March 22, 2022
By Luis Valdes Florida State Director, Gun Owners of America
For the third year in a row, constitutional carry has died under Florida’s Republican supermajority control of the state’s legislature. You can see my on the ground reporting from Florida’s State Capitol the day the legislative session ended and they killed it on March 14.
CALL AND EMAIL GOVERNOR DESANTIS AND DEMAND THAT HE CALLS A SPECIAL SESSION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY!
If you’re a Florida resident, click here to Gun Owners of America action alert. If you are outside of Florida, you can email him directly at GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com. No matter what though, whether you live in or outside of Florida. CALL HIM AT 850-717-9337.
Anyways, Florida no longer deserves nickname as the “Gunshine State”. Instead, the entire state should be called “Disney World”.
Because Florida’s Republican lawmakers sell a lot of make-believe within the state’s borders. The legislative leadership year after year advertises itself as being pro-freedom and pro-gun. Yet, time and time again, they show that isn’t the case. It’s a convenient campaign slogan and nothing more.
House Bill 103 (Constitutional Carry) died under Republican leadership. You can see it right here on the State House’s website.
So, what happened this session? Simple, Florida’s Republican lawmakers aren’t pro-gun. Constitutional carry was an issue that the legislature tried to squash by any means.
The Republican committee chair where the bill was assigned to refused to answer any questions on bringing the bill up for a vote when asked by GOA and Florida’s gun owners. You can see in this video, Rep. Chuck Brannan runs off and refuses to answer the simple question.
Later on, Rep. Brannan’s Legislative Aide was caught throwing constitutional carry petitions collected by Floridians in the trash. Here’s the news report from the Epoch Times covering the issue and here is the video of when it happened.
Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis back in December 2021 stated that he would sign constitutional carry if it reached his desk and in the beginning of this month, the Governor openly called for its passage.
The typical excuses as to why constitutional carry has died are being thrown around yet again by allegedly pro-gun political lapdogs and gatekeepers that protect the anti-gun legislative leadership.
They have made the argument that the reason bill died is because there was no companion bill in the Senate. They used the same phony excuse last year. It’s like deja vu all over again.
Yet, their falsehoods have been disproven just like they were last year.
Constitutional carry wasn’t the only pro-gun measure killed by Republican legislative inaction. They also killed a bill that would have repealed a ban on the sale of ammunition and firearms during declared states of emergency.
And guess what? That had companion bills in both chambers (HB 6095 & SB 1528), not like that would have made any difference. The anti-gun Republican legislative dictatorship in both the House and Senate refused to move these bills forward too.
Yup, you’re reading this correctly. Republicans not only killed constitutional carry. They killed legislation that would have finally put an end to certain political jurisdictions in Florida from using every cough, sneeze, or hurricane as an excuse to prevent the law-abiding from purchasing firearms and ammunition.
Florida’s Republican leadership is never at a loss for excuses as to why permitless carry for Floridians isn’t possible…year after year after year. But their access-based lobbyists sure also come up with excuses too!
They claim that Rep. Anthony Sabatini — who submitted the House constitutional carry bill — failed because he never got a companion bill submitted in the Senate. They say he didn’t kiss the right butts nor talked to House committee chairs to bring the bill up for debate and vote.
Never mind the fact that Rep. Sabatini literally roomed with the committee chair while session was ongoing.
What excuse will they use next? That blocking the replacement of the Mocking Bird as the State Bird again is more important? Oh wait, some of those access-based lobbyists spent time doing that leading up to this session instead of pursuing constitutional carry.
Or maybe they’ll claim that designating strawberry shortcake as the official state dessert (never mind the fact that the official state pie is already Key Lime) was a far more important goal.
The end result is this. Out of 102 Republican lawmakers, Rep. Sabatini was the only one with a spine willing to introduce constitutional carry for three years in a row. This includes lawmakers in the house and Senate. Out of them all, he was the only one willing to fight for Floridians’ Second Amendment rights.
The other lawmakers that claimed to be pro-gun, showed that they weren’t. YOU NEED TO REMIND THEM OF THE CAMPAIGN PROMISE THEY MADE.
Luis Valdes is the Florida Director of Gun Owners of America.