Constitutional Carry Introduced, Backed by Florida Sheriffs and NRA

Posted on January 30, 2023 by Staff reports

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) during a press conference today unveiled House Bill 543, which is aimed to ensure Floridians can exercise their Second Amendment rights without government interference. The measure is backed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, National Rifle Association, and Governor Ron DeSantis.

HB 543 will eliminate the need for a concealed weapons license (CWL) in the state of Florida. Constitutional carry allows Floridians who are currently qualified to obtain and maintain a CWL to carry a concealed handgun or weapon without a license.

“Floridians shouldn’t need a government permission slip to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Speaker Renner. “House Bill 543 will ensure Florida will remain a beacon of freedom. Florida was the pioneer in the modern carry movement in America and this historic legislation continues our proud tradition.”

“Through their service at home and abroad, Speaker Renner and Senator Collins have sacrificed to protect our constitutional rights,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples). “I stand with these brave warriors, with our law enforcement leaders, and with law-abiding Floridians across this state who should not have to ask the government for permission to protect

Bill sponsor and Chair of the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Representative Chuck Brannan (R-Macclenny) added, “As a retired chief investigator with the Baker County Sheriff’s office, former Deputy U.S. Marshal, and gun owner, I filed this bill because I believe all Floridians have the right to bear arms to protect themselves, their families, and their property
without any government interference.”

“As we stand here today, we have brave men and women in the farthest corners of the world safeguarding our freedom. As a retired U.S. Army Green Beret, I’ve been blessed to serve shoulder to shoulder with many of them. I believe we have an obligation here in Florida to respect their sacrifice by protecting our God-given and Constitutional rights here at home,” said Senator Jay Collins (R-Tampa). “I’m honored that President Passidomo has entrusted me with running this critical legislation in the Senate. I am also proud to stand with my fellow military veteran Speaker Renner, along with a 30-year law enforcement veteran, Representative Brannan, and with so many sheriffs from across our great state to make it clear that here in Florida under
the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the government will not get in the way of law-abiding Americans who want to defend themselves and their families. I am looking forward to passing this vital legislation to codify our rights as U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms.”

“Our Constitution protects gun ownership rights and the ability to carry a firearm,” said Hernando County Sheriff and Florida Sheriffs Association President Al Nienhuis. “Violent career criminals are not applying for a state permit to carry a gun. Removing the permitting process will assist our law-abiding citizens with the protections they need to defend themselves and their families from those criminals who intend to do them harm. The Florida Sheriffs Association supports constitutional permitless carry, and we look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and the Legislature on this issue.”

A person carrying concealed without a license will still be required to obey existing laws prohibiting carrying in such places as schools, athletic events, and correctional facilities. The bill does not affect laws relating to the purchase of a firearm and will not allow anyone prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry concealed.

For more information and to follow the progress of HB 543, visit