By: DJ Parten
Democrat officials want stricter gun control in Florida and have introduced several bills aimed at doing just that in the State Legislature.
One of these bills is HB 809, sponsored by State Rep. Javier Fernandez, which would reduce the time a Concealed Weapons License (CWL) is valid from seven years to five years, allow the government to retain a database of applicants’ fingerprints, and require additional training expenses to renew a CWL.
Current law requires an individual to provide proof of training paid for by the individual, give the government his/her fingerprints, pay a fee, and undergo a background check to apply for a CWL.
After the process is complete, the state is required to dispose of the fingerprints, but not if this bill becomes law.
Fernandez’s legislation is also backed by the only statewide elected Democrat official, Nikki Fried.
Fried is the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and is responsible for the Concealed Weapons Licensing system.
Another Democrat, State Rep. Al Jacquet, introduced HB 117, which would require applicants to undergo a mental health evaluation at their own expense. Law-abiding gun owners would be forced to prove their sanity to the government before the government would grant them permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and State Sen. Gary Farmer are also trying to pass a so-called “Assault Weapons” Ban again.
State Sen. Linda Stewart wants to criminalize possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
Even though the legislative and executive branches are controlled by Republicans, it isn’t farfetched to think that some gun control might pass.
Several Republican leaders have called for additional gun control this year, including expanding the state’s “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation law passed by Republicans in 2018.
On the other side of the issue, State Rep. Anthony Sabatini introduced HB 273 Constitutional Carry, which would eliminate the requirement to have a permit to carry a firearm in Florida.
If HB 273 passed, Florida would become the 16th state in the country to recognize the constitutional right to carry a firearm without needing government permission.
D.J. Parten is the Executive Director of Florida Gun Rights and the Southeast Regional Director for the National Association for Gun Rights.