Now More Than Ever: Florida House Speaker Introduces Constitutional Carry Bill

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gunshine state
Courtesy Amazon

By Lee Williams

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Court, along with sponsors from the House and Senate introduced HB 543 Monday morning, a “Constitutional Carry” bill that Renner said gets “rid of the need for a government permission slip” to carry a concealed handgun. 

The lawmakers were accompanied by Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association and other Florida Sheriff’s. 

The bill, which has also been described as “unlicensed concealed carry” removes the requirement for Floridians to obtain a Concealed Weapon Firearm License, or CWFL, before carrying a concealed handgun. The bill doesn’t change the prohibitions or exceptions for open carry in the state. 

“We don’t operate in a vacuum. What’s happening in our society now is Defund the Police 2.0,” Renner said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my history on Earth that we’ve needed the right to keep and bear arms more than now.” 

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey thanked Renner and the bill’s sponsors for the legislation. 

“This bill is an important piece of legislation for our citizens to have the ability to protect themselves. Criminals don’t go get a permit,” Ivey said. “Florida Sheriffs stand solidly behind this.” 

Senator Jay Collins (courtesy Jay Collins Facebook page)

Senator Jay Collins, R-Tampa

Bill sponsor Senator Jay Collins, R-Tampa, an Army Special Forces veteran, described the legislation as a “monumental moment” and a “major breakthrough for our freedom.” 

“My very first lesson as a Green Beret was that it is incumbent on each of us to leave things better than we found them,” Collins said. “We will take a monumental step to ensure that government does not interfere with a law-abiding citizen’s ability to protect their family.” 

Florida Rep. Chuck Brannan  (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Rep. Chuck Brannan, R-Macclenny, 

Bill sponsor Rep. Chuck Brannan, R-Macclenny, said the bill won’t change “who can and cannot carry a gun.” 

CWFLs, he said, will still be available for Floridians who travel out-of-state and want reciprocity. 

“People don’t have to carry if they don’t want to. This is a constitutional right people have,” Brannan said. “Criminals are getting guns anyway. They don’t care what the law says. We’re only giving law-abiding citizens a simple way to get a firearm. It’s only fitting that citizens of the freest state in the nation be given the right to constitutional carry.” 


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  1. The bill doesn’t change the prohibitions or exceptions for open carry in the state.

    GOA says this bill doesn’t go far enough.

    “Our sources have told us that the Florida Republican-controlled legislature is only willing to advance a permitless, concealed-only carry bill, not full Constitutional Carry. It seems that the legislature is still averse to the idea of Floridians fully exercising their Second Amendment rights via open carry, something our fellow Americans do in 47 other states.

    “Governor Ron DeSantis publicly stated that he supports Constitutional Carry and, by definition that includes open carry.

    “What I need you to do is contact Gov. DeSantis and your lawmakers. Tell them you want a true Constitutional Carry bill, not some watered-down permitless carry bill. And tell them you want open carry to be part of any legislation that moves forward.” — Luis Valdez, FL State Director, GOA

    • Yeah it would be nice to get open carry and campus carry at the same time. We would need to see the whole bill. I wonder if there is anything on knives or other weapons, or is this only focused on guns since Florida’s permit is a Concealed Weapons/Firearm License which affects knife lengths and types and some other weapons.

      Reciprocity would require me to keep my permit. There are some other things, waiting period for purchase waived if CWFL, Federal no guns within 1000 feet of a school unless CWFL or unloaded/secured.

    • but but but…don’t you understand that “It’s only fitting that citizens of the freest state in the nation be given the right to constitutional carry.”

      the freest state! the F R E E S T state!

    • Luis, when I got the e-mail last week I responded immediately. I know Cory Simon and will address it with him personally when I see him.

    • And to save Florida the cost of a lawsuit for its illegal prohibition on those under the arbitrary age of 21 now that multiple circuits have agreed it is illegal.

      • yep ditto 20th Century FL history.

        Seems to work, in the limited sense that even Fried couldn’t mess it up as Ag Commish.

  2. Permitless carry (and purchasing) has been working very well in Iowa and the other states that have allowed their citizens the choice. Permit renewals remain fairly high due to the prospect of reciprocity with other states’ laws. No uptick in violence and illegal firearms usage if you take out the ever-present gang activity- none of whom would have a permit anyway.

    • How many Constitutional carry states allow non-residents to carry also? I think Wyoming is for state residents only, anyone know?

      • If a state permits constitutional carry only for residents then it’s not really a constitutional carry state, is it?


    Sure Constitutional carry hasn’t caused that before, but this time it definitely will, because reasons.


      The year was 1987, and a concealed carry bill was introduced in Florida.

      You should have seen the reaction in the newspapers. It literally was predictions of “BLOOD IN THE STREETS!” and pitched battles for Wal-Mart parking spaces by the pearl-clutching ‘brigade’ in the local paper.

      It really was amusing to see. Then, it got signed into law. And, nothing of the sort happened, except violent crime trended down along with the rest of the nation.

      It really is a damn shame we can’t get open carry, though… 🙁

      • There was a lot of cocaine being run through Florida cities at the time and for the first part of the 80’s there was BLOOD IN THE STREETS. That calmed down in the 90’s and the liberal anti gun cities became the killing zones. By 1992 Chicago had 939 murders and as a comparison last year there were 734. Believe it or not it’s getting better all by it’s own w/o new stupid gun laws but OTOH 2021 had 855. If Chicago only had laws against Murder I think it could be much lower. Lightfoot is very proud of herself, she, Kim Foxx and David Brown have to go. Anyway I have a bunch of states to choose from from but am leaning towards Indiana with Iowa a close second. I’m not a big fan of Florida, I don’t mind heat but humidity and hurricanes bother me.


