August 27, 2021
Most gun owners who follow politics closely realize that a record number of states have passed constitutional carry legislation so far in 2021. In fact, 21 states now recognize law-abiding citizens’ right to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense without having to navigate bureaucratic red tape and pay high fees to practice that right.
So far in 2021, five states—Iowa, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and Utah—have passed such a law, increasing the total number of constitutional carry states by nearly 30 percent since January. And if getting an early start on support for the next legislative session counts for anything, Florida might just be the next state to clear that hurdle.
As most Firearms News readers likely know, Florida is the birthplace of the modern concealed carry movement. Back in 1987, it was the first state to go to a shall-issue system, meaning if applicants are not criminals or otherwise disqualified and can pass the required background check, the state is required to issue them the carry permit.
After Florida broke the ice, its successful legislation was used as a model, and shall-issue took the country by a landslide, with only a few states now still requiring “just cause” for applicants to get a permit. One that does—New York—is at the heart of the big carry case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court beginning on Nov. 3.
Unfortunately, Florida has lagged behind the curve, remaining one of 29 states yet to recognize the right to bear arms unfettered by restrictions. In fact, constitutional carry measures have been introduced in each of the last three legislative sessions, but have still not gathered the legislative support needed.
That’s what prompted gun-rights supporters to rally at the Florida capitol on Aug. 23 and voice their support for passage of such a measure.
At that gathering, Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who was the author of last session’s measure, said the fight isn’t over on constitutional carry, and he is dedicated to seeing it through to fruition in the Sunshine State.
“It's time that we actually start fighting and expanding our robust Bill of Rights in the United States,” Sabatini told those gathered. "And the Second Amendment being, in my opinion, one of the most, if not the single most guaranteed right in the Bill of Rights.”
As reported in the Tallahassee Democrat, Sabatini believes that changing the minds of a handful of Republican lawmakers could possibly make the difference in pushing Florida over the “permitless” carry hump.
“We need them to change their tune to fix this travesty by passing constitutional carry, and also repealing the red flag laws here in the state of Florida.”
As the fight continues, citizens should realize that their involvement could make all the difference. Gun owners should find out if their state representative and senator support constitutional carry. If they don’t, they should work to change their minds or vote them out of office next election cycle.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.