According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) just voiced his support of open carry gun laws.
The news is being celebrated by Second Amendment supporters. But now, some are using it to attack DeSantis.
For those unfamiliar with the term, "open carry" generally refers to carrying a firearm in public in such a way that it is either partially or fully visible to others. It can be opposed to "concealed carry," in which individuals are allowed to carry a firearm in public, but they have to conceal it so that others cannot see it.
States differ significantly regarding their public gun-carrying laws. For example, some states allow open carry, some allow it only with a permit, and some don't allow it.
DeSantis did not just come out and publicly state that he supports unconditional open carry laws. Rather, he was caught on audio tape telling another person that he supports open carry laws.
The 10-second clip was captured by Gun Owners of America director Luis Valdes at a recent book tour stop that took place in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
"Sir, quick question," Valdes says, to which DeSantis responds, "What's that?"
Valdes then asks DeSantis, "do you support open carry or would you have it added to the bill?" DeSantis responds, "Yea. absolutely. I don't think they're going to do it, but I would absolutely."
DeSantis's office has refused to confirm the authenticity of the recording. But, spokesperson Bryan Griffin put out a statement, saying:
The governor strongly supports the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms, and he has repeatedly stated publicly that he hopes to sign constitutional carry legislation this year.
DeSantis may not be willing to publicly state that he supports open carry laws, and that's because it is controversial. But, in the past, has made it clear that he supports constitutional carry legislation.
This term means different things in different states. Currently, Florida Republicans appear to be pursuing a piece of legislation that would allow for permitless concealed carry.
Back in August 2022, DeSantis insisted that the Florida legislature "will get it done," referring to constitutional carry. "I can’t tell you if it’s going to be next week or six months, but I can tell you that before I am done as governor, we will have a signature on that," DeSantis said.
Breitbart News reports:
There are currently 25 constitutional carry states in the Union. Those 25 are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Florida, Nebraska, and South Carolina are all looking to join this list.