Florida Open Carry Bill Introduced by New Judiciary Committee Chair

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.


  1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Open carry coming to Florida? Let’s hope so. Too bad it will require a carry license to do so though.

  2. avatar Vhyrus says:

    “The only other states that do so are California, Illinois, New York and South Carolina.”

    Oh really? So I can strap a Glock to my leg and walk around Maryland? New Jersey? Massachusetts?

    1. avatar stateisevil says:

      If you had a permit from those states. If.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        And since no one has said permit, ipso facto not legal. We get pissed when antis misrepresent facts, we need to hold ourselves to the same standard.

        1. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

          TN is also open carry only with permit. It’s just easier to get a permit here. Technically, the law in MD, NJ, MA, etc. allow open carry with a permit. Currently, FL law does not allow that. It’s easy to get a concealed carry permit in FL, but the law as currently written does not allow open carry by CC permit holders.

          Don’t confuse what a permit legally allows with the ease at obtaining said permit.

    2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Do you have a valid carry license for those states? They require permitted OC.

    3. avatar Dr. D says:

      California, open carry? Really? There are only one or two counties in California that I’m aware of where it’s even possible to get a concealed carry permit. They want a gun free state here, at least for the average law abiding citizen that is. Of course the criminals laugh at all the new gun legislation.

      1. avatar DDay says:

        There are many more than 2 counties in CA who issue conceal carry licenses. There are many who do not but once you get away from the coast, there are counties that issue.

      2. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

        Here’s a cruel twist of fate. There are counties here in Ca where it is possible to get both a concealed carry license or an open carry license. Specifically those with less than 200K residents.

        1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

          Ah yes. The usual Californication hijack. This article is about Florida. Such narcissism.

    4. avatar DDay says:

      Legally, yes you can. Do some research and learn the laws.

    5. avatar DDay says:

      In MA, you can open or conceal carry legally in any bar too. You can also carry legally in the state house, court houses and police stations. If they have metal detectors or security, they probably will ask you to leave it in the car but there is no law against carrying in those places.

      MA has no binding signage either, so no guns allowed signs are something you can laugh at. Legally, there are only 2 places you cannot carry, the airport and schools/colleges. Anywhere else is fine.

      Don’t believe me, look it up.

      1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

        Ah yes. The usual Masshole hijack. This article is about Florida. Such narcissism.

        1. avatar DDay says:

          Ah, the website nanny. It’s a forum, people change the subject some, get over it.

  3. avatar stateisevil says:

    There are still a number of rhino senators that could pose a problem. Another Miami Republican, Rene Garcia has a poor rating from the NRA. Jack Latvala and Keith Perry are also not 2nd amendment friendly.

  4. avatar FedUp says:

    Monarchy in America took a huge and much needed step backward this year, thanks to the likes of Bush, Clinton, Bullard, and Diaz de la Portilla

    It’s sort of sad that licensed open carry is an improvement over the current situation in the Gunshine State.

    It’s disgusting that licensed open carry was too much freedom for a (former) Republican Committee Chair to accept.

    Seeing Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla take an early retirement was like Christmas in November to me.

    It was also nice seeing Bullard, another guy who got elected for being part of a family of politicians, take a hike.

    Seeing Hillary Clinton, a woman who became a United States Senator by virtue of a wise choice in husbands, fail to gain the Presidency was the best thing that’s happened in US politics in my lifetime.

  5. avatar Bob says:

    The court case they’re talking about is.

    Dale Lee Norman v. State of Florida SC15-650

    Mr. Norman was legally carrying a concealed holstered pistol via a Florida CCW Permit. While lawfully walking down the sidewalk, his shirt rode up and partially exposed his pistol. He was arrested and charged with unlawful open carry.

    There was o fishing, hiking, or camping going on. Mr. Norman is your average Floridian that was arrested for no reason other than walking while legally exercising his 2nd Amendment rights and attempting to follow Florida Law to the letter.

    He is fighting for his rights all because a t-shirt rode up and partially exposed his gun.

    Mandatory concealed carry laws create such ludicrous situations in which the law abiding suddenly become criminals all because of wardrobe issues and poorly worded terms such as “brief accidental exposure” in state law when there is no legal definition of what “brief” and “accidental exposure” is.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      While Florida is generally a fairly gun-friendly state, not all Florida cops are.

      And that’s because along with retired elderly, cops on vacation here find the climate to their liking and quit their snow country police departments and move here.

      …and they brought their big city anti-citizen gun attitudes with them.

      It was *really* problem before Florida tried to fix the printing and inadvertent exposure issue. It’s a lot better now than it used to be in the late 80’s…

  6. avatar Bob says:

    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.

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    Well I hope Florida get OC. On to Illinois! Don’t laugh-it could happen…

  8. avatar Libertarian says:


    polling places
    professional sport events
    sea ports
    savannas State Reserve

    and the world is okay for shall issue

  9. avatar Nanashi says:

    Constitutional carry when?

  10. avatar LHW says:

    Hopefully it passes and then maybe they can work on constitutional carry.

  11. avatar Joe Wright says:

    Iowa has open carry, with a Weapons Permit. You can open carry an AR, if you wish. I was checked by Game Wardens as we watched a coyote run across a field that we did not have permission to hunt. Had an AR and a 870 shot gun in the truck. One was let down when I showed him my Weapons Permit.

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