Florida has been flirting with licensed open carry for several legislative sessions. Some of the flirting has become rather provocative, to the point of teasing. Last legislative session, open carry passed the house with large margins, but was blocked in the Senate by Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a “moderate” Republican committee chair from Miami.

Portilla then lost his seat in the November election. Some have suggested the Republican leadership was using Portilla to accomplish what they wanted — blocking open carry without saying so publicly. From a comment by Bob at The Truth About Guns:

Miguel Diaz de la Portilla was a Republican for those that don’t know. Also the Senate President is not a fan of open carry and just appointed a Democrat to Chair the Criminal Justice Committee. SB 140 can go through their and not Stuebe’s committee and it can be killed there.

Open and campus carry have a much better chance in the Florida legislature this year. The Senate president has routed the bill around the Criminal Justice Committee. From tampabay.com:

Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, has sent SB 140 — by Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Steube — to be heard before three committees, all chaired by conservative Republicans who passionately support gun-owners’ rights. They are: Steube’s Judiciary Committee; Government Oversight & Accountability, chaired by Dennis Baxley of Ocala; and Rules, chaired by Lizbeth Benacquisto of Fort Myers.

Committee assignments are a routine step that is typically not significant but, in this case, is quite revealing of Senate leadership’s support for Steube’s wide-ranging measure.

Notably: The bill will not be reviewed by the Criminal Justice Committee, a common stop for past gun-related legislation. That committee is now chaired by an Orlando Democrat, Randolph Bracy.

A lot can happen to bills in the legislative sausage-making process. There are plenty of steps in the process at which they can be stopped. But for now, SB 140 looks to have a good chance.

Elections have consequences.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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29 Responses to Florida Committee Assignments Positive for Open and Campus Carry Bills

  1. SB 140’s chances are pretty bad. There are a ton of new York style republicans, half a dozen at least in the Senate.

      • It was desperation. Crime in FL was insane at the time. Prior to concealed carry passing, the homicide rate in FL was so much higher than the national average that the pols had no choice.

  2. I’m thankful Florida gun law isn’t as bad as Texas…just thought I get that in here first….hoping I did it right.

    • What ya talkin’ bout Model 31? At least we have legal open carry and concealed campus carry.

      • Ease up…I open carried in Texas this very day. There are always folks with Texas envy showing up here to slam Texas about restrictive gun laws claiming “Muh state is better than Texas”. Same stuff…every time…nothing original about it anymore. Just calling it out ahead of time.

  3. It’s pretty crazy that some of these states people say are great for guns actually license OC whereas states that are supposedly bad about guns like Colorado just allow it as long as you’ve got the gun.

    • Two different axes of evil. What you can own along one, and where / how you can carry it along the other. More attention is generally paid to the first.

      • The difference I imagine is that in Colorado what you can own isn’t enforced at all. It’s universally ignored.

        I imagine what/how you can carry in Florida is enforced.

        • I understand what you’re saying, but.

          It’s not enforced and universally ignored now. That can change very quickly, both locally and state-wide, depending on who in the police and prosecutors’ offices are looking to score points where.

          I’d rather not have to choose to break any law and hope I’ll always get away with it in the first place.

        • Fair enough.

          To me I think it’s dumb. I can buy anything I want here in Colorado (except “large” mags) and OC it. In Florida I can buy anything I want, including “large mags” and I can’t carry it without a license that doesn’t actually exist at this point.

          As dumb as Colorado’s newish laws are, I’d rather have them than the law in Florida (or Texas).

  4. Fantastic!

    I started this thread over at AR15.com back on December 8, 2016

    OFFICIAL 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION THREAD FOR FL GUN RIGHTS – NOW 2 BILLS IN HOUSE/ 2IN SENATE – https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_8_10/608267_OFFICIAL-2017-LEGISLATIVE-SESSION-THREAD-FOR-FL-GUN-RIGHTS—NOW-2-BILLS-IN-HOUSE–2IN-SENATE.html

    Back on Decmeber 12, 2016 I spoke with Senator Wilton Simpson ‘s office to schedule a face to face meeting over SB 140. Senator Simpson is the Senate Majority Leader for those wondering. His office said a meeting should be possible this coming January.

    I called the Speaker of the House’s office too. Scheduled a meeting. The receptionist stated that she’s had numerous calls into the office both for and against. I just had to explain to her how and what HB 6001 and 6005 is.

    You guys need to call.

    She specifically said that a number of people are calling and informing her and the Speaker of the House that under Federal Law, it is illegal to carry at an airport. I spent twenty minutes explaining it to her that is not the case. She genuinely asked me since I informed her that I was LE what was the real deal.

    CALL AND VOICE SUPPORT FOR HB 6001, HB 6005, AND SB 140!

    I pitched the issue of Airport carry under the impression of self defense while picking up family and being an arrival.

