In the same 2016 election where Donald Trump won The Sunshine State, Republican State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla of Miami lost. Portillia had been the face of opposition to open carry and campus carry in the Florida legislature. Enter Greg Steube, a staunch Second Amendment and open carry supporter.
Steube has been appointed to Portilla’s former chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, where Portilla stymied open carry and campus carry legislation. Stuebe recently introduced a bill enabling open carry with a few other incremental reforms thrown in for good measure. From jaxdailyrecord.com:
Steube’s bill (SB 140), which is filed for the 2017 legislative session, also would expand the places where people with concealed weapons licenses are allowed to carry guns.
It would allow them to be armed at legislative meetings, local government meetings, elementary and secondary schools, airport passenger terminals and college and university campuses.
License holders would still be prohibited from carrying weapons at locations such as police stations, jails, courtrooms, polling places and most bars.
SB 140 brings Florida into alignment with the 45 other states that do not entirely ban the open carry of holstered pistols in most public areas. The only other states that do so are California, Illinois, New York and South Carolina.
Florida’s ban is fairly recent, from 1987, when former state attorney Janet Reno became incensed at the adoption of Florida’s incredibly successful “shall issue” concealed carry law. Reno successfully lobbied for a special session which banned the open carry of handguns in most places. At the time, the police and sheriff associations argued that open carry was preferable to concealed carry.
Steube’s proposal removes the restriction on open carry from individuals who have a concealed carry permit. The permit would become a simple “carry” permit, with no requirement to conceal the weapon. Meanwhile, Florida’s open carry ban is being challenged in court. The case has been appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which has not yet issued a ruling.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.