Florida House Gives Green Light On Open Gun Carry Bill, Vote Passed 80-38
By Allison Nielsen, Sunshine State News // February 3, 2016
permit to openly carry firearm in public
(SunshineStateNews.com) – Florida inched one step closer to becoming the 46th state in the country to allow concealed weapons permit holders to openly carry their firearms in public after the House passed a bill supporting the measure by a vote of 80-38.
The bill, HB 163, sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, would make it legal for anyone with a concealed weapons permit to openly carry their firearm in public. Current Florida law does not allow CCW permit holders to openly carry.
Anyone who willfully infringes on concealed weapons permit holders’ right to openly carry (like law enforcement officers) would face a $5,000 fine. Government entities who try to infringe upon the open carry rule could face an even higher penalty of $100,000 for infringing on CCW permit holders’ right to carry.
Gaetz’s legislation has been one of the hottest bills to move through the Florida Legislature during this year’s legislative session, with many members disagreeing on whether the proposal would be a good idea for the people of Florida.