Florida lawmakers are set to work a bit of overtime this year.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R.) announced on Tuesday his decision to veto the legislature’s congressional map and call for a special session to address it. The governor went on to say permitless gun-carry, often referred to as “Constitutional carry,” ought to be included in the session. He said he hopes legislators pass the gun reform alongside several other priorities left out of this year’s regular session.
“I would love to have property insurance. I would love to have data privacy. I would love to have Constitutional carry. There’s a lot of great things,” DeSantis said in a press conference. “But, you know, we just went through a legislative session where they failed to deliver on those priorities.”
The move could make Florida the 25th state and second-largest to adopt permitless carry. It’s unclear what the text of a potential Florida bill will be. However, permitless carry laws generally allow adults who can legally own a handgun to carry it concealed without obtaining a permit. The policy has swept across Red states in recent years, with five passing it last year and another four doing so this year.
Gun-rights groups have pushed for permitless carry across the country. Their efforts have been rewarded. Permitless carry is now the most common gun-carry regulation in the country.
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’s press secretary, said the session is specifically to address the issue of drawing a congressional map he and the legislature can agree on. She said he welcomes the legislature to address other issues, including permitless carry.
“He is calling a special session for late April in order to pass a map he can support,” Pushaw told The Reload. “The governor also mentioned that he has other priorities that could be addressed in the special session if lawmakers in both the House and Senate are able to agree on reforms.”
Florida’s attempt to pass the legislation stalled earlier this year. The failure of the push led to Republican infighting, with state representative Anthony Sabatini attacking House Speaker Chris Sprowls as a “coward” while other Republicans slammed Sabatini’s comments as ineffective posturing.
“RINO Cowards like Chris Sprowls are once again BLOCKING Constitutional Carry!” Sabatini said in February, according to Florida Politics. “When will people wake up and vote these TRASH establishment ‘Republicans’ out?!”
“Hey moron, who is your Senate sponsor?” state representative Chris Latvala responded, citing Sabatini’s lack of a required Senate companion bill for final passage. “Surely you know how to pass a bill by now.”
After Sabatini and Latvala exchanged another round of insults, state representative Kaylee Tuck chimed in, calling Sabatini “the ineffective ‘Rep’ who has to claim victories through co-sponsorship requests” and claimed he was attacking Latvala and Sprowls “to be relevant to his followers.”
Sabatini celebrated the news of the special session and described it as being for the purpose of passing permitless carry. He urged his supporters to sign a petition to ensure the policy is heard during the session.
DeSantis noted permitless carry was not the top priority of the session but said it was “absolutely possible” lawmakers could address it. He put the onus on the legislature to act.
“I will ask the legislative leaders, ‘is there something that you can get across the finish line?’ and I will encourage them to do that because I think that there’s a lot of key things that we could do,” he said. “The initial call will just be for the congressional maps, but it is absolutely possible when they actually convene for the special session that you could see additional issues raised in it.”
The special session will take place at the end of April.