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article imageFlorida governor signs emergency concealed carry bill into law

By Alex Allen     May 23, 2015 in Politics
The governor of Florida has signed a new bill that allows gun owners in the state to carry concealed firearms without a permit during a state of emergency.
With hurricane season just around the corner, many politicians in the state of Florida want to make sure the gun rights of the people are protected during crisis situations. That's why, among the 44 bills signed into law by Governor Rick Scott Thursday, was a bill that allows anyone in the state to carry a concealed firearm during an emergency evacuation.
The bill, SB290, provides an exception to the state's ban on unlicensed concealed carry. While nonlethal weapons such as mace and stun guns can be carried concealed by anyone, a permit is required to carry a concealed firearm in the state. Governor Scott as well as several lawmakers and lobbyists, however, believe that restriction shouldn't have to apply during an emergency.
"It's really a no-brainer," former NRA President Marion Hammer told CBS Miami. "When people are forced to leave their homes, they have a right to carry their possessions with them - including their firearms to protect their property." Republican Senator Jeff Brandes, who sponsored the bill, agrees. He said the following in a statement:
"As Hurricane Season approaches it's critical that our rights are protected during natural disasters. With the signing of SB 290, all lawful gun owners will be permitted to carry a concealed weapon if they are complying with a mandatory evacuation during a state of emergency. I'm proud to have sponsored this bipartisan bill ensuring that we have the right to protect our families during these sometimes chaotic times."
This is not the first piece of legislation to address gun rights during a state of emergency. Following criticism for the gun confiscation that took place during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, several states put forward legislation to prevent authorities from confiscating firearms during a state of emergency. One of the most recent states to address this issue was Nebraska, with LB390 last year.
More about concealed carry, concealed weapons, Florida, Gun laws, state of emergency
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