GOA florida capitol rally Tallahassee
Courtesy GOA
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I write this today not solely as Gun Owner of America’s Florida State Director, I write this as a Floridian who is invested in promoting and advancing freedom and liberty for all.

This is the third year in a row that constitutional carry has been introduced in the Florida legislature and it appears that this might be the third year in a row in which a Republican supermajority refuses to hold themselves to the principles that they claim to represent.

It’s important to know who is fighting hard to advance the cause of liberty. As I say to every group that has hosted me as a speaker, I am one person. I don’t speak for gun owners, I simply try to amplify their voices. We are all in this together. Our national motto is “E Pluribus Unum – Out Of Many, One.” I take that to heart.

Lawmakers in Tallahassee think that constitutional carry is just an idea being pushed by one to two gun rights organizations and has no real public backing. Well, they’re wrong. I wish I could list every organization, group, and business that openly supports the call for constitutional carry in the Sunshine State, but I can’t. There isn’t enough room. But I can show you some of those that truly care.

Right now, there are seven county-level Republican executive committees that have openly called for the passage of constitutional carry.

Gulf County, FL
St. Johns County, FL
Bay County, FL
Indian River County, FL
Manatee County, FL
Suwannee County, FL
Seminole County, FL

Tallahassee lawmakers constantly claim that if constitutional carry is passed, the state’s tourism industry will suffer. I find it strange that six of the seven Republican party orgs on the county level that have openly called for the passage of constitutional carry are tourism epicenters.

Bay County and Gulf County are home to the Panama City metro area. You know, the area made famous for Spring Break. Indian River County is home to Vero Beach and St. Johns County is home to St. Augustine, two more major tourist destinations.

Seminole County is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee metro area, home to Disney World and Universal Studios. Manatee County is part of the Tampa Bay metro area, another huge tourist spot and home to the Busch Gardens theme park.

Little Suwanee County is home to Live Oak. It isn’t considered a major tourist spot, but it is part of Rep. Chuck Brannan’s (R) district and right now he’s the one sitting on constitutional carry, keeping it from coming up for a vote. You read that right, the Suwanee Republican committee is openly calling for the passage of constitutional carry and their own representative isn’t listening to them.

These RECs are just the first mind you. More will follow. The more the establishment squeezes the committees in an attempt to silence them, the more liberty-minded Floridians will fight back and demand constitutional carry.

Outside of the RECs, you have other organizations that have put their money where their mouth is.

Florida Federation of Young Republicans

The Florida Federation of Young Republicans has sent a loud message to Tallahassee. They back constitutional carry. They aren’t an organization that can be laughed off by lawmakers either as they have large numbers and are allied with the College Republicans. They are tired of the crooked games that establishment lawmakers play in the capitol. Gun control has greatly affected them and they want their rights restored and, more importantly, expanded.

Greater Melrose Republican Liberty Caucus
Florida Republican Liberty Caucus

The Greater Melrose Republican Liberty Caucus represents Bradford County, Clay County, and Putnam County in the Florida Republican Liberty Caucus. Both the Greater Melrose RLC and the Florida RLC has a whole openly have called for the passage of constitutional carry. The Greater Melrose area covers the counties that stretch from the Gainesville area up to the west side of the St. Augustine area.

The RLC’s goal is to be the moral and political compass of Republican Party of Florida. They work hard at pushing freedom and liberty and making sure that the RPOF and Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee hold to their oaths to uphold liberty and freedom.

New Tampa Republican Club

The New Tampa Republican Club is a grassroots organization based out of Hillsborough County and they have considerable sway in local and regional politics. Their members are politically active and fired up. They are loud and proud as gun owners and will not allow Tallahassee RINOs to push their rights aside.

Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Florida

Founded in 1967, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and its Florida chapter is becoming the conservative voice for Hispanics and Latinos in the American political arena. For such an organization to openly call for the passage of constitutional carry means a lot. Many of their Florida members are Cuban and Venezuelan, people who have personally suffered under totalitarian dictatorship and gun control. They understand why constitutional carry is truly important.

Second Amendment Coalition of Florida along with members of the Libertarian Party of Florida, supporting Gun Owners of America back in August, 2021.

The Second Amendment Coalition of Florida is based in Palm Beach County. Yes, that Palm Beach County…the bluest of the blue counties in the state.

They are a no-nonsense group of Florida gun owners who are passionate and care about their rights. Many are refugees who fled from New York and New Jersey and they don’t want to see Florida become what their home states are. They are openly calling for the passage of constitutional carry. They know full well what it is to live in a state where a constitutional right it turned into a privilege.

Also, you have the Indian River County Florida 2nd Amendment Defense Coalition. Another local no-nonsense group of Floridians that are proud gun owners and fighting the good fight on the local level.

The Libertarian Party of Florida needs no explanation. They stand for liberty and freedom and have been very vocal in the fight for constitutional carry.

Many businesses have shown support as well.

Force Pro Arms & Tactical LLC of Eustis, FL

One such business is Force Pro Arms & Tactical LLC of Eustis, FL. As an FFL, it would make sense to see such a business support constitutional carry. But as a training company, constitutional carry would take a bite of their bottom line. Or so you would think.

They know and understand that if more people have legal access to firearms, many of those people will seek training. For that, they deserve recognition because, as we saw in Texas, some instructors don’t want constitutional carry because they believe it will hurt their business.

Again our national motto is “E Pluribus Unum – Out Of Many, One.” I hold that motto dear and near to my heart. Because together, we will make Florida free. As GOA’s Florida State Director and a Floridian, I’m proud to work with such organizations and other gun rights groups.

