More States Allow Guns Without Permits; Florida Fires a Blank on Weapons

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: March 9, 2012 3:55 AM
Marksman at Gun Range

Credit: Guy J. Sagi - Shutterstock

Despite its reputation as a gun-friendly state, Florida is losing ground to liberal enclaves like Vermont and Maine when it comes to carrying concealed weapons.

Four states -- Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming -- allow their residents to "conceal carry" without a permit. Twelve more states are considering legislation to join that group. But Florida is not among them.

Florida remains among the leaders in safeguarding gun owners' rights. For example, it bars physicians from asking patients if they own a gun, while visitors to hospitals and nursing homes are allowed to carry in their weapons.

Florida also liberally interprets the "Castle Doctrine," which makes it legal for homeowners, and even car drivers, to shoot in defense of their property if they feel "threatened."

Such laissez-faire laws have alternately earned praise or elicited condemnation for the "Gunshine State."

But this year, other states are gaining ground on gun rights.

South Dakota will be the fifth state to go permit-less if Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs enabling legislation. Under the newly passed law, anyone 18 or older with a valid state driver's license could carry a concealed weapon as long as they don't have a background that would otherwise prohibt them from getting a permit, USA Today reported.

"Our viewpoint is, a good person will always be a good person. They don't need a [permit] to be a good person," said Andrew Arulanandam, policy director for the National Rifle Association.

In New Hampshire, permit-free legislation has cleared the House. Republican Rep. J.R. Hoell, said the recent school shooting in Cardon, Ohio, was a deadly reminder of the ineffectiveness of supposedly strict gun enforcement.

"Gun-free zones kill people," Hoell told USA Today.

Ohio and Virginia -- the site of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech -- are among the states weighing permit-free legislation. Others are Colorado, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

Gun-control advocates say the legislation is a prescription for tragedy

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says it would be foolish to allow people who have never even shot a firearm to carry one in public.

"This is just a recipe for disaster," said Brian Malte, Brady's director of state legislation.

Florida, which has issued 2.1 million conceal-carry permits -- 800,000 of which are "active" -- has generally offered a friendly climate for gun owners.

Last year, the Legislature prohibited local governments from passing their own patchwork of gun laws that could vary from one part of the state to another. Gun-rights advocates hailed the bill as an important piece of legislation that prevents unfair prosecutions as individuals travel from one part of the state to another.

"Of all the permitted gun holders in Florida, only 168 have done something wrong with a firearm necessitating revocation of their license to carry," Caranna said. "It is by far the most law-abiding segment of the population -- even more than law enforcement."

"Issuing permits doesn't do anything to curb crime," he said.

Caranna said his group will open up another gun-rights front in Florida when it pushes for an "open-carry" law next session.

"Right now, you cannot open-carry a gun unless you're hunting, camping, fishing or shooting at a gun range, or at your home or business. Technically, you can be cited for open-carrying at a friend's house," he noted.

Reach Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 559-4719.

Comments (42)

5:33PM JUL 11TH 2013
I would rather be judged by 12 , than be carried by 6 .
Joe Green
1:49AM NOV 29TH 2012
I couldn't agree with you more. Nobody has the right to tell me I cannot defend myself and/or that I must wait for the police to save me. I should be able to own and carry any weapon I choose. It's my ass if I do something wrong. Alcohol kills much more than guns ever have. My sisters ex husband was a cop and if it weren't for her owning a gun, she wouldn't be with us because he (yes, a cop) attacked her with a knife trying to kill her. 36 stab wounds later and almost bleeding to death, she stopped him cold. The messed up part is that the ambulance showed up and tried to revive him before everyone told them that he was the perp. You never know who's gonna do what or what you're up against. I'll be damned if I'm gonna lose because the bad guys had better weapons than me. Wake up people!
2:33PM DEC 4TH 2012
You said it how it should be said!
1:35PM MAR 10TH 2012
Frank -

The NRA didn't go "wild over teflon bullets" - the language of the law (referring to "cop killer bullets") would have banned any ammunition capable of penetrating Level II police vests.

That include pretty much all rifle calibers, in case you didn't know.

Nobody's talking about fully auto AK's when they're discussing "consitutional carry", and someone "looking at you" isn't a justification in any of the states that allow CCW.

