Gun group papers Chuck Brannan’s district demanding hearing for open carry bill

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But HB 103 still has no Senate sponsor.

A national Second Amendment group has funded mailers to Rep. Chuck Brannan’s district pressuring him to hear open carry legislation.

“It is time to allow law-abiding citizens in Florida to exercise their right to bear arms without having to beg for government permission,” the orange-and-black flier states.

The fliers were funded by the National Association for Gun Rights, which takes a “no-compromise stance when defending our right to keep and bear arms.”

Brannan, a Macclenny Republican, chairs the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee. The flier includes a call to action to contact Brannan’s office and demand he slate a “constitutional carry” bill for consideration. Specifically, it seeks an agenda spot for legislation (HB 103) carried by Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican.

Sabatini, a lawmaker who regularly feuds with GOP leadership, tweeted the legislation was being blocked by RINO lawmakers (Republicans In Name Only).

“RINO Cowards like Chris Sprowls are once again BLOCKING Constitutional Carry!” he tweeted. “When will people wake up and vote these TRASH establishment ‘Republicans’ out?!”

Some members have pointed out there is no Senate companion legislation to Sabatini’s bill, which means the bill could not be passed by the full Legislature anyway.

Still, the gun rights organization would like the legislation considered by at least one chamber this year. If passed, the bill would eliminate any requirements for concealed carry permits in order for Floridians to carry firearms in public.

Matt Collins, director of Florida Gun Rights, visited delegation meetings around the state pushing lawmakers to confirm their support for open carry legislation. The group shared video this year of Gov. Ron DeSantis saying “of course” when asked if he’d sign a constitutional carry bill. The Governor’s Office later clarified he wasn’t commenting on any specific legislation.

Collins said this mailer hit inboxes in the existing House District 10, which covers Baker, Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee counties as well as portions of Alachua County.

The fliers targeted voters in the group’s list of gun rights supporters living within the district.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • John

    February 20, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    Either Florida’s GOP reps step up and help realize this bill, or they can get voted out with the rest of the rhinos in midterms. If you think we’re gonna sit by and watch you call yourselves “one of us” and then proceed to make backroom dealings and spit all over what we stand for, you’ve got another thing coming. We know who you are, and we’re gonna hold you accountable if you let us down.

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