An effort to allow people to carry guns in churches that share locations with schools is going to the Senate. The rules committee on Tuesday approved a measure (HB 259) that would allow people with a concealed weapon license to bring firearms to property shared by churches and schools. Florida law generally allows people to carry concealed weapons in churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions, but it prohibits being armed on school property. This leads to banning people from carrying firearms on property shared by religious institutions and schools. Senate sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, said churches renting school premises are potential targets because they operate without armed security details.
“There are always threats,” Gruters said. “And all we do is give these religious institutions the ability and the right to be able to say ‘yes’ if we want to. We’re going to allow hidden permit holders – this is not the wild Wild West – we’re giving one of the safest subgroups in our society the ability to transport. ”
Senatorial Minority Leader Gary Farmer D-Lighthouse Point has said the image gun rights advocates paint of people standing up to take down a “bad guy” is not the reality.
“I come back to this idea that if we take out the gun-free zones and everybody packs a gun, if a bad person starts shooting, well, you know what, the good guys will stand up and save us.” , Farmer said. . “Guys, that also turned out to be a mistake. There was no Dirty Harry or John McClane or Rambo who came to anyone’s defense in any of these mass shootings.
Under the bill, religious institutions or landowners would continue to be able to ban firearms from sites. The House voted 76-37 to approve the measure on March 26.
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