Earlier today the Washington Post reported that Florida Governor Ron Desantis and members of his staff privately acknowledged the dangers of firearms being present in public spaces despite continued efforts to weaken Florida’s gun safety laws. The governor’s desire to prohibit guns at a campaign rally comes as he’s pushing to pass permitless carry in the Florida legislature, a dangerous policy that would dismantle the state’s permitting requirement to carry a concealed firearm in public.
As the Washington Post reported:
- “The Republican governor’s campaign wanted weapons banned from his victory celebration at the city-run Tampa Convention Center, a city official said in emails obtained by The Washington Post. And the campaign suggested that the city take responsibility for the firearms ban, the official said — not the governor, who has been a vocal supporter of gun rights.”
- “DeSantis/his campaign will not tell their attendees they are not permitted to carry because of the political optics,’ Chase Finch, the convention center’s safety and security manager, said in an Oct. 28 email to other city officials about the request.”
“This proves what we already knew — when it comes to gun violence, Governor DeSantis puts ‘political optics’ before public safety,” said Wendy Malloy, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our lawmakers should stand up to Gov. DeSantis’ hypocrisy and reject permitless carry.”
DeSantis continues to support policies that he has acknowledged could put his life in danger. Last week, the House Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee passed HB 543, in the Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee and yesterday the Senate introduced their version of the bill which would also broaden the state program that allows school staff to carry guns on campus. These policies are especially tone deaf as we mark five years since the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, in which 17 people were shot and killed and 17 others were wounded. These policies are inconsistent with DeSantis’s own convictions and continues to prove that he is only appealing to extremist views for his political benefit and not the safety of Floridians.
What to know about permitless carry:
- Permitless carry laws strip away a critical tool that law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who are prohibited from carrying a loaded weapon in public.
- Permitless carry legislation has been staunchly opposed by law enforcement across the country, including in Nebraska, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio.
- States that have weakened their firearm permitting systems have experienced an 11 percent increase in handgun homicide rates and a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime rates.
- Polling also shows that permitting systems are overwhelmingly popular. 88 percent of Americans think you should get a permit before carrying a concealed gun in public.