Speed Reads

gun laws

Ron DeSantis signs bill to allow concealed guns without a permit

During a private ceremony in his office, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill on Monday that allows residents to carry concealed guns without a permit.

The event was attended by bill sponsors, legislative leaders, and officials from the National Rifle Association, with NBC News reporting this ceremony was "a notable departure for a governor who regularly holds splashy news conferences and bill-signing ceremonies." The new law takes effect July 1.

A poll conducted by the University of North Florida in March found that of the 1,492 respondents, 77 percent — including 62 percent of Republicans — were somewhat or strongly opposed to the new legislation. In Florida, to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, a person must go through a background check and three-day waiting period; this is not a requirement for private transactions or weapon exchanges.

Republicans lawmakers have argued that most gun owners will still want to get a permit so they can carry concealed weapons in states that don't have this law, while Democrats and gun safety advocates say this will make the state more dangerous. Randy Kozuch, interim executive director of the NRA's lobbying arm, said in a statement the concealed carry movement "began decades ago and the NRA has been working to get this legislation passed throughout America. Therefore, today is indeed a day to celebrate."

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, told reporters DeSantis "today put his signature to a bill that guarantees there will be more Jaimes. Somebody in Florida may die ... because of this legislation. That will be because of you, Ron DeSantis. I understand why you hid today. ... You are a weak, pathetic, small-minded individual."