This is a long hard fight against what has become an authoritarian establishment that wishes to keep Florida in the back of the line when it comes to its citizens’ gun rights. It’s time for Floridians to rise up and let their voices be heard.


Luis Valdes is the Florida Director for Gun Owners of America.

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  1. I was recently refused a back ground check here in Florida so now I am on some LIST of undesirables and no one will tell me how this happened. My future purchases will now all be at Gun Shows.

    • You still have to pass a background check to purchase a firearm at gun shows. Constitutional Carry is different from background check for purchase.

      • “Have you tried going to court and showing your records that prove you have not done any.”

        What? You object to keeping a log of all the things you didn’t do, in order to prove you didn’t do something. You some kind of insurrectionist or something? Some kind anti-government, misinformation spreader, ultra alt-right conspiracy nut?

    • Mark,

      If you are not a prohibited person…

      skip all these other suggestions about action on your own… get a lawyer that specializes in such things, they can take care of this better and faster more successfully than you will be able to do on your own.

      Contact a gun rights organization and ask if they can help you find a lawyer, or you could do a search on Bing with ‘florida gun rights lawyers’ and find a bunch of them.

      But what ever you do, use a lawyer to take care of this for you.

      Also, you have a (legal, and constitutional) right to know why you were “refused a back ground check”. You need to find out what the procedures are for this but a lawyer can help with that too.

      If you are a prohibited person, well, depending on the circumstances its possible to have your gun rights restored and a lawyer can help with this too.

    • “My future purchases will now all be at Gun Shows“

      And another prohibited person makes use of the ‘gun show loophole’ in order to illegally arm themselves.

      Another would be law-abiding good guy with a gun?

      • Miner MINER49ER Get a fricking GRIP! There is NO GUNSHOW LOOPHOLE. Almost every gun show promoter REQUIRES that a NICS check be completed before you can exit the show.

        Here in NYS it has been REQUIRED by law for about five years now although gun show promoters have been doing it for much longer than that. You can’t do a private sale of a firearm of any kind without going to an FFL for a useless NICS check. I say useless as most of the courts in the country DONOT forward dispositions of criminal matters to the FBI which maintains the NICS system. Not to mention that due to HIPPA no mentally ill patients can be entered into the system. Get a GRIP, Lefty.

        As usual, it is your “pass a law” panacea that thinks if we just had another law….everyone would obey. ROFLMAOBT!

        • “Almost every gun show promoter REQUIRES that a NICS check be completed before you can exit the show.“

          I’ve never seen someone at their trunk in the parking lot ask for anything but cash…

        • Miner MINER49er What part of GUN PROMOTERS don’t you understand? What happens in the parking lot is not going to be stopped by your dumbass Universal Background checks. The deficiencies in the NICS system are astronomical in their impact.

          Most gun transactions are in cash, even inside the Gun Show. Nice try, but your mouthwash isn’t cutting it.

  2. Florida permits require jumping through some hoops to acquire and are more expensive than most…there are more and better choices out there…constitutional carry would be an improvement even though the dept of agriculture loses some revenue….

  3. You gotta expect this in a country that has two major parties, and both have “wings” that label themselves opposed: “Liberal” Republicans; “Conservative” Democrats.

    “What’s in a name?” has real world implications.

  4. Thank you, Louis, and muchas gracias, too, for all your hard work on behalf of the residents of Florida.

  5. I live in Live Oak. I have tried to reach out to Rep. Brannan to ask him to support constitutional carry. Thus far I have been unable to contact him. Email does not work. If I try to contact him via a link from the Suwannee County website, I am blocked.

    • Dee Dee in FL,

      Go to his local office and talk to his staff in person.

      Alternatively, send him a formal letter via certified U.S. Mail service.

  6. I’m surprised Polk County isn’t on that list, neither is Marion County. Looks like we have some writing in our future.

  7. Mark…Not enough details to assist, find another FFL for advice, an additional NCIC, etc. or consult an attorney. You are entitled to a reason and it may arrive in the mail. Try to clear it up before going around the hurdle.

  8. Publish the names of those opposing this and make sure their constituents know who they are and don’t support them for reelection. We don’t need any more Republican RINOs there are far too many phony Republicans running around as it is.

  9. I think the solution is to do what there doing in Canada and have a trucker protest because what else are we gonna do

  10. Well, what do you know…

    “The Libertarian Party of Florida needs no explanation. They stand for liberty and freedom and have been very vocal in the fight for constitutional carry.”

    No surprise there- count on it.

    Or you can continue to hold your breath and cross your fingers waiting to see if the coin you tossed comes up Repbublocrat or Dempublican…

  11. Mr. Valdez,

    Now that you have apparently coordinated the support of several organizations, you have to orchestrate a figurative “coup” at the next primary election and remove at least one prominent RINO from office who stands in the way of advancing constitutional carry in Florida.

  12. The Florida lawmakers dont want constitutional carry in Florida because they’re afraid it will hurt tourism?
    dont say anything bad about Mickey Mouse if you want to keep your first Ammendment.

  13. Who’s who?

    If this is it, it seems a bunch of people, organizations and businesses are against one bad guy, a Republican who won’t allow of vote on something of profound liberty recapture.

    Are there any other bad guys in this fight?

  14. Remember how DeSantis was supposedly going to kill all the old people (like Fredo’s bro did?)? He needs to do a better job of it because Marrion Hammer is still alive and still quashing second amendment rights in Florida.

  15. Yes, yes a lot of bluster year after year, lot’s of support for the idea of CC and it only takes ONE PERSON, Wilton Simpson, and the politician who held his position prior stands in the way?
    Unless he is replaced or unseated by a true Second Amendment politician we are just wasting time thinking about this issue.

    Mr. Simpson – “Tear down your anti Constitutional Carry wall”

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