FLORIDA – Things may be improving for the more than one million gun permit holders in the state of Florida. House Bill 273 has been proposed in the Florida legislature which would remove the requirement for gun owners to obtain a state issued permit in order to carry their firearm.

State Representative Anthony Sabatini (R) proudly took to Twitter saying, “Today I filed HB 273, which deletes the requirement that a person obtain a permission slip from government before concealing a weapon for their self defense— also known as “Constitutional Carry.” Our Second Amendment right should not be determined by a government bureaucracy.”

Sabatini has also included other revisions to the status quo in Florida in his bill. Additionally, if passed, the bill would lower the age to purchase a firearm as well as expand states with which Florida would have reciprocity. If passed, it would make Florida the 18th state to adopt Constitutional carry.

Everytown for Gun Safety, founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, released a statement saying “States that pass permitless carry see a substantial increase in gun violence. This dangerous legislation ignores the 88 percent of Americans who support requiring safety training and a clean criminal record in order to carry a concealed handgun in public.”

 

However, that statement is contradictory to recent findings. According to US News & World Report, the three safest states in the United States are Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. All three of these states have Constitutional carry. In fact, Vermont has never required a gun permit and has remained one of the safest states in the nation. Maine only adopted Constitutional carry in 2015 and has since surpassed Vermont’s safety rating and claimed the top spot as safest state in the country in both property crime as well as violent crime.

Open carry without a permit is already legal in 31 states. In most states, the simple act of just concealing a firearm requires a permit. With the majority of states in the US allowing a firearm to be openly carried without a permit, it calls into question if requiring a permit significantly impacts crime rates at all.

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However, some legislators have already publically declared their intentions to block the bill from progressing. Representative Anna Eskamami, who touts herself on social media as an unafraid progressive who worked for Planned Parenthood, took to Twitter saying, “You can count on us to fight this bill and to make sure it never gets to the Governor’s desk.”

 

However, many legislators are neglecting to consider the impact of permit fees on constituents from various socioeconomic backgrounds. According to USA Carry, a Florida resident must pay more than $100 to obtain a permit, which includes fees for fingerprinting and licensing. For many Florida residents, obtaining a permit may simply be cost prohibitive. Additionally, high crime areas where law abiding Floridians most need the ability to defend oneself, are often the same communities disproportionately affected by costly permit fees.

“You don’t have to ask the government for a permission slip before you conceal carry,” said Sabatini according to Fox 35 Orlando. “Why should they have to pay just to defend themselves from an attacker… This is a bill about making everyday law-abiding Americans more able to defend themselves if they wish.”

 

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