I'm glad you claim to own "multiple rifle and handguns", but the 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting, and the behavior you exhibit is called "projection".
12:00PM MAR 16TH 2012
Of course you must be right - I guess that's why my dad, a lifetime (Golden Eagle) member of the NRA, a conservative Republican all his life, a career Army Officer who fought in WWII with two of my brothers (one wounded on Mount Suribachi, the other one sunk at sea but rescued) and once part of the Military Police, angrily gave up his NRA membership over the teflon bullet and other radical issue shifts by the NRA. If you're right, and it is an absolute right to own firearms without restrictions, I want my AK-47, bazooka, and ultimately my own suitcase nuke (and if you think there aren't folks out there arguing for these, you don't read blogs). So which of these can't be regulated under your understanding of the 2nd amendment: 20 bullet handgun magazines, 50 caliber military sniper rifles, AK-47, teflon bullets, fully autromatic machine guns, bazooka, grenade launcher, RPG, SAM-7 shoulder fired anti-aircraft missle launcher - I can go on but you get the point - there must be limits. Anything else is insanity in a civilized society,
10:41AM MAR 10TH 2012
I was a member of the NRA for many years until they went insane over teflon bullets. Just let me know when I can open carry my fully automatic AK-47 into malls, airplanes and schools and legally react with deadly force to the slighest provocation of a perceived slight or threat (I don't like the way you're looking at me!). I own multiple rifles and handguns, but this is just getting crazy - there has to be some common sense controls, but it doesn't appear we have many grownup adults in our gun-crazed Legislature.
Rick Moss
1:40PM MAR 10TH 2012
I can sympathize a little with your concerns, but I caution you to look at the big picture. When dealing with Chicago, thug politicians and their ilk, you can't let them get their foot in the door or they will eventually rob you blind and take all of your freedoms.ie., one concession becomes a legal precedent for more restrictive weapons legislation!
Gerald Ulrich
8:31PM MAR 9TH 2012
and the People's Republic of Illinois wants to tax/register handguns and still no concealed carry - not as long as the most corrupt city in the USA, Chicago, is running our fair state.E
7:47PM MAR 9TH 2012
The cost of all required when applying for is permit in Florida is actually very low. At suncoast gun shows they have an "all-in-one" deal where you pay 64 dollars and you receive a completed fingerprint card, a certified firearm safety class with documentation, passport photos and they even help fill out the application so you don't screw it up. The state application fee is 117 dollars which is good for seven years. Renewal is even cheaper and once again good for 7 more years. With all the folks from northern states living here now getting open carry laws or no permit necessary laws would be very difficult to get passed
Virginia Gun Owners Forum (VGOF)
4:38PM MAR 9TH 2012
Your statement in this story is incorrect: "Florida also liberally interprets the "Castle Doctrine," which makes it legal for homeowners, and even car drivers, to shoot in defense of their property if they feel "threatened.""

If a person feels "threatened", then they are not defending their property - they are defending themselves. The purpose of Castle Doctrine is to allow a person to defend themselves if they have reasonable fear of an imminent threat to their personal safety. Property itself is not defensible under any version of Castle Doctrine that I'm aware of, and that's a very important item to note.
2:48PM MAR 20TH 2012
Yes, and we've all just seen how well that Florida law works out - one barely 140-pound, 17 year old child, carrying back candy to his little brother while talking to this girlfriend on his cell phone, stalked and gunned down under the stand your ground law. Yes, that 200 lb. adult with the gun felt threatened, after chasing down the 17-year old. You must feel proud to be a supporter of such laws that can take innocent lives.
Bill C.
2:42PM MAR 9TH 2012
In every state where conceal carry has become law violent crime has decreased. There is no exception.

After the Supreme Court sided with the citizens right to own firearms in Washington D.C. and Chicago violent crime decreased. In fact, it decreased 34% in Washington and 17% in Chicago.

