TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Governor Ron DeSantis told a group of supporters Friday he expects the State Legislature to pass a “Constitutional Carry” law before he leaves office.
“Well, the one thing I wanted the legislature to do, and I think we will do it — I can’t tell you exactly when — but I’m pretty confident that I will be able to sign a constitutional carry into law in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
Constitutional Carry would allow people to openly carry guns and other types of weaponry without the need for a permit, as previously reported by WFLA.
The governor then criticized Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried without mentioning her by name.
“We used to be a leader on second amendment,” he said. “There are like 25 states that have already done it and I think if you look at it, the official in charge of these permits, doesn’t support second amendment rights.”
Fried issued her own statement on the issue following the DeSantis’ comments.
“This is absurd political pandering from the Governor of a state that has experienced some of the worst mass shootings in our country’s history and in a nation where we have the highest rates of gun violence in the world,” Fried said. “It’s an insult to the memories and families of every victim of gun violence. 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.”
Kevin West is the managing partner of West Armory in Dade City. He said a constitutional carry law would only make it easier for law-abiding citizens to carry weapons.
“Any law-abiding citizen that can legally own and possess a firearm may carry it with them at any time, openly or concealed,” West said.
He said criminals are already carrying weapons when and where they want to.
“You’ve got to remember, criminals already have their guns, so passing constitutional carry just means a law-abiding citizen can legally carry their guns without the permit in Florida,” West added.