Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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By Lee Williams

Every year Florida gun owners have watched our legislative sessions begin and end with barely a mention of the gold standard of gun rights – constitutional carry.

Every year we’ve sullenly said to ourselves maybe next session, or we’ll need to primary some of the opponents.

Every year the politicians responsible have skedaddled out of Tally the minute the gavel came down, claiming it wasn’t them who killed the only gun bill all of us really want, because everything else is merely window dressing.

Well, this year is different. This year, one man can change everything and restore what the framers had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment.

To be clear, Gov. Ron DeSantis can make Florida the 22nd constitutional carry state. If he wants the bill – if he makes it a priority – it will happen. Yes, he has that type of power. The governor’s critics have accused him of having a stranglehold on the legislature – an iron grip of sorts – and that he is the de facto Speaker, Senate President and Chief Justice all rolled into one.

Good!

Maybe now we can finally get something done. Maybe now we can finally get some traction. He certainly has the means. While the bill filing deadline has come and gone, there are several ways to get a constitutional-carry bill onto the governor’s desk if he asks for one. In other words, if the Governor requests a constitutional-carry bill, he will get one.

There are two theories about what DeSantis will do, and why. The first claims the governor will not push for a constitutional carry bill because he doesn’t need gun owners or our votes to be reelected. While it’s true that DeSantis will win in a landslide over his likely Democratic opponent, Nikki Fried, in my humble opinion this argument has no merit, because DeSantis has never been that type of self-centered politician.

For gun owners, Nikki is a hot mess. She is actively trying to neuter Florida’s preemption statute, which allows only the state legislature to regulate firearms. If she has her way, every municipality could make up their own anti-gun regulations, which would make lawful concealed carry nearly impossible.

Also, her stewardship of Florida’s concealed weapon and firearm licensing program has been abysmal. DeSantis could personally burn down Disney World, plow up the beaches and bulldoze Florida’s entire citrus crop and he would still beat her by at least 10 points. That’s why I subscribe to the second theory – DeSantis will request and sign a constitutional-carry bill because it’s the right thing to do.

The governor doesn’t appear interested in bigfooting the legislative process, at least not yet. He’ll likely let leadership have their back-and-forth with their members and the media, but I suspect we may see a request coming soon.

The session is nearly half over. We have never been this close before, so it would be tragic to waste such a valuable opportunity. Besides, when Florida becomes the 22nd Constitutional Carry state, it would certainly send another thumb-in-the-eye message to Joe Biden, who’s plotting how to violate our gun rights on a near daily basis. And we know our governor loves sending less-than-subtle messages to Joe.

I called and emailed the governor’s media staff, who didn’t immediately respond to my request seeking comment about his likely course of action. When they respond, I will let you know.

Florida once led the nation in gun rights. We were the first to institute shall-issue concealed carry, the castle doctrine and stand your ground laws. We’ve watched patiently while 21 states have passed us by. We’re tired of waiting. The time for action is now, and there’s only one man who can do it.

 

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35 COMMENTS

  1. Florida is the fakest pro gun state of them all. No way does this become law. Saying he will sign it if it reaches his desk is a death warrant. A politician’s incantation to deflect and divert knowing full well the legislature won’t pass it.

    • I’m a bit “meh” on DeSantis being president. I’m cool with him being governor of Floriduh. Seems good to me.I have no opinion of constitutional carry. Except ILLannoy where it won’t happen!

  2. “We’ve watched patiently while 21 states have passed us by.”

    We have not passed you by, we are waiting for you to catch up to where we are.

    Get off your butts, stop whining about it and exert that political influence you have not used and make it happen. That’s how it was done in the other 21 states with constitutional carry. It wasn’t accomplished in those states by waiting for politicians to make up their minds and whining about it, it was done by pro-gun people exerting their political influence at the right time with the right people. Its been the right time in Florida for a bit now, so get off your whining butts and exert that political influence you have not used and make it happen and catch up.

    • .40 cal Booger,

      I disagree with your assertion. Florida is a “purple” state that is pretty evenly split Progressive versus Conservative–and leans ever so slightly Conservative. Even then Florida leans Conservative in significant part because many of the Republicans are RINOs (Republican In Name Only).

      RINOs do not support/do Constitutional Carry. And I am pretty sure that the Florida Republican Party views it too politically risky to pass Constitutional Carry. Thus, the Florida Republican Party will maintain the status quo (shall-issue concealed carry) which appears to have fairly popular support.

      Saying it another way, the Florida Republican Party sees no upside to passing Constitutional Carry and only sees downside. Thus, Constitutional Carry is not passing in Florida any time soon.

