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Jeff Brandes refiles controversial gun bill from 2014

State Sen. Jeff Brandes has again filed a bill which would allow Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a license during mandatory evacuations.

After a contentious debate led to the failure of a similar proposal last year, the St. Petersburg Republican filed the bill (SB 290) on Thursday that revives the issue.

Among critics of the 2014 measure were the Florida Sheriffs Association, which raised doubts about when, where and for how long a person can continue carrying a concealed weapon without a license outside of the evacuation area.

Last May, the National Rifle Association, which called opposition to the proposal a “war on the Second Amendment,” vowed to return to the matter in 2015.

SB 290 calls for an exception to Florida’s existing concealed weapons law. If passed, it will allow unlicensed persons to carry “a concealed firearm, on or about his or her person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the governor … or declared by a local authority.”

Brandes’ proposal will be under consideration during the upcoming session beginning in March.

Written By

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist, editor and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range included covering news, local government and entertainment reviews for Patch.com, technical articles, and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine as well as advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached at phil.ammann@gmail.com.

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