Earlier this year, Florida passed its permitless carry law. I can’t bring myself to really call it constitutional carry, mostly because open carry is still forbidden except under a few specific circumstances, but it’s a far sight better than they had.
As with anything that restores people’s rights, though, there were opponents.
Now that permitless carry is the law, those opponents have taken on the role of detractors. They want to pain the law in as negative a light as possible. In fairness, most fear it’s the wrong move, which is why they oppose it. However, that doesn’t mean they get a pass when they only tell part of the story.
It was as inevitable as it is scary.
Floridians no longer need a permit to carry a concealed firearm, thanks to the Florida Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis. And so what happened? Firearms instructors now report a big drop in people taking gun safety classes, according to a story published by the Miami Herald and Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.
Hard not to see this one coming. Applications for concealed gun permits, optional as of July 1, have fallen by about 64%, compared to the same three months a year ago, the story notes. And so have applications for gun safety classes, an alarming development in a state where “Florida man” has already given the state a top spot in any listing of the ridiculous or out of control.
Before the Florida Legislature, doing presidential candidate DeSantis’ bidding, stepped in, you had to take hours-long classes on safety and legal issues to get a permit. No more! And Floridians are apparently taking full advantage of the change.
Why educate yourself about gun safety or pesky details such as state laws on where gun owners can lawfully carry pistols and how? Or — here’s a good one — why bother to figure out how to legally use your concealed gun in self-defense? It’s much easier to carry and worry about the consequences later.
Now, the facts presented are probably accurate. The author does acknowledge that instructors have a vested interest in sounding the alarm on the drop in class enrollment, too, so kudos for that.
However, I think the author is unaware of something. Namely that there is an awful lot of training out there–good training–that isn’t necessarily the same as the Florida concealed carry course.
Because of the permitless carry rules now, many may well be opting to skip the mandated class for a permit and instead attend classes that are arguably better course with more live fire training or more tactical instruction.
To say that because they’re not attending that specific class then they must not be getting any training at all is quite a leap.
The only reason many took the Florida concealed carry course in the first place wasn’t because it was just good training necessarily but because it was mandatory. Now that it’s not, many will put that time and money toward other forms of training.
And yes, that includes less formal training that many get from their police officer friends or from reading up on state laws and discussing their understanding with more knowledgeable people, then taking drills they learned online to the range to get better with their firearms.
No, it’s not ideal, but the Florida concealed carry course wasn’t exactly perfect, either.
So this idea that the number of people attending that particular class dropping isn’t necessarily cause for alarm. Especially since many other state never had concealed carry courses and didn’t exactly have a problem with unjustified shootings by lawful carriers.
Florida Man might be a meme, but so is people freaking out over permitless carry.