NEW: DeSantis Advances Gun Rights In Florida

( – Florida has become the 26th state in the nation to allow its residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit after its GOP Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill to that end on Monday.

The signing of the bill, dubbed HB 543, into law took place on Monday. It was confirmed by the governor’s office, which released a photo of the event to News 6, ClickOrlando reported.

The photo shows DeSantis signing the bill as several state and law enforcement leaders flank him.

Some mainstream media outlets, such as NBC News, emphasized that “the lack of fanfare around the measure was notable for a governor who regularly holds splashy news conferences and bill-signing ceremonies.”

It underscored that gun rights advocates such as representatives of the National Rifle Association were also “in attendance” of the “nonpublic event” in DeSantis’s office.

The new Florida law allows people to carry concealed firearms without undergoing background screening and training, which had been required for a concealed carry license.

Florida residents carrying concealed guns still must have valid IDs with them.

HB 543 passed the state Senate last Friday, with the GOP majority killing a proposed amendment for mandatory safe storage of firearms. Supporters have described the new law as a “public safety measure.”

“This bill is a big step, a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen, to keep them from having to go through the hoops of getting a permit from the government to carry their weapon,” said bill sponsor and Republican state Rep. Chuck Brannan.

“It is also not going to change who can and who cannot carry a gun. People that are prohibited now are still going to be prohibited,” he added.

“This is a momentous step in the Constitutional Carry movement as now the majority of American states recognize the Constitution protects the right for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves outside their homes without fees or permits,” commented Randy Kozuch, interim executive director of the NRA-ILA, the lobbying arm of the NRA, in a statement.

“The carry movement began decades ago and the NRA has been working to get this legislation passed throughout America. Therefore, today is indeed a day to celebrate,” he added, as cited by NBC News.

Opponents of the bill, which will enter into force on July 1, have argued it might increase gun violence.

“I want to make sure that the right people who are supposed to have access to guns are the ones who do while ensuring those that are not supposed to don’t,” said Democrat state Rep. Anna Eskamani.

“Governor DeSantis just signed permitless carry into law behind closed doors, probably because he knows it’s dangerous and unpopular,” tweeted gun control group Giffords.

Giffords, founded by former US Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, a shooting survivor, spent more than $125,000 to oppose the concealed carry bill in Florida.

What is your opinion? Do you support Americans carrying a concealed firearm without a permit? Please share your thoughts by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.