Florida state representative proposing open carry and doing away with certain permits for gun owners

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There is a new push to change gun laws in the state of Florida.

Republican Representative Anthony Sabatini, of District 32, is proposing to do away with some restrictions when carrying a gun in public.

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The bill could also allow for open carry in the state. This is the third time Sabatini has proposed the bill. It’s been struck previously by both Republicans and Democrats.

This is a copy of the proposed legislation: House bill 103.

If passed, gun owners would not need to get a permit to carry a gun in public places. They could also carry their gun freely without concealing it.

“If they’re a law abiding citizen and this bill is passed, they can carry a firearm without having to ask for government permission,” Rep. Sabatini said. “The second part of the bill is open carry. So, you’re allowed to carry a firearm on your person, even if it’s not concealed. You can carry it on your waistband for example.”

While some support the bill, others are not on board.

“That’s going to take us back to the Wild West days,” Donald Foy said.

Foy is the president of the group “M.A.D.D.A.D.S” in Jacksonville. The organization aims to reduce gun violence in minority neighborhoods through education and by providing a positive presence in these areas.

The group goes door-to-door in high crime areas and speaks with neighbors about recent shooting incidents. Foy believes this bill could cause more harm than good if passed.

Sabatini stressed that this bill applies to law-abiding gun owners who go through a background check to buy a gun.

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“This is a bill about freedom,” Sabatini said. “And, protecting the rights of constitutional, constitution-loving, American patriots.”

Foy disagreed.

“We’re not saying you can’t have a gun,” Foy said. “At least have some structure with it--where you have to get a license, you have to get a permit.”

Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty also reached out to the Republican Committee Chairman Representative Cory Byrd for a statement. He previously killed Sabatini’s bill in the 2021 session. He did not return Moriarty’s call.