Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee are now showing strong signs of support for the unlicensed carry of concealed handguns by law-abiding Floridians, according to sources familiar with the discussions. However, these same lawmakers strongly oppose the open carry of handguns or other weapons.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has promised he would sign a constitutional carry bill if the Republican-controlled state legislature can get one to his desk, and now it appears as though we are closer than we have ever been before.

While this is definitely a step in the right direction and might be seen by some as cause to celebrate – finally – it is not the “Gold Standard” of constitutional carry seen in other states, which allow their law-abiding citizens to carry firearms openly or concealed without a permit or license. In other words, these states allow their citizens to decide for themselves how to exercise their constitutional rights.

Will watered-down constitutional carry appeal to most Florida gun owners? Of course, it will. It would be a huge victory. The thought of not having to bend a knee and beg permission from the Crown to sell us back our God-given, constitutional rights is refreshing. Still, the thought of politicians regulating how we exercise our God-given, constitutional rights is not.

Open Carry

While some may choose not to openly carry arms, it is exactly what the Framers had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment, and it remains an important component of our right to keep and bear arms, which is not predicated upon what someone will or won’t choose to do.

Besides, politicians have no business regulating any constitutional right. After all, they don’t tell the clergy which scriptures to read during a sermon, or newspaper editors what headlines they should set into type. Neither should they attempt to regulate our Second Amendment rights.

It’s not difficult to understand why the pols are so dead-set against open carry. They clearly fear the open carry of arms could affect tourism, and tourism is Florida’s number-one cash crop. Personally, if someone from California or New York loses bladder control at the sight of a holstered pistol, so be it. It might stop a few of them from moving here.

Make ready

As we inch closer toward freedom, be prepared for a massive media onslaught bought and paid for by Gabby, Tiny Mike, Moms Demanding Attention and the rest of the gun-ban industry. The thought of a majority of the states passing constitutional carry in any form shakes them to their very core. Florida will become their Ground Zero. They’ll be looking for collaborators – Quislings and Fudds willing to say on camera that our gun rights are fine and don’t need to be expanded, all for a set fee of course.

The gun banners will trot out the same tired tactics that failed them in 25 states. They’ll interview law enforcement administrators – not real cops – who will scream like gut-shot apes about the menace to society constitutional carry will surely cause. They’ll interview criminologists who have never even touched a gun, and crime victims who have never even set foot in the Gunshine State. But mostly, they’ll talk about “blood in the streets.”

To be clear, constitutional carry has never caused an uptick in crime in any of the 25 states where it is now law. If the gun banners are looking for real murder and mayhem, all they need do is go to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles or any of the other major metros historically controlled by Democrats, where gun rights are the most restrictive. Their streets are covered in real blood, chalk outlines and of course lots and lots of human poo.

Most will strongly support constitutional carry – even a watered-down version. But we should not stop advocating for the Gold Standard, which includes the ability to decide for ourselves how we choose to exercise our constitutional rights.