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If Governor Ron DeSantis plans to run for the presidency in 2024, this move just secured him the Gun Vote and the Religious Right.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill permitting concealed carry permit holders to bring their firearms with them to places of worship as the fight to protect the Second Amendment across the nation continues.
The governor signed House Bill 259 into law late last month, which allows licensed Floridians to carry at churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious places. DeSantis’ new law which took effect immediately received sweeping support when it passed both legislative chambers in the state just weeks ago.
The law also permits those individuals to bring their firearms to “property owned, rented, leased, borrowed, or lawfully used by a church, synagogue, or other religious institution,” according to the bill’s text. This also means those same gun owners will now be permitted to carry guns at religious institutions that share the property with schools.
“Under the bill, a person who has a concealed weapon or firearm license may carry a concealed weapon or firearm on the property of a religious institution regardless of whether the property is also used as a school,” the bill’s summary states.
With Dementia Joe and his handlers’ rabid targeting of lawful gun owners, coupled with their rabid attack on individual liberty—most profoundly expressed through people who worship something beyond themselves—is a smart move.
Unlike the gun control lobby’s fear of untrained individuals having the ability to openly carry a gun under Constitutional Carry laws, this bill focuses on those who already have a concealed carry permit. CCW holders are properly trained, and generally have a CCW that covers more than one state, which means they are versed in gun laws, their rights, and their responsibilities. So, the clear and smart wording in this law minimizes the outcry from the nattering nabobs of negativity.
But, DeSantis does not trample on private property and business rights with this move:
The bill’s summary clarifies that the new law “does not limit the private property rights of a church, synagogue, or other religious institution to exercise control over property that the church, synagogue, or other religious institution owns, rents, leases, borrows, or lawfully uses.”
It’s a fine and thoughtful line that had to be drawn, but apparently, DeSantis succeeded. Florida’s HB 259 is getting responses of praise, criticism, and “Meh” from all sides.
From local Miami CBS:
Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, said the image gun-rights proponents paint of people rising up to take out a “bad guy” isn’t reality.
“I go back to this notion that if we do away with gun-free zones, and everybody’s packing a firearm, if a bad person starts shooting, well, you know what, the good guys will rise up and save us,” Farmer said.
“Folks, that has proven to be a fallacy as well. There hasn’t been any Dirty Harry or John McClane or Rambo that’s come to the defense of anyone in any of these mass shootings.”
From the NRA-ILA:
HB 259 RESTORES the private property rights of religious institutions AND the self-defense rights of people who go to church.
Churchgoers, who are licensed by the state to carry firearms for self-defense, are currently being deprived of the same rights they have when they go shopping, go into a business, or onto any other private property. This bill fixes that.
And from the Gun Owners of America advocacy group:
It was your hard work and effort on pressuring our lawmakers that got this bill passed. Thank you!
We at Gun Owners of America felt that Florida’s lawmakers could have done much more than what was offered in this bill. While we support this bill and fought for its passage to become law, the legislative leadership has been a let down to Florida’s gun owners since there were solid pro-gun bills like Constitutional Carry (HB 123), and they did not allow that bill to advance.
I know this news is hard to hear, but Florida is in a bad spot at the moment in regard to the advancement of gun rights.
Florida is a state with 102 Republicans holding a Supermajority in the legislature. As such, you’d think this state would have pro-gun bills flying through and reaching the Governor’s desk in record time.
You cannot please all of the people all of the time, but the mark of a quality leader is one who can straddle these lines, and DeSantis seems to be hitting all the right notes in that regard.
As a churchgoer and a gun owner, I applaud this and hope to see more of it. Sadly, until we get rid of our Democrat governor and Legislative Super Majority, we will see nothing like this in the once-Golden State of California. Contrast the 2019 mass shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Poway, CA to the 2019 Church shooting in White Settlement, TX where hero Jack Wilson took down the active shooter, and you can understand why vigilance of this kind should be the rule, not the exception.
There are too many bad actors who are hostile towards religious institutions of any kind, hostile towards people of faith, and hostile towards lawful gun owners. Since these three groups are often lumped into one, why not have the legal capacity to not only protect yourself against that hostility but to protect your fellow believers?