    Stated that since no one by law can carry in the non sterile areas. Criminals do some muggings knowing that folks clearing the arrival areas aren’t carrying when walking to the car lots. Same with muggings going on, etc… A couple of cases have happened at MIA so I’m not blowing smoke out of my butt.

    On December 15, 2016 I contacted the Joe Negron’s office and also asked for a meeting this coming January. They haven’t replied back yet. But I have been spreading word and using as many contacts as I can to keep the pressure up on all of our elected officials. Those in the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.

  5. Fantastic!

    I started hitting the State hard back in December 8, 2016

    Back on Decmeber 12, 2016 I spoke with Senator Wilton Simpson ‘s office to schedule a face to face meeting over SB 140. Senator Simpson is the Senate Majority Leader for those wondering. His office said a meeting should be possible this coming January.

    I called the Speaker of the House’s office too. Scheduled a meeting. The receptionist stated that she’s had numerous calls into the office both for and against. I just had to explain to her how and what HB 6001 and 6005 is.

    She specifically said that a number of people are calling and informing her and the Speaker of the House that under Federal Law, it is illegal to carry at an airport. I spent twenty minutes explaining it to her that is not the case. She genuinely asked me since I informed her that I was LE what was the real deal.

    I pitched the issue of Airport carry under the impression of self defense while picking up family and being an arrival.

    Stated that since no one by law can carry in the non sterile areas. Criminals do some muggings knowing that folks clearing the arrival areas aren’t carrying when walking to the car lots. Same with muggings going on, etc… A couple of cases have happened at MIA so I’m not blowing smoke out of my butt.

    On December 15, 2016 I contacted the Joe Negron’s office and also asked for a meeting this coming January. They haven’t replied back yet. But I have been spreading word and using as many contacts as I can to keep the pressure up on all of our elected officials. Those in the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.

    Oh as for why I said “Miguel Diaz de la Portilla was a Republican for those that don’t know. Also the Senate President is not a fan of open carry and just appointed a Democrat to Chair the Criminal Justice Committee. SB 140 can go through their and not Stuebe’s committee and it can be killed there.” back on December 14, 2016.

    For those that don’t know. Senate President Joe Negron; a Stuart Republican, has made “improving the state’s universities a top priority”. That means he might try to kill Campus Carry. All the presidents of Florida’s universities, and their police chiefs, went on record as strongly opposed to last session’s push to let Campus Carry happen.

    Negron appointed Senator Randolph Bracy , a freshman Democrat from Orlando, to chair the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice.

    Last year, Negron could have prevent the crap that happened with Miguel Diaz de la Portilla but he didn’t. The year before last it was a similar deal. They killed it in committee.

    As a private citizen I spend my own time lobbying for better gun rights at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. I burn my own vacation time to do it. Hell, doing so paints a target on my back as a member in law enforcement since I’m voicing opinions that go against command staff.

    Negron is no friend of guns but he might be bowing down to run in 2018 for Bill Nelson’s Senate seat. Word is Gov. Scott is also looking at running.

    • Thanks, Bob. I appreciate your work even though I live in MA. I have a FL permit and use it when I visit the Gunshine State.

    • Um Bob, Negron wasn’t President last year and he’s not a problem. Garcia, Perry, Gainer, Latvala, and Grimsley are problems. FSU president John Thrasher is at the Capitol lobbying against it. He is owed favors.

      • Had a brain fart…. It was Andy Gardiner last year. Actually since 2014. John Thrasher is a scum bag. Also former Senate President before Gardiner. Rewarded by Rick Scott to be FSU President. That in of itself was a mess.

        The FL GOP is not gun friendly. There is change happening but they arne’t gun friendly. They bow down to the king rat in Orlando and are very much of the mindset of NE GOP members like those in the NY Senate that supported the passage of the SAFE Act. Just not on the same scale.

  6. I will be absolutely STUNNED if Florida approves open carry — with or without a license.

    Remember my recent comments about Big Money? How about Disney and the rest of the tourism industry in Florida? I am sure all would agree the Florida tourism industrial complex qualifies for the Big Money moniker. All it will take is the tourism industrial complex to say, “A large number of tourists from New England and Europe will stop vacationing in Florida and cost us billions of dollars if we legalize open carry.” And that there will be the immediate end of open carry legislation.

    • Or, hypothetically speaking, open carry passes and the tourists (who have no such civil rights at home) see these exotic Floridians striding about with GUNS (gasp!) on their hips and NO ONE IS GETTING SHOT!

    • We have concealed with no tourism issues. But I guess that’s out of sight out of mind instead of being in a liberals face.

  7. Dont forget the sheriff from pinellas Bob Gualetieri spewing false information and hating on floridians saying we are to diverse to be trusted.

  8. I called and e mailed my state senator, Jeff Clemens and expressed my support for SB 104
    He is a Democrat
    I also called and e mailed my state representative, Bill Hager
    He is a republican
    We will see how they vote

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