Florida House Committee Approves bill to allow Open Carry of Firearms
Today, a Florida House committee approved a bill to allow open carry in the Sunshine State.
So it passed the first round.
Florida is one of only five states and the District of Columbia that don’t allow any type of open carry. That could change.
If the new open carry bill becomes law you could see folks openly displaying their guns while you’re walking down the street with your kids.
At this point, it would apply only to folks who have a concealed carry license, and go through the training to get it. You can still ban guns on private property, and you still can’t carry guns in schools, government meetings, airports, or bars.
The bill’s sponsor Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz says this will make Florida safer, but gun law expert Charles Rose says you should be wary.
“It’s a full out assault on the safety and welfare of the citizens of Florida,” Rose said.
Here’s the rub: Rose says the bill calls for probable cause to even allow police to question whether someone wearing a gun should really have it and that could, “allow folks who are illegally carrying more coverage,” he said. “They have literally created a standard here that says if you have a gun, you’re good to go, and unless you’re in commission of a crime, a police officer is supposed to leave you alone.”
So, even if someone looks suspicious with a gun on their hip, Rose says police would be bound to stay away.
“This is a straight on attack on the idea of the rule of law. You want to turn Tampa into tombstone, and it makes no sense.”