Quick: name a large Republican-dominated state — one that’s attracting people from chaotic, expensive, poorly managed blue states around the country — that hasn’t yet enacted constitutional carry. One that hasn’t even really come close. You won’t have to search Al Gore’s greatest invention for very long to determine that the only state that fits that description is the one-time Gunshine State of Florida.
That may be about to change.
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis called a special legislative session after vetoing a redistricting plan the Florida legislature sent him. The GOP-dominated legislature will have to head back to Tallahassee for a special session to redraw the map in a session that will likely run from April 19 to 22.
But if DeSantis has his way, redistricting won’t be the only thing on the legislative agenda for the special session.
As the Tampa Bay Times reports . . .
Legislators could bring other issues up during the special session, DeSantis said Tuesday, including a bill allowing “constitutional carry” — allowing legal gun owners to carry handguns openly or concealed on their person without a permit.
“I would love to have property insurance, I would love to have data privacy, I would love to have constitutional carry,” DeSantis said. “I will ask the legislative leaders, ‘Is there something that you can get across the finish line?’ And I will encourage them to do that.”
Even a powerful, popular chief executive like DeSantis may have a tough time motivating Florida’s GOP supermajority-controlled legislature to send him a permitless carry bill he can sign. That’s because Florida’s legislative leaders — people like Senate President Wilton Simpson — have demonstrated time and again that they have little interest in joining the 24 other members (so far) of the Constitutional Carry Club.
Then again, Simpson is running to be Florida’s Ag Commissioner. That’s the office that issues concealed carry permits in the state that houses the mouse. Failing once again to give DeSantis a constitutional carry bill he can sign — especially under the bright spotlight of a legislative special session — might be just the motivation a reluctant legislator who aspires to higher office needs.
Watch this space.