Oppose HB 543 concealed carry of weapons and firearms without a license

The Permitless Carry gun bill — HB 543 Concealed Carry of Weapons and Firearms Without a License — is being fast-tracked with only two committees in the House, and is already scheduled for its first hearing in the Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 2 pm ET. If you are able, we urge you to watch the committee hearing on the Florida Channel at Home – The Florida Channel.

In the meantime, we need you to contact the House committee legislators below AND your own local House Representatives, even if they are not on this committee. Tell them you want them to VOTE NO on this bill when it comes before them. Don’t give them a pass. Hold them accountable.

  • This bill would allow people who have never passed a background check or fired a gun in their lives to carry hidden, loaded guns in public.
  • The gun lobby calls this “Constitutional Carry” which is a myth. There is no constitutional right to carry an unregistered firearm wherever a person goes.
  • Between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022 FL Dept of Agriculture denied 28,994 applications for concealed weapon licenses and revoked 8,129 licenses. Passing permitless carry would get rid of these guardrails.
  • Studies show that weakening public carry laws is associated with a 13–15% increase in violent crime rates, as well as an 11% increase in rates of homicides committed with handguns.
  • States where Permitless Carry is legal experienced a 22% increase in gun homicides for the three years after the law’s passage, more than doubling the 10% increase for the country overall.
  • Florida already ranks as the 24th worst state in terms of  Gun Death Rate Rank in the US, with one gun death every 3 hours. Allowing permitless carry will only take us farther to the bottom of the list.
  • Law enforcement officers have no way of differentiating between people who are lawfully carrying guns and people who are illegally carrying guns. This could result in officers relying on their own inherent bias to police these criteria.
  • Police departments across the country have reported a drastic uptick in guns stolen from cars, coinciding with the passage of weak public carry laws that allow gun owners to carry and store guns in their vehicles.
  • Most Floridians want stronger, not weaker gun laws.
  • Even people living in permitless carry states do not support permitless carry. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of adults in the 25 states with permitless carry oppose these policies.
Charlotte County Representatives: