Senator Kathleen Passidomo is the GOP Face of Gun Control in Florida

Kathleen Passidomo
Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has once again stopped Open Carry legislation from moving forward. (Photo Courtesy Office of Senate President)

Once again, Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has made it crystal clear that only she gets to decide which civil rights are allowed to be exercised in Florida. And the Second Amendment isn’t one of them.

The Naples Republican is singlehandedly blocking legislation that would restore our right to open carry — a key component of the right to keep and bear arms, which is codified in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art.1 Sec. 8 of the Constitution of the State of Florida.

Open carry refers to the act of carrying a firearm in plain sight. In Florida, you can only carry a loaded firearm openly while fishing, hunting, or camping. Passidomo claims she reached her nanny-like decision after talking to Florida sheriffs.

“The sheriffs who I deeply respect, who are in the business, who understand the issues, do not support open carry in the state of Florida, they support permitless carry,” Passidomo said last year.

While Republicans have supermajorities in both the House and Senate, Floridians have little protection from anti-gun leaders like Passidomo when they infringe upon our civil rights.

Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would sign a Constitutional Carry bill. Sadly, DeSantis broke his promise.

CS/HB 543, which the governor signed last year, allows only the permitless carry of concealed firearms. There was no provision for open carry. To be clear, this isn’t the same constitutional carry that’s enjoyed in 26 other states.

We call on Gov. DeSantis to keep his word and demand that the legislature immediately send him an open carry bill.

We also call on Senate President Passidomo to better educate herself on the U.S. Constitution — especially the Second Amendment. Perhaps she should talk to more Floridians, not just those with badges on their shirts.

Our Second Amendment rights, which we’ve had since 1791, aren’t subject to the approval of local law enforcement. The Senate President should know that. We don’t intend to sit idly by while our members’ rights are violated yet again.



Lee Williams is a member of the board of directors of Florida Carry.

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