Florida Constitutional Carry


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I've had some friends and past students ask me about the new Florida Constitutional Carry law that was passed in April 2023.  I thought it might be helpful to some to go over some questions I've been asked.  I am not a lawyer, so my information is based on what I read in the bill, other articles and personal observations.  Hope this helps a few of you out there.

1.      Should I still get a Florida concealed carry permit?  Yes!  The public can still secure a concealed permit if they choose.  This can become important when traveling across state lines.

2.      Should I get training?  If you are new or a novice to guns itís your responsibility to get trained properly by a reputable NRA Instructor.

3.      How many other states have constitutional carry?  Twenty-five states now have permitless carry; Florida will be the 26th.

4.      Some say this will turn our cities into the wild west:  Constitutional carry makes it possible for all lawful citizens to Ė rich and poor regardless of race or any other demographic Ė to protect themselves without undue burden.  Constitutional carry has not made states less safe.  See study measuring statistics for 29 years.

5.      What if Iím stopped?  Individuals stopped by law enforcement with a gun and no Florida ID are breaking the law unless they have an ID from another state where Florida has reciprocity.

6.      What if I buy a gun?  Background checks are still required as in the past when purchasing a firearm.  Residents must still meet all existing requirements to own a gun: over 21, not a felon, etc.

7.      Can I open carry my firearms now?  Open carry is still unlawful, it has to be concealed.

8.      Can criminals now carry firearms legally?  By law, if you could not secure a CWP in Florida (ie: felon) you still cannot carry a firearm in Florida.

9.      What about schools?  The bill also expands school safety programs, including allowing employees to carry concealed at work, establishes threat assessment standards for schools, and allows the use of firearm-detection dogs on campus.

10.   If Iím an NRA Instructor, how will this affect my business?  Itís my belief most people who are new to shooting and purchase a firearm will get trained so they properly know how to use it, store it, clean it and carry it - just like most take a golf lesson when purchasing golf clubs.  However, this new law will weed out those trainers who do not provide the gold standard of training.

John Bottomley
NRA Certified Training Counselor
NRA Certified Instructor
Chief Range Safety Officer
Tampa, FL
(813) 787-7120






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Last modified: 12/14/23