida is the 26th state with a permitless carry law on the books.

By definition, Florida isn’t a constitutional carry state because it’s still illegal to openly carry a gun in Florida.