After a Florida school shooting left 17 dead, many pointed out that Florida has some of the most lax gun laws in the country:
The right to bear arms is found in the first article of Florida's constitution.You don't need a permit or license to buy a gun, nor do you have to register a firearm.You don't need a permit to conceal carry a rifle or shotgun, although you do need it to conceal carry a handgun.You can buy as many guns as you want at one time.Gun sellers don't have to get a state license to sell firearms.
790.053 Open carrying of weapons.— (1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device.
Last year, the Republican-led Michigan Senate approved legislation that would allow individuals with concealed weapons permits to carry guns into previously gun-free zones including "schools, day cares, stadiums, large concert halls, taverns, places of worship, hospitals, many college dorms or classrooms, and casinos."
The bill's sponsor argued the recent shootings in Las Vegas and Texas pushed him to act quickly to make public spaces safer.
"I believe citizens have the right to be free and safe and secure and to defend themselves and their loved ones," [GOP Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof of West Olive] said. "Responsible, well-trained, licensed gun owners may be one of those deterrents to those individuals who seek out gun-free zones as opportunities to commit heinous crimes."
But critics have argued open carry laws make public spaces less safe. Seeing guns in public makes many people uncomfortable, and allowing individuals to carry firearms into gun-free zones defeats the purpose of having such designations at all.
Even the NRA urged some gun activists to stand down, arguing open carry is a bad tactic to expand gun rights. They acknowledge that it makes people fearful and could alienate otherwise sympathetic voters.
Let's not mince words, not only is it rare, it's downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one's cause, it can be downright scary.
Many in law enforcement also oppose open carry because adding more guns to volatile situations rarely ends well. In the aftermath of the attack on police officers in Dallas, Mayor Mike Rawlings said: "in the middle of a firefight, it’s hard to pick out the good guys and the bad guys.”
"We're trying as best we can as a law enforcement community to make it work so that citizens can express their Second Amendment rights," Brown said at a recent media event. “But it’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they’re in a crowd. We don’t know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting.”
Gun rights activists continue to argue open carry makes people safer. Open carry is legal in most of the United States—only California, New York, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois and South Carolina prohibit carrying guns in public.
Founder of Open Carry Texas, CJ Grisham, says he and his group make a point of openly carrying their firearms to reduce the stigma against guns and deter crime.
As part of our mission, we have worked hard to remove the stigma of guns in society. Beginning at a young age, our children are inundated with educational propaganda proclaiming that guns are bad. Night after night, the media furthers this narrative by sensationalizing the worst aspects of humanity. The entertainment industry relies on hype and inaccurate stereotypes of gun owners. The gun control lobby engages in emotional brainwashing to further its attempts at disarming the American people. Open carry has been proven to deter crime, which is why we believe it is so important.