Gun rights advocate says people shouldn’t worry that Florida’s new permitless carry law eliminates safety training

Moms Demand Action protested the new law in Jacksonville on Tuesday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Community members are sharing their thoughts after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will make it legal to carry a concealed gun without a permit.

The new law that goes into effect in July also eliminates the need to get training.

The Jacksonville chapter of Moms Demand Action protested Tuesday in front of the Duval County Public Schools headquarters to speak out against the bill.

They say it’s not something they approve of and makes the state less safe. Those in favor of the bill have said it will make the state safer and give people the chance to take care of themselves without jumping through so many hoops.

Gov. DeSantis quietly signed House Bill 543 in front of about 25 people in Tallahassee on Monday.

And just because the state has a permitless carry doesn’t means guns are now allowed everywhere.

You still can’t carry them into schools, government buildings, bars or airports.

“I think it’s just asinine that we are rolling back our guns laws,” said Katie Hathaway with Moms Demand Action.

Hathaway said she doesn’t understand why the governor would sign it.

“I absolutely believe permitless carry will increase gun violence in Jacksonville and across the state of Florida. Our communities are bleeding our nation is traumatized,” she said.

But not everyone feels that way.

Sean Caranna executive director of Florida Carry said he’s happy the bill is expanding what he said is citizens’ Constitutional right to bear arms.

He said people shouldn’t be worried about the bill not requiring training.

“A government-specified training requirement is not the same thing as being educated. And many many people have been taught by family members, have been taught by veterans,” Caranna said.

News4Jax asked Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters if the bill could make Jacksonville less safe.

“I think it gives the opportunity to give law-abiding citizens to be able to take care of themselves because we can’t be everywhere,” Waters said.

News4Jax also reached out to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office to find out how the sheriff feels about this bill passing.

”The Constitution protects gun ownership rights and the ability to carry a firearm. Violent criminals are not applying for a state permit to carry a gun,” Sheriff Michelle Cook said in a statement.

Moms Demand Action said they plan to reach out to other lawmakers before the legislative session is over to continue to fight for safer gun laws.

Caranna said his group plans to try next year and get lawmakers to fight for open carry laws.

About the Author:

Khalil Maycock joined the News4JAX team in November 2022 after reporting in Des Moines, IA.