We need to get busy supporting this bill!
From the Examiner.com- "Hot on the heels of House Bill 45, the recently filed bill that would give real teeth to Florida's long beleaguered preemption statute, comes Senate Bill 234. SB 234, filed on December 10 by Florida Senator Greg Evers, is a virtual cornucopia of new ground for gun owners and carriers. This is a Christmas present of which even Santa would be proud.
Arguably one of the biggest issues in recent Florida gun rights discussion, open carry of firearms would be restored to the citizens of Florida under SB 234, albeit as a licensed privilege. Under current law, a gun owner can only open carry at their own place of residence; place of business; at a range; or when going to, coming from, and during a hunting, camping, or fishing expedition, regardless of license. Florida Open Carry, a grassroots organization has been routinely organizing open carry fishing events at multiple locations throughout the state in order to promote and publicize the practice. Some method of general open carry is legal in 43 states. Passage of SB 234 would permit current and future concealed carry licensees to carry open or concealed at their option.
Another huge change, SB 234 would permit lawful concealed carry on college campuses, in career centers, and private schools. Although the anti-gun rallying cry, "guns and schools don't mix" is heard whenever the subject of campus carry is mentioned, apparently the criminals don't hear it. Criminals know full well that colleges are defense free zones, and have taken advantage of that deficiency in recent armed robberies at Full Sail University in Orlando, University of Florida in Gainesville, and Florida State University in Tallahassee as well as many others. And, not only does the current restriction affect carry on campus, but it also denies students the ability to protect themselves to and from campus, as firearms are not permitted to be locked in cars parked in campus parking lots. Upon being made a law, SB 234 would permit student, teacher, and administrator licensees to carry their firearms on campus.
Speaking of parking, SB 234 additionally provides that a licensed concealed carrier shall not be prohibited from carrying or storing a firearm in a vehicle for lawful purposes. Currently, private property owners can prohibit firearms storage in vehicles on their property. Current statute only protects the employee's right to keep their firearm in their automobile in a company parking lot during work, but customers and other visitors are not currently protected by law as those provisions were ruled unconditionally vague.
Senator Evers bill also takes aim at the limitation of purchase of firearms only in contiguous states. Florida residents are currently only legally permitted to purchase firearms from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. SB 234 repeals the limiting statute, and provides that Floridians will be able to purchase firearms from any state, so long as a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check is performed prior to purchase, and the laws and regulations of the state in which the transaction is made are fulfilled."
Take a look at this email from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.... we need to get behind this bill, the opposition has a head start!!!
Last week, Senator Greg Evers (R-Crestview), filed SB 234, which appears to reopen some elements of the â€œguns at workâ€ law. The bill would make a number of significant changes to Florida law, including:
â€¢ Allowing holders of concealed weapons permits to openly carry their guns in public;
â€¢ Allowing holders of concealed weapons permits to openly carry their guns into private schools, even if the private school has a policy prohibiting firearms on its private property;
â€¢ Allowing holders of concealed weapons permits to openly carry their guns into career centers, colleges, and universities, even if the center or school has a policy prohibiting firearms on its property;
â€¢ Rewriting the â€œGuns at Workâ€ bill from 2008 to allow anyone, not just employees, with a concealed weapons permit to bring their weapons onto the private property of another person or business, with or without that property ownerâ€™s consent.
This last provision also revises the requirements for how guns can be stored in vehicles, and appears to eliminate the well-reasoned exemptions in the 2008 law. In particular, the 2008 law required the gun to be legally owned, lawfully possessed, and locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle when the owner of the gun is lawfully in the parking lot of another individual or business. The new proposed law simply says that a person can â€œcarry or store a firearm in a vehicle for lawful purposes,â€ if that person has a concealed weapons permit, meaning that businesses couldâ€™t prohibit guns in company-owned vehicles. Furthermore, the 2008 law prohibited guns at schools, prisons, nuclear power plants, national defense, aerospace, and homeland security facilities, as well as properties that use explosive materials. SB 234 appears to eliminate all of those exemptions.
I have spoken with Senator Evers about these issues, and he is willing to meet with us when the Legislature returns in January to discuss this legislation with us.
If you are concerned about this legislation, please contact me, as we are in the process of identifying all of the potential ramifications of this bill. Further, if there is sufficient interest, we may convene a meeting on this bill in early January to coordinate our efforts. And as always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Adam Babington Florida Chamber of Commerce