With Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signing Florida’s constitutional carry bill into law, Florida becomes the 26th state to allow law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense without having to seek government permission. The law will go into effect July 1st, 2023.
The Florida law does not change the concealed carry permit process and those desiring a permit can still obtain one it’s just no longer required by the state. A Florida permit is sometimes useful to Florida residents traveling outside the state. The new law does not authorize open carry of handguns and is therefore considered by some to be more permitless carry than constitutional carry.
Nebraska is likely on the verge of passing a constitutional carry law with South Carolina not far behind. According to Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center “if Nebraska and South Carolina pass Constitutional Carry, 67% of the land in the country and 45% of the population will be covered”. This is significant as the Supreme Court will likely consider the prevalence of constitutional carry in future Second Amendment (2A) cases. The following map from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows constitutional carry states across the country:
There are many benefits to providing law-abiding citizens who choose to take responsibility for their personal safety and that of their loved ones the means to do so. There are few liabilities. Of the pros and cons, the following are some examples:
- An armed society is a polite society. Most concealed carriers will tell you that they are conscious of the power and responsibility they possess by being armed and their behavior is moderated accordingly.
- A person’s natural right of self-protection is supported.
- The Constitution is being followed. Unfortunately, this is something that’s not happening in many areas of our society today. We currently have a federal government that can reasonably be described as out of control and looks nothing like what the founders envisioned. In fact, it likely resembles exactly what they were trying to avoid. The same can be said of many state governments. With many of our rights being abused, constitutional carry represents a reversal of that trend.
- No citizen is being denied that right due to economic, social, or other factors. Requirements to purchase and carry a firearm in many of the more oppressive states price some people out of their right to protect themselves and their family.
- The public in general is safer. The community in general is safer when more law-abiding citizens decide to take responsibility for their safety and for that of their loved ones.
- Supporting individual rights, freedom, and liberty infuriates the left.
- People may carry without an adequate understanding of the law, what they can and cannot do.
The one “con” mentioned above warrants further discussion. I used to have reservations about constitutional carry due to my concern that people would be carrying with no required training and may not understand the law regarding what they can or cannot do as a legally armed citizen.
As a firearms instructor and one that teaches our state’s mandatory concealed carry class, I realize that mandatory training does not produce well trained individuals, only “new drivers”. When a sixteen-year-old passes their state mandated driving test they are not automatically good drivers. That comes with practice and experience, the same is true regarding concealed carry and firearms. People who carry are responsible for training regularly and gaining the knowledge and developing the skills to carry safely and be effective defenders, for embracing the concealed carry lifestyle.
Americans are winning the fight to regain our rights. This is true not only of Second Amendment rights but of a variety of rights from free speech to freedom of religion to freedom of assembly that have been increasingly infringed upon by government. Victories are being won across the country, but it takes Americans to become involved and elect leaders that support our Constitution.
The reason we have to fight in the first place is because gun-owners have been silent for too long. This is true not only of the current infringements on our Second Amendment rights but of the current attack on all our constitutionally protected rights. The time for silence is past. Figure out how you can get involved and join the fight be it through support of a 2A group, a favorite politician, your church, or your community in general, but get involved. To paraphrase Ben Franklin “Its our republic if we can keep it”.
©2023 Joseph T Drammissi
This article and more of Joe’s work covering the Second Amendment and other topics can be found on Substack at https://getagrip.substack.com