Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
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Governor Ron DeSantis has signed HB 259, Florida’s Church Carry bill, into law. That means religious institutions in the Sunshine State are no longer automatically designated gun-free zones if they offer daycare services, run a parochial school, or rent/lease space from a school to hold services.

Religious institutions are now free to make the choice of letting congregants carry concealed firearms on their own if they wish.

We at Gun Owners of America felt that Florida’s lawmakers could have done much more than what was offered in the final bill. While we supported this bill and fought for its passage, the legislative leadership has been a letdown to Florida’s gun owners. There were solid pro-gun bills like Constitutional Carry (HB 123), and they did not allow that bill to advance.

Florida has 102 Republicans holding a supermajority in the legislature but the state is in a bad spot at the moment in regard to the advancement of gun rights.

Alas, it took over sixty days for the Legislature to send even such a common sense bill as HB 259 to the Governor’s desk. And even that took years to finally make it through the legislature.

By contrast, Texas pushed constitutional carry and a legitimate Second Amendment sanctuary bill through their legislature, and got them to their governor’s desk in the just-ended session. The Lone Star State even passed a bill that says Texas-made suppressors do not fall under the purview of the ATF and the National Firearms Act.

Florida has more Republican lawmakers in office per capita than Texas does. One would expect more from our legislature. But Florida’s Republican lawmakers were unable to pass constitutional carry through its first committee hearing, let alone get the bill to the full House or Senate.

Rep. Anthony Sabatini said he will reintroduce constitutional carry this coming legislative session.

Florida’s gun owners need to be loud and vocal about their desire for improvements in the state’s gun laws. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. So far, we’ve been squeaking, but getting getting very little grease.

I take the church carry law as it is…a small but important victory. But much of the fight to defend and extend gun rights in what was once known as The Gunshine State still lies ahead.


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


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  1. Say it with me: RINOs in FL (and elsewhere) must feel the heat so they’ll see the light!

    • Agreed. The Republicans in FL have a supermajority, which means you can afford to throw out the RINO’s. Primary them and if that fails consider backing a pro gun Democrat for their seat. Losing a seat here or there and having Republicans realize that they will be removed from office if they fail their constituents is the only way to keep them honest.

  2. I believe if a constitutional carry bill was sent to DeSantis he would in fact sign it.

  3. Every state should have constitutional carry. Uber liberal Vermont has been since day one of statehood. BTW, carry your gun everywhere, including church. If my gun isn’t welcome somewhere, well I assume I am not either, and I find someplace else to patronize.

  4. I find it bizarre that the so-called “gunshine” state didn’t allow church carry. My Indiana church is awash in legal guns…

    • Mine also.
      If some nutjob charges in trying to shoot the place up it’s all but certain he’ll “meet with Jesus”.

    • “I find it bizarre that the so-called “gunshine” state didn’t allow church carry. My Indiana church is awash in legal guns…”

      We cheerfully ignored that law at our church… 😉

      • This ‘man’ routinely wishes death upon those who dare to disagree with ‘him’, and yet he faithfully attends church. ‘His’ hypocrisy is exceeded only by ‘his’ stupidity. Ditch this fat, hate filled stooge.

      • Same with most churches here in Florida. The issue this bill fixed is where churches have daycares or schools they were automatically classified as “gun free zones.”

  5. We here in Florida need a well defined RINO hunting season.

    Oh wait, I imagine that would be the closed primary system we have.
    Never mind. I was thinking of a different kind of “season”.

    And, if you didn’t know it, the word RINO has roots in Latin language.
    Yup. It loosely translates to mean “ginormous pompous asshat”.

  6. A squeaky wheel may get a shot of grease, but a grinding one gets new brakes or a bearing. More noise is in order.

  7. Anytime I see so and so signed a law about the use of firegunms I think ” Shall Not Be Infringed ” voids a gov permission slip.

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