DeSantis signs ‘Church Carry’ bill, legalizing guns at places of worship

Florida

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law letting concealed carry permit holders to have their guns with them at churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions, as well as property owned, leased, or rented by them.

HB 259, called a “Church Carry” bill by some, took effect immediately upon becoming law.

Going forward, if you’ve got a concealed carry permit and own a gun, you can now take it with you to church. The bill allowing the carry restriction at religious institutions was short, just over a page long.

The new law says that it does not limit the private property rights of churches, synagogues, or other religious institutions to exercise control over their property regarding firearms. The institutions will still be allowed to control whether or not firearms are allowed on their property.

While HB 259 expands Second Amendment rights for gun owners of faith, even supporters say the bill “doesn’t go far enough.”

Pro-gun organization Florida Gun Rights says the law doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t make Constitutional Carry the law of the land, though the new legislation is “a step in the right direction.”

Constitutional Carry is the right to legally carry a handgun, openly or concealed, regardless of permit or license. 21 states have Constitutional Carry currently, Florida is not one of them, according to Florida Gun Rights.

“Constitutional Carry is the law in 21 other states but where does Governor Ron DeSantis stand on this critical issue?” said Matt Collins, Director of Legislation for Florida Gun Rights. “So far he has been silent.”

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