U.S.A. — There have been no Wild West-style shootouts. Floridians are not shooting each other over parking spots as some predicted. No fistfights have escalated into gunfights, and most assuredly, the streets are not running red with blood.
On July 1, Florida became the 26th state – the majority state – to offer residents and visitors some form of permitless concealed carry. Since then, none of the gun-banners’ bloody, end-of-the-world predictions have come true – not one. Instead, what is happening in Florida mirrors what happened in 25 other states – nothing. Much to the consternation of the legacy media, bodies just aren’t dropping, despite their dire partisan predictions.
California Gov. Gavin Newsome launched one of the loudest and most parroted assaults on Florida’s new law in May after nine people were shot on the boardwalk in Hollywood, Florida, following a dispute between what the media described as “two groups of youths.” Newsome blamed the carnage on Florida’s unlicensed concealed-carry law, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in April. Newsome claimed the law removed requirements for “background checks, instruction, training and oversight.”
“Until our leaders have the courage to stop bowing down to the NRA and enact common sense gun safety this kind of senseless violence will continue,” Newsom said in a tweet.
DeSantis signed a permit-less carry bill in April that removes requirements for:
Until our leaders have the courage to stop bowing down to the NRA and enact common sense gun safety this kind of senseless violence will continue. https://t.co/iX6ryxsPwv
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 30, 2023
Unfortunately for him, the law hadn’t taken effect yet, and the good governor got fact-checked and ridiculed to death. Newsome wasn’t alone in his fact-free criticism.
“This is another dangerous and senseless bill that was passed by the state legislature with no thought of the safety and wellbeing of the general public. Not only does this bill make Floridians less safe, but it also increases acts of violence,” Cynthia Slater, president of the Daytona Beach/Volusia County NAACP, told the Daytona Times in May.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a senior advisor at Giffords and former Florida congresswoman told The Guardian in April that Republicans were acting “shameful” by pushing the bill.
“We are one of the largest states in the country, where we have seen two of the worst mass shootings,” Mucarsel-Powell told the British newspaper. “And we have to continue to do the work to make sure that we protect the lives of Floridians.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said DeSantis’ signing the bill into law was the “opposite of common sense (sic) gun safety.”
“It is shameful that so soon after another tragic school shooting, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a permitless concealed carry bill behind closed doors, which eliminates the need to get a license to carry a concealed weapon,” Jean-Pierre said. “The people of Florida, who have paid a steep price for the state and Congressional inaction on guns from Parkland to Pulse Nightclub to Pine Hills, deserve better.”
A Baldwin weighs in
Alec Baldwin’s younger brother Billy, who some believe is the least intelligent of the four Baldwin brothers, shared his views in a tweet Monday.
“Florida passes concealed carry law this week. It’s like the Wild West down there now,” Baldwin tweeted.
As stated, the law was passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. DeSantis in April, not this week. And how Baldwin, who lives in Santa Barbara, California concluded that Florida has become “like the Wild West” is not known.
“How many American and Canadian tourists will no longer winter in Florida because they don’t feel safe,” Baldwin asked. “How much tourism revenue will Florida lose due to DeSantis’s new ‘Shootout at the O.K. Corral’ law?”
I certainly don’t speak for Florida gun owners. In fact, I only speak for one gun owner – me. However, I’m reasonably certain that no one in the Gunshine State would ever listen to anyone related to Alec Baldwin, given his tragic history with guns.
Florida’s unlicensed concealed-carry law is the most significant restoration of our gun rights that we’ve seen in decades. It will reduce crime because it levels the playing field by making it easier for law-abiding Floridians to carry a defensive firearm.
It’s not perfect – there is no provision for open carry – but every pro-gun group in the state is dedicated to forcing open carry through the Republican-dominated state legislature as soon as we can.
The bottom line: Florida’s unlicensed concealed-carry law is working as intended. The legacy media and talking heads should correct their stories and admit they were wrong. And Billy Baldwin should remain in California and limit his social media posts to topics he understands, if there are any. Besides, us Southern men, and women, don’t need him around, anyhow.
Lee Williams is a board member of Florida Carry, Inc.
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About Lee Williams
Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.