BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today accused anti-gunners in Florida of “once again promoting hysteria” at the announcement of “Constitutional Carry” legislation, which would allow law-abiding Sunshine State residents to carry firearms for personal protection without having to obtain a license from the state.

“The gun control crowd is already dishing out the ‘end-of-civilization’ rhetoric,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “One group is predicting fistfights will turn into gunfights. Another is falsely claiming it will let virtually anyone to carry without a background check, which is what criminals are already doing, and they know it.

“Nowhere in the text of House Bill 543 does it allow anyone to carry a firearm anywhere, nor does it give criminals a pass,” he continued. “It will still be illegal for convicted felons and other disqualified persons to own or carry a concealed firearm, and it remains illegal for anyone to carry guns in specific locations, including school property or at school-sponsored events. Legally-armed citizens must still carry identification and produce it on demand by a law enforcement officer.”

If HB 543 passes, Florida will become the 26th state to adopt “Constitutional carry,” making more than half of the country permitless. Concealed carry licenses will still be issued, allowing Floridians to carry in other states with reciprocity agreements.

Published reports say there are more than 2.5 million active Florida concealed carry licenses in circulation. The proposed legislation does not authorize open carry.

“The gun prohibition lobby will say anything to convince people permitless carry is an awful idea,” Gottlieb stated. “Remember, they also predicted blood flowing in the streets when they opposed shall-issue concealed carry permit laws from being passed a generation ago. All they could talk about was minor fender-benders and neighborhood disputes turning into gunfights.

“It’s the same rhetoric and the same nonsense all over again,” he said. “We know Gov. Ron DeSantis is willing to sign the legislation if it passes, and we encourage our members to ignore the scare tactics and make their feelings known in Tallahassee.”