Florida’s ‘permitless carry’ law to make policing more difficult, MDPD director says

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III, the director of the Miami-Dade Police Department since 2020, said a new law is going to make policing more difficult.

Ramirez was reacting to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s decision to sign a new bill into law that as of July 1, Florida will no longer require a government-issued permit to carry a concealed gun.

“It will be a challenge for law enforcement, but either way we will be here to adapt,” Ramirez said. “The law is the law ... Obviously is going to be a concern, but we will get through it as a community.”

Florida Sen. Lori Berman said she was very concerned about the effects of the law, which got rid of a prior state requirement for training to get a permit.

“Now, anybody can have a locked and loaded gun here in the state with no training,” Berman said.

It remains illegal for gun owners to carry weapons at schools, courthouses, airports, and other public areas. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon remains a second-degree felony.

“It is a big responsibility to carry a firearm and the best thing that you can do is educate yourself,” said Mauricio Morello, an instructor at the Florida Gun Center.

During a virtual news conference, Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jamie died during the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, said that by signing the bill DeSantis had guaranteed that there will be more innocent shooting victims like his daughter.

Guttenberg also sent a message to DeSantis about his decision to sign the bill during a ceremony that was closed to the public.

“I understand why you hid today,” Guttenberg said. “You are a weak, pathetic, small-minded individual.”

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, also criticized DeSantis by saying it was “shameful” that he did it so soon after another tragic school shooting.

“This is the opposite of common-sense gun safety,” Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre was referring to the March 27 shooting at The Covenant, a Christian school in Nashville that killed three 9-year-old children, Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, and three adults Mike Hill, 61, a custodian; Cynthia Peak, 61, a substitute teacher; and Katherine Koonce, 60, the head of the school.

Detectives identified the shooter as Audrey Hale, who despite having an emotional disorder was able to buy seven firearms legally, according to Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake.

Local 10 News affiliate ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.