The NRA is praising a new Florida law that eliminates concealed-carry permit requirements.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the measure into law on Monday.
A majority of states have now made it legal to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
Advocates of unrestricted gun ownership are hailing Gov. Ron DeSantis after the Republican on Monday made Florida the 26th state to eliminate permit requirements for concealed carry of a firearm.
"This has been a long, hard-fought battle, and we are excited to get a victory over the finish line," Luis Valdes, Florida state director for Gun Owners of America, said in a statement.
At a private ceremony on Monday, DeSantis signed into a law HB 543, which critics, including the anti-gun violence group Giffords Florida, have derided as the "anyone with a gun" bill. It indeed allows anyone who can legally purchase a firearm in Florida to carry it — hidden on their person — without requiring them to first take a course on safe gun ownership.
Florida had previously required people seeking a concealed weapon license to demonstrate that they can competently handle a firearm, generally by submitting documentation showing that they completed a safety or training course.
The new law takes effect on July 1.
"This is a momentous step in the Constitutional Carry movement as now the majority of American states recognize the Constitution protects the right for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves outside their homes without fees or permits," Randy Kozuch, interim executive director at NRA-ILA, said in a statement.
DeSantis marked his signing of the bill in a press release. "Constitutional Carry is in the books," he said, his office releasing a photo showing him flanked by pro-gun activists — some of whom have criticized the bill for not going for enough, noting it does not legalize the open, public carry of a firearm.
The signing comes not only as DeSantis weighs a run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, but as Florida is struggling to combat violent crime, in particular gun violence. In 2021, more than 1,150 people in the state were killed by a firearm, according to the Florida Department of Health, compared to 821 a decade earlier.
In terms of gun violence, Florida is also slightly more dangerous than the national average. In 2020, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the age-adjusted rate of gun homicides in Florida was 13.7 per 100,000 people; in New York, the rate was 5.3.
Have a news tip? Email this reporter: email@example.com
Read the original article on Business Insider