Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed new permitless carry bill. Here's what it means for you:

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed a new gun bill that eliminates licensing requirements to carry a concealed firearm in most public places.

The Florida Senate voted 27-13 last week on HB 543 and DeSantis signed it as quickly as he got it in a closed-door gathering with supporters, making Florida the 26th state that does not require a concealed weapons license.

FOX News broke the story about the signing 28 minutes before Florida reporters received a notice from the DeSantis press office that he had received the bill from the Legislature.

Bill signed: Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signs permitless carry bill within hours of it landing on his desk

What does Florida's concealed carry bill do?

The bills SB150/HB543 eliminate the need for a concealed weapons license, which required a mandatory background check and a firearms training course, before you can carry hidden weapons or firearms on your person or in a vehicle in Florida, provided you still meet other gun ownership requirements.

The bill also adds private schools to the list of educational facilities that can ask the local sheriff for help establishing a guardian program, requires law enforcement agencies to develop an active assailant response policy, requires the Office of Safe Schools to develop a behavioral threat management operational process and develop a threat management portal, authorizes the state Department of Education to adopt emergency rules, requires the Department of Education to establish the Florida Safe Schools Canine Program, and more.

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What were Florida’s gun laws on concealed carry before HB 543?

Prior to HB 543 passing, Floridians needed to get a concealed weapon permit to carry a concealed weapon with limited exceptions.

Here are the previous minimum eligibility requirements for Floridians applying for a concealed carry permit, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age unless you are a servicemember, as defined in Section 250.01, Florida Statutes, or you are a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who was discharged under honorable conditions.

  • You must meet the citizenship and residency requirements set forth in the law.

  • You must be able to provide a certificate of completion from a firearms training class or other acceptable training document that evidences your competency with a firearm.

  • You must not have a disqualifying criminal record or other condition that would make you ineligible for licensure.

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What does open carry mean?

"Open carry" means you can publicly carry a legally owned firearm that is kept in plain sight or partially concealed, usually holstered. Some states require a separate permit or license for this, most do not. Three states — California, Illinois and Florida — currently ban open carry.

What does concealed carry mean?

"Concealed carry" means you can publicly carry a legally owned firearm that is hidden from view. Concealed carry is currently legal in all 50 states but some states, including Florida before this bill, require special training and a license before it is allowed.

"Permitless carry" or "constitutional carry" allows both, without permits, licensing or training.

When does the concealed carry bill take effect in Florida?

The law goes into effect July 1.

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What do critics and supporters say?

Second Amendment groups, who were critical of the bill, say it falls short of true “Constitutional Carry.”

The new law angered both sides of the gun control debate. Critics say it will cause further bloodshed and death in a nation already plagued by mass shootings. Some advocates for repeal of a background check and training course to carry a concealed firearm grumbled the bill does not include "open carry" that allows citizens to carry without concealing.

Aa poll by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab found 77% of Floridians, including 62% of Republicans, do not support allowing people to carry a weapon without a license.

However, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action praised the new law in a prepared statement to Fox.

"This NRA-spearheaded initiative empowers Floridians to exercise their Second Amendment rights without undue bureaucratic barriers, affirming the fundamental right to self-defense," NRA-ILA Interim Executive Director Randy Kozuch exclusively told Fox News Digital in a statement.

Can I carry a concealed weapon anywhere in Florida?

Not quite. The bill spells out a lengthy list of places where open and concealed weapons are restricted:

  • Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05 (an open term that includes places that endanger the health of the community, become "manifestly injurious to the morals or manners" of the community, or "annoy the community" such as prostitution dens, illegal gambling halls, specified massage parlors and anywhere criminal gang activity happens)

  • Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station

  • Any detention facility, prison, or jail

  • Any courthouse

  • Any courtroom (although judges can carry concealed weapons or determine if someone else can)

  • Any polling place

  • Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district

  • Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof

  • Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms

  • Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building

  • Any career center

  • Anywhere in an establishment primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises

  • Any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member there and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and doesn't fire a dart or projectile

  • The inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, unless it's encased for shipment to be checked as baggage

  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law

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What if I don't live in Florida and want to conceal carry? Does Florida have reciprocity?

Yes. Non-residents may carry concealed weapons or firearms provided they are 21 or older and not prevented by Florida law to possess them for any other reason. The age requirement doesn't apply to servicemembers or veterans.

C. A. Bridges, a Digital Producer for the USA TODAY Network, contributed to this story.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Florida gun laws concealed carry passed: What permitless bill means