By: Ashleigh Meyer
Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini is taking a stand for Second Amendment rights, facing off against Democrats and even some Republicans in the Florida state legislature. Sabatini plans to introduce a Constitutional Carry bill that would enable Florida citizens to carry a gun, open or concealed, without a permit.
Amid the growing gun control debate, many Republicans are caving to political pressure from the left. In Florida, Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have promised support for the so-called “Red Flag Laws,” and around the nation, others on the right are giving in to stronger background checks, limiting weapons sales, and other measures.
The President himself has called for bi-partisan efforts to tighten gun laws. Florida’s Sabatini, on the contrary, recently Tweeted that, “...the government should be allowed to confiscate my firearm after they pry it from my cold dead hands.” This is not the first time Sabatini has introduced a bill of this nature, but his last attempt was met with little success.
This time, Sabatini is calling for support from Floridians and has issued a rousing video asking his constituents to sign a petition for the cause. He also has plans to pass legislation that would allow students and others to carry guns on college campuses.
Several states have already adopted Constitutional carry, or permitless carry, policies. Those states include Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Each state may have variations on the law, and may impose certain restrictions. For example, the law may require the weapon be carried in a certain way, there may be age restrictions in place, and you may have to be a resident of the state. Proponents of Constitutional carry believe law-abiding citizens should not have to ask the government permission to exercise their Constitutional rights. If carry a weapon is restricted, it is not a right, but a privilege.
Guns are already quite restricted in Florida, following the tragic mass shooting in Parkland. Floridians must now be 21 years old to purchase a firearm, red flag gun confiscation laws have been enacted, and bump-stocks have been banned. What Sanatini is proposing would represent a major shift in way Florida has regarded guns in recent months.
The debate is likely to rage on in Tallahassee, as Florida remains under Republican control, and Democrats are hell-bent on more gun restrictions and regulations.
Ashleigh Meyer is a professional writer, and Conservative political analyst from Virginia.