In November, Florida narrowly elected Ron DeSantis as governor of the former Gunshine State. Along with governor-elect DeSantis taking office, the House and Senate will also have Republican majorities.
In just about any other state, that would mean good news for gun owners. But as Florida’s past legislative history has shown, that isn’t the case. The Republican Party of Florida, through a number of representatives and senators, have sided with the state’s growing Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex to block pro-gun legislation. Worse, this past session they passed gun control restrictions.
Back in June, the RPOF held their annual Sunshine Summit and Florida Carry was there to see where political candidates and office holders stood on gun rights. At that meeting, DeSantis unequivocally told Florida Carry that he supports campus carry, open carry, and more importantly, constitutional carry.
Why do I bring this up? Because Oklahoma and South Dakota replaced governors who vetoed constitutional carry bills. Back in May 2018, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin vetoed constitutional carry. Incoming governor-elect Kevin Stitt said he would sign a constitutional carry bill in September.
“I would sign it. I am a constitutional conservative. I support the first amendment, the second amendment and I think the best defense for a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun,” said Stitt.
Governor-Elect DeSantis should put pressure on incoming Senate President Bill Galvano (R) and the legislature as a whole. Even though Galvano took $200,000 from Michael Bloomberg and drafted Florida’s gun control bill that bars teachers from carrying. The Parkland shooting commission has thrown his desire of barring campus carry right back in his face with their 13-1 vote to arm school teachers and administrators.
Governor-Elect DeSantis can make life hell for the legislature is he so chooses by vetoing their district-specific porkbelly project bills. Florida used to be on the forefront of the Second Amendment movement when it came to restoring the rights of the citizenry. But sadly the state has fallen behind in recent years.
If South Dakota and Oklahoma sign constitutional carry into law, that would mean 30% of the country will have fully restored Americans’ Second Amendments rights.
The question becomes whether DeSantis will keep his promise apply needed pressure on the legislature to pass constitutional carry or other pro-Second Amendment legislation this coming year. And whether Floridians, if need be, will put pressure on DeSantis’ office to remind him of his promise.