Florida House Passes Permitless Carry Despite the Majority of Floridians Opposing; Florida Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond
Polling shows 77 percent of Floridians oppose permitless carry and over 80 percent of gun owners, non-gun owners, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree that high safety standards are critical in issuing concealed carry permits.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to House Republicans passing permitless carry. The bill now awaits a vote in the Senate.
Recent polling shows that 77 percent of Floridians oppose permitless carry. This vote comes on the heels of two fatal shootings in Miami Beach this past weekend on Friday and Sunday during spring break. Two people were shot and killed and two people were shot and wounded. The Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber responded by issuing a state of emergency and a midnight curfew.
“Governor DeSantis and House Republicans have chosen to make our beaches, restaurants, schools, grocery stores, parks, and everywhere else we go more vulnerable to gun violence, ” said Wendy Malloy, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Instead of serving the Floridians they were sworn to protect, these lawmakers are bowing to a gun lobby that feeds on their political ambition to rake in millions of dollars — all while not taking any responsibility for the role it plays in tearing our families apart.”
“We can’t even have a spring break here without gun violence, meanwhile our lawmakers are pandering to the gun lobby and weakening our state’s gun laws,” said Catherine Allen, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Students Demand Action. “To our leaders putting their political ambitions over their constituents, we have a message: if you want to ignore public safety to play politics, this isn’t the job for you. We’ll be here every step of the way to hold you accountable — from the statehouse to the ballot box. ”
Permitless carry would allow people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a permit, criminal history check, or safety training, dismantling Florida’s system of responsible gun ownership. New research has also revealed that road rage shootings are at the highest level since 2018 and that states with permitless carry have by far the highest rate of road rage shootings with injuries or deaths. In fact, permitless carry states have nearly triple the rate of road rage shooting victimization than those states with the most protective standards. Florida already ranks 19th in the country for gun law strength, and this bill will only further jeopardize the safety and lives of Floridians.
Because Florida does not require background checks on unlicensed firearm sales, someone can buy a gun online with no background check — the permit may be the only background check a person ever receives. Permitless carry takes away a vital tool from law enforcement to ensure a person carrying a gun in public isn’t a criminal with a dangerous history. Law enforcement across the country, including in Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina have been vocal opponents of permitless carry legislation.
Concealed carry permitting systems enjoy overwhelming support nationally. The majority of Americans support concealed carry permitting systems that help ensure that only responsible gun owners can carry concealed guns in public — 88 percent of Americans think you should get a permit before carrying a concealed gun in public. Over 80 percent of gun owners, non-gun owners, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree that high safety standards are critical in issuing concealed carry permits.
In an average year over 2,900 people are killed by guns in Florida, and over 5,200 more are shot and wounded. Gun violence costs Florida $40.3 billion each year, of which $875.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Florida is available here.