      • and so were most of the other states with constitutional carry now before they went that way. The pro-gun’s in Florida haven’t even so much as organized and mounted an on going mass letter writing campaign to the governor and their representatives to let them know its more than just a small group of people holding voting power. Florida has some of the richest and most politically influential pro-gun people in the country, and that resource hasn’t even been tapped. And so much more they could be doing.

        But what Florida has been doing is basically like the article said with “Every year we’ve sullenly said to ourselves maybe next session, or we’ll need to primary some of the opponents.”

        The story of Florida gun rights is encompassed in that one sentence – waiting for politicians to do something. And the next time it comes up you hear the same whining from the pro-gun’s in Florida, its been going on for years.

        Heck, we did it in our state which at the time was “pretty evenly split Progressive versus Conservative–and leans ever so slightly Conservative.” “purple” – we did it to an ‘on-the-fence’ governor and a legislature with a democrat majority with an on going massive letter writing campaign and even democrats ended up voting for constitutional carry (not all but some who would not have voted before) when they realized a lot of their overall constituents were gun owners, because they wanted to stay in office.

        You think the political climate in all the other constitutional carry states has not been “purple” at times? In everyone of those states it was made to happen by pro-gun exerting political influence at the right time for the right people, it didn’t happen because the legislature or the state was the right way politically.

        Florida has the right time, has the right people, so now they need to get off their whining butts and exert that political influence they have not used to make it happen.

        • .40 cal Booger,

          I am pretty confident that all of the Constitutional Carry states are solid red–or at least they were when they passed Constitutional Carry. You could argue that a couple of them were teetering on the verge of “purple”–and they are relatively sparsely populated which also tends to support firearm ownership.

          “Purple” states which have several “NFL” cities (e.g. large cities with enough population to support professional sports teams) and large tracks of densely populated areas are very much unlikely to support and pass constitutional carry.

          That includes the likes of Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and quite possibly even Georgia. Of course that definitely includes Florida. Mark my words: the states which I just listed will probably never pass Constitutional Carry.

        • @uncommon_sense

          Not all of them are all truly red, sure, in terms of votes they may be for presidential elections but this last election showed there is a ‘purple’ or even a blue stain in that red. The ones that were may-issue prior their constitutional carry especially.

    • My message to politicians is short and simple…

      1) The Second Amendment is one thing.

      2) The criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, vehicles, etc. is another thing.

      3) History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is a racist and nazi based Thing.

      • Hey uncommon_sense…Exactly who is it that has failed miserably to insert my aforementioned Line Item 3 between the ears of fence sitting politicians? That would be politically inept, history illiterate Gun Owners who like sam-he-is. Instead of making himself useful in the fight for rights he gets his panties in a wad over firearms Made In Turkey…and uses his Made In China device to let it be known.

        It takes Gun Owners whose souls are free of bigotry to not tolerate Gun Control because of its diabolical racist baggage. Enter a number of communications greater than 0 that you have sent to a politician with a message that happened to mention the inherent racism and genocide Dark Downside of Gun Control?

    • Ralph,

      I said as much on this site on January 11th:

      Florida’s ginormous 100 billion dollar tourism industrial complex will never risk any reduction in their revenue due to open carry and/or constitutional carry.

      (Note that a tiny one percent reduction in tourism due to open carry or constitutional carry would cause a loss of one billion dollars in Florida’s economy.)

      Something as quaint as our right to keep and bear arms without a government license will never outweigh the profit motive of Florida’s 100 billion dollar tourism industry.

      • I don’t think even 1% of the tourists care or know about carry laws wherever they’re from or wherever they’re vacationing.

        ME, NH and VT get flooded year after record breaking year with these imbeciles who just think the rest of the country is exactly like their home state. Massholes smoking weed abound while oblivious to the people packing heat at arms length. They’ll even overspend on fancy coastal homes and live in them for years before they realize their neighbors may be packing at the local grocery store.

        They just want to dump their trash on our streets, vandalize our landscape and kill locals with their intoxicated driving.

  3. DeSantis appears to have Presidential ambitions. He may not need gun voters to win re-election for Florida Governor, but he’d want them for Republican caucuses and primaries, and probably in the general election, if he gets that far.

  4. With the increase of pro-second/A sentiment in the Population, especially “Shall Not Be Infringed” without ANY qualifiers or exceptions, DeSantis could kiss any future plans or chances for POTUS Good-Fucking-Bye, if he doesn’t give Florida Constitutional Carry.

    • Not if all of his primary opponents are as uninterested such rights as he is. If the choice is Trump or Desantis it is not like Trump has a clear edge on the matter. Trump is so far removed from the gun rights world that his idea of protecting gun rights might be to try to provide some sort of cover for WLP (if he somehow lasts until 2024).

      • We don’t need a president that is pro gun half as much as we need one that isn’t anti-gun. For the general population in America it’s not so much about the president at all. It’s more about the other two branches.

      • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

        {DeSantis}

        “Not if all of his primary opponents are as uninterested such rights as he is.”

        Nobody is going to try and primary DeSantis, it just isn’t going to happen…

  5. Good luck Florida!

    We’ve had it here for a full year and our streets are not awash in blood as the Demented Moms Demanded. Seems most people are pretty chilled and accepting of armed carry w/o a “permission” slip.

    However, I plan on renewing my MT CWP because it saves me a few minutes when purchasing a firearm from my LGS.

    • It can sometimes save more than that…I recall one weekend I was buying a pistol that I eventually sold or traded, but NICS was down and everyone without a GA WCL was stuck waiting or would have to come back once the Feebies fixed their issue.

  6. Whether a concarry bill will make it to DeSantis’ desk is entirely dependent upon the truth or falsity of the following opinion stated in the article: “To be clear, Gov. Ron DeSantis can make Florida the 22nd constitutional carry state. If he wants the bill – if he makes it a priority – it will happen. Yes, he has that type of power. The governor’s critics have accused him of having a stranglehold on the legislature – an iron grip of sorts – and that he is the de facto Speaker, Senate President and Chief Justice all rolled into one.”

    The fact is that bills in the last two (maybe three?) sessions never came to a vote in committee because the (R) Senate President didn’t want that bill to pass. If a bill ever reaches the floor, it will pass–but it has to get there first.

  7. Gun laws are political. DeSantis is a politician. He needs victory after victory to remain governor. He isn’t dumb, and will make a careful decision either way. DeSantis knows the state is turning blue (with all the locusts from blue states moving to Florida). A legislative loss on something as volatile as firearms control would not benefit his political future. Thinking DeSantis would push permitless carry only if he believes it is a slam dunk. And, maybe even then because it would remain an avenue of attack for the Smurfs.

    • “DeSantis knows the state is turning blue”

      According to CBS, registered Republican voters in Florida now outnumber Democrats for the first time in modern history.

      Which is pretty much the opposite of what you claimed.

      • “Which is pretty much the opposite of what you claimed.”

        The number of voters registered is not a reliable indicator of outcomes. Nor is it a good predictor of the actual power structure. It is the number of registered voters who allegedly vote that counts.

        The influence on local politics of the northern transplants is not negligible. There have been articles pointing out how the major cities are nibbling at leaning leftward. The worst I have read is that Dims are encouraging leftists to move into Florida and Texas, capturing either one of which would make it impossible for non-Dims to win presidential races.

        With DeSantis on record as saying he would sign a permitless carry law if presented, one speculates he is really confident he will get such a bill, or really confident no such bill will come his way. He is not unaware of the history of Repubs in the Florida legislature who have refused to pass such legislation in the past.

        Guns are an entirely different political calculation than mask mandates.

        • “The number of voters registered is not a reliable indicator of outcomes.”

          Maybe, but it seems to be a better indicator than counting “all the locusts from blue states moving to Florida.”

          I wonder why those “locusts” are moving to FL now, and registering as Republicans when they do. But then again, you know everything.

        • Ralph, I am just such a locust. Switched from an MD independent to Republican when I got here last summer. That new residents are motivated to register to vote is as good as any indicator that they will.

          Sam, I’m afraid your assertion is only that. FL republicans are pretty motivated right now.

  8. Again….for those who just dont want to believe it…

    No…None…Not One…politician wants 2nd amendment access to firearms for anyone other than themselves. They pay lip Service to it. In some cases they’ll even pass it, for purposes of gaining votes with their base. But no government wants its own citizens armed, They want the citizens of other nations armed if they’re unhappy with that nations government. But armed citizens are a threat to their own power. Desantis may pass it, but only if he is running for president.

    • So you think that politicians passing Constitutional Carry because the voters want it is a bad thing?

      I might agree with you that politicians are social parasites. But I’m okay with that as long as they’re OUR social parasites.

  9. @Ralph
    “I wonder why those “locusts” are moving to FL now, and registering as Republicans when they do. But then again, you know everything.”

    The implications of your statement are that every northern transplant is registering as Republicrat, or the vast majority are registering as Republicrat. I have not seen reporting that either is actually happening (would be grateful if you could forward citations for the claim).

    As for knowing “everything”, that is mostly true, and a service to humanity: if I don’t know something, it is not worth knowing. So now, you and others have a time saving tool.

  10. “When you refer to yourself as a “tool” . . . aw, hell, you made it way too easy.”

    Precisely.

  11. @Mike H
    “Sam, I’m afraid your assertion is only that. ”

    We shall see. It is Republicrats who are holding up permitless carry in Florida. You gotta ask yourself why that is.

    Locusts are destructive. so no, you are not “one of those locusts”….unless you are a northeast liberal Repub.

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