TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Less than five days after the nation’s latest school shooting in Nashville, Florida is poised to loosen its gun laws.
SB150 is a permitless carry bill wrapped in school safety measures and it is expected to pass before the end of this week.
The policy allows legal gun owners to carry concealed without the need for a state-issued permit or the training required to get it.
Democrats are calling this move by Republicans dangerous and tone-deaf.
“It’s in poor taste to hear a bill like this two days after three 9-year-olds and three educators were killed In their school. Particularly when you’re dealing with permitless carry and school safety,” State Sen. Lauren Book said Wednesday.
Republicans meanwhile say Nashville is why a policy like SB150 is needed.
“This is a big step for the state of Florida. This is a Monumental codification of our right to bear arms. It does fantastic things for our schools to keep them safe and take care of those things we love the most, our children,” the senate bills sponsor State Sen. Jay Collins said.
When asked by 8 On Your Side’s Libbey Dean if tragedies like Nashville give him pause when it comes to passing this legislation. Collins answered, “It doesn’t give me pause. Good guys with a gun are the antidote to bad guys with a gun as we saw in the body cam footage.”
The Senate heard questions and amendments Wednesday. One testy amendment brought by State Sen Jason Pizzo would allow guns in the chambers. The amendment language specifically says “removing the prohibition of carrying specified weapons into meetings of the Legislature or a committee thereof.”
“Now an individual will be able to carry in aisle five at Publix with my wife and kids. Then I think it’s only fair that they should be able to carry in the same room that we are in,” State Sen. Jason Pizzo said.
The Senate is expected to vote and pass SB150 Thursday sending it to the governor for his signature. The governor has said he would sign it into law, but also previously voiced support for open-carry. If signed, Florida would become the 26th state to allow permitless carry.