Personally, I believe those in The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are there just to collect a paycheck because they cannot prevent anything unless they wish to stand guard at our doors.
11:10AM MAR 9TH 2012
Can't believe Florida isn't on the cutting edge of this moronic idea. You need a permit to drive, yet if you have a criminal or psychiatric history you can buy a gun in these other states without a background check. It's so stupid that Haridoopolos will have to push it at the next legislative session! We need more whacked Floridians walking around with guns. It will make our days so much more exciting.
12:45PM MAR 16TH 2012
Stop trollin and wake up to the truth. Every firearm purchased through a FFL dealer must go through a instant background check. You people in central and south FL are so anti-gun rights it is a real shame that you call yourself a republican. We have a right to defend ourselves and weather a gun is carried concealed or openly, a holstered gun never harmed anyone.
If you want to rely only on the cops to protect you, that is your right, but you have no right to tell me how or where I may protect myself.
Joe Green
1:46AM NOV 29TH 2012
I couldn't agree with you more. Nobody has the right to tell me I cannot defend myself and/or that I must wait for the police to save me. I should be able to own and carry any weapon I choose. It's my ass if I do something wrong. Alcohol kills much more than guns ever have. My sisters ex husband was a cop and if it weren't for her owning a gun, she wouldn't be with us because he (yes, a cop) attacked her with a knife trying to kill her. 36 stab wounds later and almost bleeding to death, she stopped him cold. The messed up part is that the ambulance showed up and tried to revive him before everyone told them that he was the perp. You never know who's gonna do what or what you're up against. I'll be damned if I'm gonna lose because the bad guys had better weapons than me. Wake up people!
Teddy Torres
1:30PM MAR 9TH 2012
Why do we make law abding citizens get a license when criminals and wacked Floridians don't have too?
10:23PM MAR 10TH 2012
Well Teddy. Most of our whacked Floridians are in Tallahassee for the legislative session. So we're safe for perhaps another week.
A Critic
1:00PM MAR 9TH 2012
Permission slips do not prevent incompetent people driving with or without the permission slip. Let's get rid of ALL permission slips for grown men and women!
5:56PM MAR 9TH 2012
Dear Critic,

Are you really that stupid? Permission slips? Then let's do away with all road signs, traffic lights, rules that make kids go to school. Let's not have any from of identification in this country. You really aren't a critic...you're a moron. TRY TO LOCATE YOUR MISSING BRAIN.
Rick Moss
1:29PM MAR 10TH 2012
You Sir, Are so typical of the Progressive mind set. You voice your opinion on a public forum as a citizen of the U.S.. and then immediately resort to insults and name calling when you find that your views are not agreed with.
10:19PM MAR 10TH 2012
Dear Rick,
What a sexist mind you have. I am woman. Does it ever cross you mind that we express our opinions also? There is nothing in my post that would indicate that I am a man. As usual, you see what you want to see and invalidate the rest of us. And since when is Progressive a bad thing. It would seem like you have more in common with the Taliban than with the American public.
3:03AM MAR 12TH 2012
You're really into labels, aren't you? "Stupid." "Moron." "Sexist."

Yet, you call yourself "orlandorepublican" on here but tacitly admit you're actually a "Progressive..."

Why misrepresent yourself? Or are you really a man who's just claiming you're a woman?

And you clearly know nothing of firearms....

Methinks you should go back under the "Occupy Whatever" rock you crawled out from under...and, on the way back to your section * housing, why don't you pick up your taxpayer-funded food stamps, get your free Methadone and birth control pills, and don't forget to tithe part of your George Soros-funded "online community activist" salary to the Re-Elect Obama Fund...
4:45PM MAR 12TH 2012
Your comments are pretty amusing, since you know nothing about me. And you'd be very surprised to know my background in firearms. You make a lot of stupid presumptions. Which is why you're probably the crazy neighbor that everyone hates. You also may want to go back and work on your education in general. Cheers!
12:11AM MAR 10TH 2012
be very glad you live in the united states. remember nazi germany your papers please
11:40AM MAR 9TH 2012
Where did any of these states allow purchasing a weapon without a background check? That's a federal requirement not state.
Also, I believe that you are a Orlando democrat.........
5:53PM MAR 9TH 2012
Republicans believe in gun regulation too!
Neil Evangelista
9:41AM MAR 9TH 2012
Paperwork, fingerprints, photographs, fees, and background checks to allow people to carry a side-arm? What kind of nonsense is this?

The right of self-defense is a corollary to the right to life; to deny one is to deny the other. The purpose of government is to insure our rights, not to infringe on them.

The fact is that governments should not be involved in permitting the carriage of weapons, either openly or concealed, by anyone.

