TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida house has passed a bill that would allow the public to carry concealed firearms while evacuating their home during an emergency.
Sponsor Rep. Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, explained the bill extends carry-and-conceal privileges to those fleeing during a mandatory evacuation declared by the governor or local officials. Individuals, otherwise, must be in compliance with all laws, including having the right to be in possession of a firearm.
The bill (HB 209) was passed 80-36 on Friday. The senate version (SB 296) has to clear one more committee before being heard on the floor.
Opponents have voiced concerns with giving those privileges to citizens who haven't been properly trained during a stressful time.
Fitzenhagen and others argue the issue is about lawfully protecting family and property during those times.
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