by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Brad Polumbo writes for Newsweek about the reaction to a recent policy from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law allowing “constitutional carry” in his state. Then, progressives and Democrats online had an absolute meltdown in response.
“Sickening,” the official Democratic Party’s Twitter account wrote of the news. “Hiding behind closed doors and with the NRA by his side, Ron DeSantis just signed a bill that could make it easier for criminals to carry guns. He’s prioritizing winning the MAGA base over our kids’ safety.”
The Biden administration evidently agrees, as White House Press Secretary similarly tweeted, “It is shameful that so soon after another tragic school shooting, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a permitless concealed carry bill behind closed doors, which eliminates the need to get a license to carry a concealed weapon.” Meanwhile, anti-gun activist Fred Guttenberg made bold predictions that this would lead to bloodshed and massacres.
Based on the reaction, you’d think DeSantis just signed legislation that gave every violent felon in Florida a free AR-15. But the reality of the reform is noticeably less extreme than critics’ hyperventilation would suggest.
Florida simply now becomes the 26th state that does not require citizens obtain a permit before conceal carrying a pistol for self-defense. In this, it joins well known deep-red, gun-violence ridden hellscapes like… Vermont and Maine.
There are a few key facts worth noting. For one, all federally licensed firearms dealers are still required to perform background checks in Florida. Private property owners can still prohibit people from bringing guns on their property, like a restaurant for example. People who are prohibited under Florida law from owning firearms, like violent felons, are still legally prohibited from carrying a gun and can be sent to prison if caught carrying. And it is still illegal to conceal carry a firearm on school grounds in Florida.