Our Law Shield members already know that Florida is currently one of only five states where the open carry of modern handguns is still banned in most public places, but legislation to change that — Florida CS/SB 300 — is moving forward.
The measure passed the Senate Criminal Justice committee, 3 to 2. It was introduced by Senator Don Gaetz, a Republican representing District 1 in the panhandle portion of the state. The Legislature’s regular session begins in January.
There are a lot of provisions Law Shield supports in the bill, including these points:
Subject to sections. 790.06 and 790.10, “a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm or weapon pursuant to this chapter may openly carry such firearm or weapon; however, except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any other person to openly carry on or about his or her person a any firearm or electric weapon or device.”
The Florida Statutes would direct the judiciary to “employ strict scrutiny in reviewing any statute that implicates the right to bear arms or defend one’s self….”
The right to bear arms is “a fundamental and individual right that exists in any place that a person has the right to be, subject only to exceptionally and narrowly tailored restrictions that employ the least possible restriction on the right in order to achieve a compelling government interest.”
Law Shield supports the passage of open-carry legislation in Florida.