The Florida Senate voted 27-13 Thursday on a bill that will allow people to carry concealed weapons in public without a permit in the state.
Republicans welcomed the bill with Governor Ron DeSantis on their side. Supporters of the bill have labeled it “constitutional carry,” according to the Washington Post.
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Florida will become the 26th state in the country to allow carrying firearms without a permit, if DeSantis signs the bill for it to become law.
The move will allow people to carry a concealed weapon to any public place where licensed gun-owners are already allowed to carry weapons, which means carrying guns in courthouses, polling booths, and public schools will still be prohibited.
According to CNN, DeSantis said he is proud to be supporting the Second Amendment.
“You don’t need a permission slip from the government to be able to exercise your constitutional rights,” he said.
While currently gun-owners in Florida are required to undergo background checks and take a firearm safety course to obtain their license, this will no longer be necessary if the bill becomes law.
Amid sweeping calls for stricter gun control laws as instances of mass shootings in the country remain high, Democrats and gun-control advocates have criticized the bill.
“This bill recognizes that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, its citizens have a right to protect themselves,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Representative Chuck Brannan, according to CNN.
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