Another vague gun carry bill in Florida

April 5, 2014 

Security officers confiscated this loaded handgun at Punta Gorda Airport in October 2013. PROVIDED PHOTO

Florida continues to earnestly pursue the label of "Gunshine State" for all of its weapons-friendly laws.

The latest evidence is another Nation Rifle Association-promoted bill to allow people without concealed weapons permits to pack heat during evacuation emergencies.

Think hurricanes, wildfires or riots and other panic situations where Floridians are already on edge.

That will give the green light to putting easy access to guns into the hands of trigger-happy fools.

State law already allows the public to carry weapons during evacuation orders. But those guns must be secured and not holstered -- and thus ready to be drawn and fired in some hot-headed outburst over road rage or other perceived slight during an emergency.

This legislation has been branded as too vague -- by none other than the Florida Sheriffs Association. That should speak volumes. This puts the public and law enforcement at greater risk of gunfire.

But tone-deaf state senators on the chamber's Military and Veterans Affairs, Space and Domestic Committee spent all of 15 minutes allowing public testimony on the legislation before voting 5-4 for passage this week. There was no debate on such a close vote.

After one more committee stop, the bill heads to the Senate floor. The House has already cleared this for a chamber vote.

The measure figures to be a sure shoot at legislative passage, and Gov. Rick Scott has put pressure on approval.

The NRA's argument on this -- that weapons left in homes during evacuations could be stolen by looters -- sounds like justification based on fear.

Do gun owners advertise their weaponry? Do looters rampage through every building looking for guns? Maybe in the movies. Why would Floridians believe this fiction?

Why are guns always the answer to everything?

Shades of Florida's vague stand-your-ground law. There are too many questions about this new legislation that must be answered before the state once again adopts a flawed law.

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