Florida lawmakers propose bill to make buying, carrying gun much easier

HIALEAH, Fla. – Florida state lawmakers are proposing a new bill that would make carrying a gun in the state much easier.

If the bill passes, it would no longer be required to have a permit in order to carry a loaded firearm.

Gun safety advocated are calling the bill reckless.

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner, a Republican, called it, “removing the permission slip.”

“The permit and all aspects of that permit would go away,” he said.

Practically speaking, that would mean no more required background checks, fingerprinting or any sort of training.

“I don’t think the permit in order to conceal carry in this state is onerous to begin with, but at least it’s something,” said state Rep. Dan Daley, a Democrat from Coral Springs. “So every Joe Schmo doesn’t carry one on their hip.”

Added state Rep Christine Hunschofsky, a Democrat from Parkland, “Removing training to make you a competent firearm carrier doesn’t sound like a great public safety measure to me. This alone is a step in the wrong direction.”

Local 10 News’ Glenna Milberg took the issue to a veteran weapons instructor.

Auggie Mejia likened an untrained gun owner to an unlicensed driver.

“I think everyone should be training in firearms,” he said.

He explained why live firing with an instructor is currently part of required training for a gun permit.

“You must know, you must understand, safety is critical and understand the components that go with owning a firearm,” he said.

The bill would allow anyone 21 or older to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, except for those already outlawed, like felons for instance.

Instruction would become optional.

“Anybody that’s a gun owner and uses guns knows that safety comes first,” said Renner.

Read the bill by clicking here.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."