Follow the links below to watch the YouTube video of some of the testimony before the Florida House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 17, 2014, as they consider a bill that would add, during a forced evacuation and state of emergency, to the exceptions that already exist to allow carrying a concealed firearm, without a permit.
The bill is HB-209, “Firearms During Mandatory Evacuation” and is sponsored by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, and others.
When called to speak before the audience, the Florida Sheriff’s Association advocate said that the Association supports the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, “But, in our opinion, there is a difference between owning a firearm and carrying one concealed on your person.”
A Florida National Guard spokesman, standing in for General Titshaw of St Augustine, said that the citizen military organization supports the bill, as written, as did the citizen activist group, “Florida Carry”, and the advocacy organization National Rifle Association.
The final vote on the bill by the House Judiciary Committee was 17-1. The 12 Republican committee members and 5 of the 6 Democrats voted to support the bill. However, the companion bill in the Senate has been temporarily postponed by the panel twice. On Tuesday, April 1, at 3:00 p.m., the Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee of the Florida Legislature meets to consider a bill allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit when complying with a mandatory evacuation. The committee meets in room 37 of the Senate building.