Our constitution states that the right of the people to keep (possess) and bear (carry) arms shall not be infringed. Marbury v. Madison (1803) decided that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and that any law that contradicts the Constitution is null and void. "The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it; an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed ... An unconstitutional law is void." (16 American Jurisprudence 2d, Sec. 178)

The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers" delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.' A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power." [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]

In Murdock v. Pennsylvania (1943) the Supreme Court stated that a constitutionally-protected right may not be licensed, nor a fee charged.

In Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, Alabama (1962) the Supreme Court decided that “If the state does attempt to convert a liberty into a privilege, the citizen can engage in the right with impunity.” (That means they can't punish you, folks!)

To paraphrase an oft-quoted movie line, "Permits? We don' need no steenking permits!"
Rick Moss
1:44PM MAR 10TH 2012
Well said. You sir, are a Patriot.
10:21PM MAR 10TH 2012
You must see yourself as some sort of godlike creature who decides which of us are patriots, progressives, men or women. Too bad you're so bad at it! You sir, are the ultimate in arrogance. Once again, you'd be a great Taliban leader!
11:07AM MAR 9TH 2012
Excellent post.

The only way to save this nation is to return to the Constitution as the Law of The Land. Time for the federal and state governments to take off all their unconstitutional laws off their books. This includes restricting citizens of their right to protect themselves and their families from those who would do harm to them.
9:14AM MAR 9TH 2012
If everyone was "allowed" to protect themselves by having open and concealed carry, just how many thugs would be controlling our neighborhoods and streets? The thugs already are carrying - legal or not. It is the law-abiding citizens who are killed by the thugs. Give the law-abiding citizens the right to protect themselves (as in the Second Amendment), and the law-abiding citizens can retake their neighborhoods.

Little old ladies would not be considered easy targets if they were allowed to carry a gun in their purse.
Robert Lloyd
8:53AM MAR 9TH 2012
>>"It is by far the most law-abiding segment of the population -- even more than law enforcement."<<

Unfortunately, in this now politically correct and anti-Christian society, the cops at times are the criminals. It does not surprise me that citizen that carry are more law abiding than cops. We need to carry because of them also.
10:49AM MAR 10TH 2012
By all means, let's be ready to kill cops - what insanity!
Rick Moss
1:51PM MAR 10TH 2012
That's not what he is saying at all. A typical progressive rant against a citizen and his take on a situation. We here in Florida remember well the poor woman who was pulled over by a Florida trooper on 95 and raped and murdered. Had she a weapon by her side she might well be alive today.
1:13PM MAR 24TH 2012
Yeah, remember that when you see me with my NRA Golden Eagle belt buckle. In your world we all need to be carrying AK-47s and rocket launchers, because a man's got to protect himself from everyone, including the police. Resonable limits, reasonable limits.
10:30PM MAR 10TH 2012
You clearly live in a fantasy world. You also have this incredible bias against the word "progressive". Do things like ATM's and cell phone scare you? Did you have a children's book that was "progressive" and shep the dog died in the end? Have you ever been thought about seeing someone about your obsessive compulsive need to label men progressive? Since you clearly don't think women are even capable of writing comments. I hope the automatic transmission in your car isn't too progressive, or that new darn fangled things called traffic lights. What happened to a good old horse & buggy? Let's play your game of 'what if" with every crime scenario....it's an absurd waste of time.
Robert Lloyd
11:33AM MAR 11TH 2012
Why don't you take your feminist butt out of here and do everyone a favor?
Stun gun
7:11PM MAR 11TH 2012
Why don't you learn to be tolerant and get your hands off yourself....since no sane woman would touch you with a ten foot pole. You aren't doing the GOP any favors with your language. Go back and look at what's happening to Rush. I'm sure she would rather be called a feminist, than what you are...which is a Nazi.
concerned parent
7:05PM MAR 11TH 2012
And you wonder why the GOP has a problem with women? Stupid sexist pigs like you!
Rick Moss
12:37AM MAR 11TH 2012
Thankya kindly sweetie. I rest my case.
concerned parent
7:08PM MAR 11TH 2012
You never had a case against her Rick. She was spot on, and you're a freak about the word "progressive". What you're really freaked about is women. She's right there again, you belong with the Taliban where you can have more control over what women say and stone them when they get out of line. You are one of the many reasons the GOP is imploding....ignorance and sexism.
8:19AM MAR 9TH 2012
If you have any questions about the CWP law or training contact or 1-866-371-6111 and the Instructors at Equip 2 Conceal will be happy to help you.

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