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By Matt Collins

When government requires a permit to exercise a right, it is no longer a right, but a privilege.

That’s why Florida Gun Rights has been leading the charge to pass constitutional carry in Florida, which means that if you are legally allowed to possess a firearm, then you should be allowed to carry it without begging for a government permission slip.

Twenty-one states recognize some form of constitutional carry as law of the land, including five states that passed it earlier this year: Texas, Montana, Utah, Iowa, and Tennessee.

Florida’s Gun Control Status Quo

Sadly, while nearly half of the country has focused on restoring gun rights for its citizens, weak-kneed Republicans in the Florida legislature have taken the state backwards by passing gun control.

Even citizens of liberal New England states such as Maine, New Hampshire — and Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont — get to exercise their freedom to constitutionally carry their handguns.

Meanwhile, law-abiding Floridians continue begging for government permission slips to carry concealed in order to protect themselves and their families.

Worse, Florida is one of only four states that do not have any form of open carry, putting it in the same league as the rabidly anti-gun bastions of California, New York, and Illinois.

A Deafening Silence from the Highest Republicans in Office

The Florida legislature is one of the strongest Republican majorities in the country, including even Texas, which was the most recent and largest state to pass a constitutional carry law.

That means there should be no excuses for failing to pass constitutional carry in the so-called “Gunshine State.”

Unfortunately, under the direction of Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls, self-proclaimed “pro-gun” Republican Representative Cord Byrd killed the 2020 constitutional carry bill by refusing it a committee hearing, much less a vote.

To exacerbate matters, Governor Ron DeSantis has been silent on constitutional carry during his three years in the Governor’s mansion.

Even politically moderate Greg Abbott of Texas called on the Texas legislature to put constitutional carry on his desk. That is why Florida Gun Rights is calling on Governor DeSantis to do the same in 2022.

With DeSantis a leading contender for the GOP nomination for President in 2024, alienating a large swath of pro-gun Americans by failing to pass constitutional carry would be ill-advised.

FLGR’s Plans to Strike Back!

The best way to alter the anti-gun trajectory of the Sunshine State is by mounting a strong, pro-gun offense. That is why Florida Gun Rights is teaming up with pro-gun State Representative Anthony Sabatini to file constitutional carry for the second year in a row.

In fact, FLGR is already launching a massive mobilization effort to identify as many pro-gun patriots across Florida as possible.

By collecting constitutional carry petitions, mailing dozens of targeted Florida House and Senate districts, launching targeted digital ads, and deploying tens of thousands of text messages, FLGR is working tirelessly to build the grassroots army needed to turn up the heat on legislators in Tallahassee.

With an anti-gun Biden administration attacking gun rights from the White House, constitutional carry in Florida couldn’t be timelier.

And after a wave year for constitutional carry across the country in 2021, 2022 may prove to be the best opportunity to get the job done in Tallahassee.


Matt Collins is Director of Legislation for Florida Gun Rights

This article appears in the fall edition of The Defender, the official newsletter for Florida Gun Rights. Sign your constitutional carry petition to your Florida lawmakers today here


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  1. As I’ve said many times,
    The G O P is weak kneed & spineless.
    All they do is talk a good game, but when game time comes they go into amnesia mode.
    In order for DeSantis to get my vote he’s going to have to take up the matter of gun rights.

    • Desantis hates guns like all Republicans he is just a little better at hiding it. Wasn’t he gonna repeal all the gun laws passed in 2018? You have a better chance of Ant7 admitting he is a Bloomberg plant than that happening.

        • Guess you missed this part: “Even politically moderate Greg Abbott of Texas CALLED ON the Texas legislature to put constitutional carry on his desk.

          That is how gubmint works.

        • Cynical optomist….. blah blah blah…. stop being so cryptic. Say something substantive and make a point knuckle head. What about Florida legislative process are you referring to? What pertinent case law / statutes / regulations / etc effect Florida law making? Say something other than some dropout philosophy student nonsense.

      • “Desantis hates guns like all Republicans he is just a little better at hiding it”

        Really? How do you know this? Do you know him personally? Have you talked to him in person? Has he expressed that line of thinking?

        Thought so. You don’t know S.

        • How do you know he doesn’t? Has he done anything in office that actually helped gun owners exercise their rights? (I really don’t know; I’m not from Florida and I don’t follow that state’s politics.)

          If he hasn’t done anything concrete or put his political capital on the line for gun owners, then the most likely answer is that — like most politicians regardless of party affiliation — he really does hate the idea of the “little people” carrying guns around.

    • Unless you want DeSantis to decree by Executive Order, he is at the mercy of Florida legislators.

    • No.. the Republicans are just another branch of the globalist elite.. one good thing is we now know who they are, however with rigged voting, it may be very difficult to vote them out.

    • Hey they did the same thing as Luis at GOA, they blamed dear Cord Byrd for killing bills in his committee. I guess Florida Carry (Lee) will go after them as well.

