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Open Carry May Be Coming To Florida

Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) is working on allowing open carry in Florida.
Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) is working on allowing open carry in Florida.
Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) is working on allowing open carry in Florida.
Credit Robert Nelson via Flickr
Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) is working on allowing open carry in Florida.

Guns on campus is grabbing Florida’s attention, but it’s not the only bill aimed at expanding gun rights.  One lawmaker wants to allow open carry in the state as well.

Currently Florida is one of a handful of states that bans open carry of firearms.  But Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) is looking to change that.  He’s filed a bill making it legal for concealed weapons license holders to carry their guns openly, too.  It doesn’t make any changes to the places, like universities, bars, or sporting events—where all firearms are prohibited.  But what might make the most difference in the long-run is a judicial directive.  Gaetz’s measure would make it harder for lawmakers to pass restrictive laws in the future by telling judges to apply a standard called strict scrutiny.  It’s the highest legal standard requiring the law serve necessary purpose in the least restrictive manner.

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