Ever since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis let it be known last week that he’s in favor of open carry in the Sunshine State and would sign it into law if it reaches his desk, the pressure has been on legislative leaders.
It’s no secret that House Speaker Paul Renner and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo are no fans of open carry. In fact, if they had their ways, the current permitless concealed carry bills that are on track for final passage this legislative session would be dead in the water.
The only reason they’ve gotten as far as they have has been the unremitting pressure from gun rights groups and constituents who wanted to know why Florida is the biggest red state without permitless carry in the nation. In effect, they were
embarrassed forced into letting those bills move through their respected houses.
Open carry, however, seems to be a bridge too far for them and like-minded legislators who are happy to talk up gun rights during campaigns, but have conveniently disappeared when it came time to make things happen in the legislature. So when DeSantis said he doubted whether the legislature would add open carry to the current permitless carry bills, he knew what he was talking about and who he’s dealing with.
In the video above, provided by GOA’s Luis Valdes, Passidomo throws her hands up and effectively tells the press, “Gosh, I’m just taking the advice of seasoned law enforcement professionals like Bob Gaultieri.” She’s using using opposition to open carry from some Florida sheriffs as convenient political cover for refusing to support it.
That’s Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the Florida Sheriffs Assocation chairperson for their legislative committee, announcing they oppose open carry at the Senate’s first committee hearing for the permitless carry bill.
So it seems that Floridians will finally get permitless concealed carry this year, but they’ll have to go without open carry for at least another year. They’ll have to wait until people like Kathleen Passidomo no longer stand in the way, or the political heat for refusing to enable them to exercise their full rights to keep and bear arms becomes too great.