Bill Could Ease Open-Carry Penalties
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee filed a bill Tuesday that would reduce penalties for people who have concealed-weapons licenses and openly carry guns.
The bill (SB 148), filed by Sarasota Republican Greg Steube for the 2018 legislative session, stems from a law that bars people from openly carrying guns in Florida. The bill would keep a second-degree misdemeanor penalty for people who do not have concealed-weapons licenses and openly carry guns. But it would lead to reduced penalties for people who have the licenses and openly carry.
In such cases, license-holders could be cited for noncriminal violations that would carry a $25 fine on a first violation and a $500 fine on a second violation. They would face second-degree misdemeanor charges on third or subsequent violations.
Under the bill, people with concealed-weapons licenses also could not be arrested or charged if firearms are “temporarily and openly displayed.”