ORLANDO, Fla. — One of the more controversial pieces of legislation signed into law by the Florida governor this year goes into effect in less than two days.
The permitless carry law will allow anyone who can legally own a gun in Florida to carry one concealed without a license.
Law enforcement officials in Central Florida and across the state are making a last-minute effort to teach the community what the law means before it takes effect on July 1.
It will no longer be required to have training and a background check to carry concealed guns in public.
After Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation on April 3, many have been vocal about why they disagree with it.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina is one of the most outspoken about the dangers he thinks this new law will pose to the public and law enforcement.
“We already have what I call is a flawed stand-your-ground law that leads to a lot of these encounters that turn violent,” Mina said. “Now you’re just throwing more guns into the mix.”
In Brevard County, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said this in, in part, on the department’s Facebook page:
“While the new law without question reaffirms that you don’t need a permission slip from the government to exercise your constitutional rights, what it doesn’t do is allow for open carry or change in any way who can carry or possess a firearm and where they can carry it!!”
Both Ivey and Mina emphasize training, even if it is not required.
“We’ve already had a number of accidental shootings this year,” Mina said. “We just had two this weekend where a woman has died because someone was mishandling a firearm.”
Gun rights lawyer James Phillips said that while he understands officers’ concerns, the changes will only help those who follow the law.
“This isn’t going to change anything for criminals because criminals don’t follow the law, to begin with,” Phillips said. “Looking at other states that have instituted some form of permitless carry, their crime rate did not increase, so I don’t expect it will increase in Florida here either.”
Gun owners will still be required to have a valid ID while carrying their weapon, and there will still be several places where you can’t bring a gun.
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