  2. The way such RINOs reason you’d think shannon watts gave them a lap dance. Before you gullible Florida RINOs wind up with a STD try to sober up and focus on Gun Control being a sicko agenda rooted in racism and genocide. Defend the Constitution or resign.

  3. Open carry is permitted while hunting, camping, fishing, and hiking, including while going directly to and from those activities with no stops enroute. Additionally open carry is of course allowed on private property, yours or with owners explicit permission. Not a very honest article. And yes, the Republican supermajority in florida is the largest, scummiest group of rinos ever to walk the earth. In the followup to the parkland shooting not one single Democrat voted for the age increase for purchase moved to 21, 3 day waiting period for all purchases unless possessing a concealed weapons permit, and worst of all red flag laws, with the catch if someone reports an issue to law enforcement they may file even if the person reporting has no affiliation with the defendant. Unanimous Republican vote. Scummy, scummy, scummy.

    • “In the followup to the parkland shooting not one single Democrat voted for the age increase for purchase moved to 21, 3 day waiting period for all purchases unless possessing a concealed weapons permit, and worst of all red flag laws, with the catch if someone reports an issue to law enforcement they may file even if the person reporting has no affiliation with the defendant. Unanimous Republican vote.”

      Yep, Republicans talk a good game…

      In Florida, the Democrats are doing more to protect your gun rights than the Republicans.

  4. Republicans have a long history of screwing we the people.

    Democrats and Republicans both understand ultimately power comes from the barrel of the gun.

    I’ve said for many years it’s the Health Department that will be the enforcement for gun control. Public Safety, eh?

    I see Biden is going to sign the UN Small Arms Treaty. The only question is how many Republicans in the Senate will fall all themselves will vote to ratify? I support the 2nd Amendment but…….

    Watch as the psychopath Chipman becomes the Gun Czar.

    This Administration will bring us to the line from Sean Connery in the movie The Untouchables: What are you prepared to do?

    Stay heavily armed and dangerous. NEVER register or voluntarily surrender your guns!!!

    • Lucky us, Chippie is out, and the Republicans in the Senate will not pass the UN Small Arms Treaty as they see it as an infringement on US sovereignty.

      The refusal of Florida Republicans to consider con carry is really incomprehensible. To date, other than a defense of the Senate majority leader as “pro-gun,” I have never seen any explanation as to his reasons for refusing to bring the bill up in committee, much less advance it for a vote.

  5. A preemptive GFY to whomever is going to try to explain to us simple minded folks that they are playing a four-dimensional chess game with the left that we couldn’t possibly even begin to try and understand.

  6. Probably when all the BLUE State transplants leave or die off and the “people” start electing REAL Conservatives again instead of this bunch of RINOs running things now…

  7. The Republicans will stop opposing when they start getting primaried in favor of strong 2A candidates. Until then, elect the same people and expect the same result.

  8. It’s We the People who are to blame. We need to nominate our own candidates. Instead we elect those who nominate themselves and way too many of them are narcissists and sociopath/psychopaths.

  9. Politicians have the memory of a rented mule.
    There are 2 or 3 legislators who keep blocking this.
    FL needs a concerted effort to primary them out of office.
    That will generally get them running scared for an election or two.
    Doesn’t last of course.

  10. Republican politicians are all yak and no shack. We once had a nice conservative newspaper here in Tampa
    (The Tampa Tribune), but when it ran into financial difficulties, no wealthy Republicans offered any help. Instead, the ultra-left St. Pete Times (now the “Tampa Bay” Times) scooped it up for a bargain price. When TBT runs into financial issues, all the local wealthy Dems open the doors to the bank. Didn’t Jeff Vinik give them about $14mil?
    Seems the left are playing the long game, while our Republican “leaders” are sitting on their thumbs and crying foul. Shame on them!

  11. I carry legally, concealed.

    If there were no conceal laws, I would still carry,” Que Sera Sera” .
    Personally I have never called myself a law-abiding citizen. Though I think I am.

  12. DeSantis is very mouthy about vaccines and masks. When was the last time he made a commotion about gun rights?

    Guess what that means. He’s done the political calculations and there isn’t support for it.


    No felony criminal record, the government SHALL ISSUE (exclamation point) . That’s the law in Florida. I know it well, I live here.

    Why would that be, vs. “Constitutional” carry? If you don’t know the answer to that question, as it relates to FL, and I do, remember I live here, you better start looking into it.

    I’ll give you a hint: It’s called compromise. Compromise, a word that most people these days don’t even know what it means…

  14. Based upon some of the comments some of you are too stupid to vote let alone own firearms. Perhaps you should go watch school house rock on how a bill becomes a law. Two pro gun bills passed last year and were signed into law by the Governor, they were HB 241 and 1409, both by Rep. Byrd. It’s public record guys all you have to do is look it up. The problem is with the Florida Senate. To pass a bill it takes two to tango. The Florida senate won’t dance.

  15. The only permit you need to bear arms is one you do not have to buy or carry on your person.

    It is called the US Constitution.

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