“To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “The bill is crazy. It’s absurd.”
And yet the Florida House approved a bill to do just that. Because what Florida law enforcement wants no longer matters when the NRA holds the puppet strings in Tallahassee. It's not enough that they demanded people be allowed to arm themselves during emergencies like hurricanes, so they expanded it to include riots:
HB 209 would allow people with clean criminal backgrounds to conceal firearms without a permit during emergencies — including riots and civil unrest like the 1996 racial disturbances that rocked St. Petersburg — declared by the governor or local officials.
Supporters of the bill say it's intended to give gun owners the opportunity to protect their property while they are evacuating from a disaster or crisis, such as hurricanes, floods or worse.
Lots of people have "clean criminal records" until they don't. Allowing people to carry weapons into emergency and heated situations like hurricanes and riots would be a real good way to acquire a criminal record, but by then it's a little late to say "You know, we probably shouldn't have let that guy carry a gun." But then I suppose the bigger picture is that the more laws like this the NRA can shove through, the easier it will be to get away with just about whatever you want.
By the way, for those of you keeping score, carrying a gun during a hurricane was the premise for the Florida Stand Your Ground laws in the first place. So I guess the legislature is making sure the Stand Your Ground Laws have their own Stand Your Ground Laws just in case there's any confusion about just legally shooting away when weather turns ugly.
When the Florida legislature's day job has pretty much become taking away people's rights that have historically led to things like civil unrest, I suppose this kind of thing shouldn't surprise anyone.
But it should alarm everyone.