          “Miami soon became known as the “Drug Capital of the World” due to ensuing turf wars between drug lords. One of the top leaders of drug trafficking in Miami was Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco, who was a pioneer in cocaine trafficking and was responsible for more than 200 murders. With the collapse of the Medellin Cartel and various other drug trafficking organizations, the drug war diminished.”

  4. I would love for this to be an example of the growing momentum for unfettered exercise of our Natural right, but here in CA our Governor Nuisance just said last week that the 2A is a “suicide pact”. The uber-Left has a stranglehold on this State and will double down on the tyranny.

    The Heller-McDonald-Bruen trifecta from SCOTUS has served to be little more than a lightning rod, splitting the nation and resulting in conservative States to lean in one direction while the Leftists one continue to lean in the other. SCOTUS cannot enforce…it can only opine.

    This growing rift will only deepen.

    • When enough conservatives walk away from the system. And out right refuse to help those in opposing views. Then perhaps we can have a peaceful divorce.

      At first, they just move to a different, more conservative state. But states like Oregon and Colorado got taken over by the s0ci@list pr0gressives.

      Now there is a general migration to southern states. Even auto companies are moving south. The tech companies started this 10 years ago. Things will get really heated when they come for the children. Which the fascist “pink hand” is doing now.

    • “…here in CA our Governor Nuisance just said last week that the 2A is a “suicide pact”.”

      While the actual suicide pact is the same crowd that proclaims 5 Black Memphis police officers punching, kicking, and killing a Black man to be… Wait for it… An example of ‘White Supremacy’… 🙁

      • The first suicide pact I remember from US History was the Declaration of Independence.

        The BoR does not fit into a suicide pact idea.

    • More states with permitless carry, full bore constitutional carry etc. means states like CA, NY, NJ will become more and more marginalized in this conversation. This is a very good thing, and may even force them to change over time (but hopefully the courts or the voters will force them to change even sooner).

  5. Not Constitutional Carry, because concealed only. So, that’s a problem.

    On the other hand, let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It’s a step in the correct direction. Incrementalism works both ways.

    • Yes, agree, this probably won’t go far enough like the previous attempts to allow short accidental open carry if the wind blows your shirt up, or permitless carry only in a hurricane or emergency. Something is better than nothing.

      Of course, getting this in while ignoring the restrictions the Republicans passed in the Parkland bill is hypocrisy, so if the Republican leadership thinks they have fulfilled their duty for the next 20 years with permit less concealed carry…I disagree.

    • Perhaps find a different lawmaker or get this one to agree, to file a separate bill allowing open carry.

      One or the other or both could pass. Both would be best. Of maybe if enough support is there, combine them into ne bill and get that into law.

    • Bull. If you don’t strive for excellence, you end up with mediocrity. And that’s exactly what this bill proposes – gudnuf fo govment werk. And the fish will take the bait.

  6. Exactly.

    Would I prefer Florida follow Texas and have full Constitutional Carry? Of course. But if to get permitless carry past the RINO’s in the Florida GOP caucuses they have to do it in stages, that’s better than the status quo.

    • I’d think this would make sense as well. The 2A was chipped away at for 125 years. Re-attaining in increments is still movement in the “right” direction. I’d also think refusing to budge to that level would insure defeat of it all, and in politics, when one gets their ass handed to them, it’s very difficult to rebuild the momentum.

      One thing’s certain- this time they won’t have Marion Hammer to blame if nothing positive is passed. Some food for thought.

  7. Israeli Government Expediting Gun Licenses In Wake Of Deadly Shooting >

    “The Israeli government has decided to expedite the process of granting gun licenses following a deadly shooting near a synagogue in a Jerusalem neighborhood.

    The move aims to increase the number of armed civilians and provide more protection for citizens. The shooting left two dead and several others injured, and the attacker was shot and killed by police. ”

    Now there’s a little common sense finally – the idea of facilitating the citizens having firearms for self-defense.

    What do government’s do here in the U.S.? Put up ‘no guns’ signs and make ‘no guns’ laws thinking they ward of bad guys like crosses ward off ‘movie’ vampires because criminals always obey such signs and laws.

    • ^… unless you open carry during pre-ok’d activities such as fishing, hunting, camping, going to or coming from organized shooting events.

      Constitutional carry should include open carry (per self explanatory definition).
      It should be in the judgement of the citizen how to carry.

      RHINO Rick Scott screwed us over after the Parkland shooting by upping ownership age, prohibiting bump stocks, and going from 3 to 5 days on “waiting periods” for non-CWL holders. It’s time The Good Governor leads us back to what we lost, and into the future with Constitutional Carry.

    • “Constitutional Carry should be NATION WIDE!”

      We’ll, it is for criminals. Always has been. Dont even have to post bail if caught in a lot of big “Blue” cities. And their leaders are proud of it.

  8. the progressive left
    decries permitless carry
    every time it becomes legal somewhere
    yet theyve done everything in their power
    to make it happen

  9. Needs moar Open Carry! Desantis should tell the legislature to put OC into the law or he won’t sign it. It’s way past time for this.

  10. Open carry scares a lot of politicos down here in Florida because we are an international tourist destination, and their apprehension is based upon the fear that out-of-towners will be so upset by seeing folks openly walking around wearing guns that they’ll be afraid to visit Florida again.

    In the money vs. citizens’ rights contest, the Sunshine State seems to prefer straddling the fence by adopting a “carry it but keep it covered” style of “Constitutional Carry”.

  11. Constitutional Carry is a fundamental right and it’s encouraging to see that Florida is taking steps to protect the rights of their citizens. This is a step in the right direction and I’m sure it will be a great benefit for many people.


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