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Giffords Opposes Dangerous Permitless Carry Legislation in Florida

Reckless Bill Would Allow Almost Anyone to Carry a Gun in Public

Miami, FL — Today, Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, condemned the introduction of permitless carry legislation in Florida. This legislation would allow almost anyone to carry a gun in public without a background check, any training, or having ever fired a gun. 

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

“On the heels of a devastating week of gun violence, our elected leaders should be taking steps to make us safer—not putting communities in greater danger. The data is clear that permitless carry leads to more violence, not less. The data is also clear that voters in general and Florida voters in particular overwhelmingly oppose letting untrained, unvetted people carry guns in public. Americans don’t want to return to the days of the Wild Wild West where everyday disputes were settled with gun fights. Half the states in the country have now made this nightmare a reality. We must raise our voices and loudly oppose the passage of this dangerous policy in Florida.” 

Giffords Florida Senior Advisor and former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell:

“I’m outraged by today’s introduction of permitless carry legislation. More than 3,000 Floridians died from gun violence in our state in 2021. This reckless proposal will only drive gun violence up and further jeopardize the safety of our families and communities. My father was murdered in Ecuador more than two decades ago. My family came to the United States, as so many families do, hoping to find a safer future here. In Congress, like Gabby, I fought against the gun lobby’s attempts to flood our streets with guns. It’s clear that Governor DeSantis is protecting the profits of the gun industry while putting our children and our communities in danger of more violence. Together I know we can build a can build un futuro sin violencia.” 

Why Permitless Carry Is Bad for Florida:

  • Studies show that weakening public carry laws is associated with a 13–15% increase in violent crime rates, as well as an 11% increase in rates of homicides committed with handguns.
  • One recent study found that when states weakened their concealed carry laws and removed provisions like live fire training and violent misdemeanor prohibitions—both of which Florida currently has—they experienced a 22% increase in gun assaults and a 35% increase in gun homicides. 
  • The current law ensures that people with a history of violent or risky behavior cannot carry firearms in public places. Between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, 7,605 Florida residents with a disqualifying history were denied concealed carry permits. Permitless carry would strip these important provisions. 
  • The state of Florida requires 1,200 hours of training to obtain a license to cut hair, 500 hours of training to obtain a massage therapist license, and 240 hours of training to become a licensed manicurist. If Florida passes permitless carry, the state will require zero hours of training for people to carry a loaded firearm in public. 

Floridians Oppose Permitless Carry:

  • Recent polling by Giffords and Global Strategy Group shows that over three quarters of Miami-Dade voters say gun violence (77%) was very important to their vote in November—more than inflation (75%), immigration (66%), or abortion (62%).
  • Floridians, especially Hispanic voters, oppose permitless carry: 61% Floridians and 71% Hispanic voters oppose permitless carry, which Governor DeSantis has promised to pass.
  • Over two-thirds of Miami-Dade voters oppose permitless carry (68%) with 60% of voters strongly opposing the policy. 
    • This opposition spans party registration and race. A majority of Republicans, DeSantis voters, gun owners (59%), and white voters (55%) oppose permitless carry. 
    • After hearing the policy would allow anyone who can legally purchase a firearm to carry a loaded gun publicly, along with examples of who those carriers would be, voters’ opposition grew by 12 points (68% to 80%) and strong opposition by 13 points (60% to 73%).


Why Permitless Carry is Bad for Florida Factsheet (English) (Spanish)


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