The Florida Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, specifically guarantees the right to keep and bear arms in self-defense: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law…”
The Florida Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, also states that it is an inalienable and basic right of all natural persons to enjoy and defend life and liberty: “Basic rights.—All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, possess and protect property…”
Several bills filed in the 2017 session aim to affect the “manner of bearing arms.”
SB 644, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), authorizes a concealed weapons or firearms licensee to openly carry a handgun, etc.
SB 640, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), would allow concealed firearms licensees to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any career center.
SB 616, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), authorizes a concealed weapons or concealed firearms licensee to temporarily surrender a weapon or firearm if the licensee approaches courthouse security or management personnel upon arrival and follows their instructions, etc. The weapon/firearm would be returned to the licensee upon departure.
SB 618, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), would authorize a concealed weapons or concealed firearms licensee to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any area of an airport excluding the sterile area, etc. HB 6001, sponsored by Jake Raburn (R), is the House version of SB 618.
SB 620, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), would authorize a concealed weapons or concealed firearms licensee to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any meeting or committee meeting of the Legislature, etc.
SB 622, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), would allow campus carry, except for at athletic events.
SB 626, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), would authorize a concealed weapons or concealed firearms licensee to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district, etc.
HB 6005, sponsored by Scott Plakon (R), is the House version of campus-carry.
SB 610, sponsored by Greg Steube (R), Requiring a business, organization, or entity that prohibits a concealed weapon or firearm licensee from carrying a weapon or firearm onto its property to assume certain responsibility for the safety and defense of such licensee.
HB 779, sponsored by Neil Combee (R) and Dane Eagle (R), reduces the penalty of a licensed concealed carrier who open carries from a 2nd degree misdemeanor to a noncriminal violation with a penalty of $25. It removes a statement of applicability relating to violations of carrying concealed weapon or firearm; reduces penalty for violation of specified provisions of concealed carry law; provides that person licensed to carry concealed weapon or firearm does not violate certain provisions if firearm is temporarily and openly displayed; and it authorizes each member of Florida Cabinet to carry concealed weapon or firearm if licensed to carry concealed weapon or firearm & does not have full-time security.
SB 908, sponsored by Dennis Baxley (R), removes the current restrictions where concealed weapon licensees are generally prohibited from carrying a weapon. For example, the bill authorizes licensees to carry concealed weapons or firearms in the following places: secure and restricted areas of seaports; airports; at school-sponsored events or on school property; colleges; career centers; in police, sheriffs and highway patrol stations; jails, courthouses; polling places; professional sporting events; most government meetings, and places where alcohol is served etc.
SB 1518, sponsored by Gary Farmer (D), allows physicians to inquire about a patient’s ownership of firearms and ammunition, and allows the disclosed information to be entered into the patient’s medical record.
SB 142, sponsored by Gary Farmer (D), revises the locations and circumstances in which a loaded firearm is required to be kept or secured with a trigger lock; deleting provisions relating to conditions for committing the crime of failing to safely store, leave, or secure a loaded firearm in a specified manner, etc. Under the proposal, it is a second-degree misdemeanor to have guns that are not in a securely locked box or secured with a trigger lock in locations around minors, defined as someone 16 and younger. The bill also deletes a provision in the current law, which states “This subsection does not apply if the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person.” Essentially, under this bill, if someone breaks into your home and steals your gun, the victim whose guns were stolen would go to jail.
SB 1334, sponsored by Gary Farmer (D), would require a background check for private sales/transfers of firearms between individuals. Purchases/transfers from licensed firearms dealers already require a background check.