If gun rights activists hate permitless carry bill, Chuck Brannan says lawmakers could just kill it
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/5/23-Rep. Chuck Brannan III, R-Macclenny, during the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

“Maybe we just pull the whole thing,” he told an activist.

The lawmaker behind a controversial gun rights bill says activists demanding more risk ending the Legislative Session with a loss.

Gun rights activists published video this weekend of state Rep. Chuck Brannan in a confrontation over his permitless carry legislation (HB 543). The bill would eliminate any requirement in Florida for a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

Brannan said the video was taken in front of his home when activists confronted him there on Saturday.

Some Second Amendment groups his bill doesn’t go far enough and want the Legislature to allow individuals to carry firearms openly in public places.

But the Macclenny Republican warned a camera-toting activist those demanding open carry may put at risk the bill moving through the Legislature.

“Maybe we just pull the whole thing,” Brannan said. “Then y’all can say, ‘Well, we pissed them off and we didn’t get nothing this year.’ How about that?”

Gun rights activist Matt Collins, who has called in committee for open carry legislation, posted the video of Brannan’s argument with an activist on YouTube. Collins said the video was provided to him anonymously. “I do not know who filmed this video or who the activist was,” he said.

Brannan told Florida Politics he was “aggravated” at the activist for showing up at his door with a flyer attacking his position. The flyer including a photo altered to make it look like he was shaking Democratic President Joe Biden‘s hand.

“This is total lies. I have never met Joe Biden,” Brannan said. “I told them I don’t appreciate you Photoshopping a picture and handing it out to me neighbors.”

The flyer has a disclosure revealing it was paid for by the Texas-based Young Americans for Liberty. It calls Brannan’s legislation a “counterfeit carry” bill and urges voters call him and tell him to “stop watering down constitutional carry.” Brannan believes the photograph of him to have been removed from a picture of him shaking hands with a local State Attorney.

Brannan demanded to speak to who produced the flyer, but the activist called someone and that person would not speak to him. After that interaction, Brannan said the activist took the video shared online, but that he was not aware he was being recorded at the time.

Florida law requires both parties’ consent for a conversation to be recorded.

Brannan’s bill has sparked outrage on both sides of the issue.

Moms Demand Action protested the bill this week and say permitless carry will lead to more shootings in Florida.

“Lawmakers in Florida are choosing to put politics over our safety and wellbeing,” said Isabella Ensign, a part of Moms Demand’s Action’s Florida Chapter.

But supporters of expanding gun rights say the bill falls short, especially since Gov. Ron DeSantis already signaled he will sign an open carry bill.

“If the Governor cannot get a very friendly legislature to add open carry to this bill, then how do we think he will do trying to convince Congress to act on anything if he were to become President?” Collins told a Senate committee this week.

But Brannon in the video suggested those demanding open carry could ruin the chances for permitless carry. Notably, the Florida Sheriffs Association came out in favor of the existing House bill but has not supported open carry. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo also said he does not support open carry, and has based her position on the input of law enforcement.

“Take a win, lady,” Brannon told the activist in the video. “Take a win and go to the House and say there’s always another year.”

Brannan told Florida Politics the legislation he sponsored had been negotiated over months, and he is confident it can pass in both chambers of the Legislature.

The activist said she and others are “really just trying to protect the freedoms of Americans” and “restore the liberties.”

“Not by lying, you’re not,” Brannan replied. “You hurt the cause. You hurt Republicans. You hurt everybody. You’re not doing anybody any good.”

The activist says she believes Republicans are hurting themselves by not going farther with the bill.

“Vote for Democrats then,” Brannan said. “Who do you want to vote for?”

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].


  • Earl Pitts American

    March 12, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    I agree with Brannan sometimes a politician will best serve his constituancy by knowing when to tell activists on the right or the left when its time for them too 1). Whizz Off and 2). Sit Down And Shut Up.
    Keep up the great work Patriot Brannan.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Ken

      March 12, 2023 at 3:03 pm

      Okay boomer.

  • Cato

    March 12, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    As a retired police officer I would agree with the sheriff’s association. Constitutional carry would be a right that should be modified not to permit open carry. For those who remember the muscle car era think of the challenges at random encounters. The same thing would happen with open carry. It would be the temptation for a challenge of who is the fastest. That would ultimately lead to a loss of Rights in addition to the loss of life. I was trying to tie the two pieces of legislation together should think about that. Carefully

    • Michael Perry

      March 12, 2023 at 2:58 pm

      Yet it doesn’t happen in the 47 states that have open carry. Don’t listen to the FSA, they have no clue.

    • Ken

      March 12, 2023 at 3:04 pm

      Okay boomer.

  • Ken Willey

    March 12, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    With whom have they been negotiating for months? The Sheriff’s Association? They don’t represent me and have no obligation to protect anyone. The NRA (Negotiating Rights Away)? They don’t represent me. They obviously weren’t negotiating with GOA (Gun Owners of America) who I do support.

    Let’s not forget Brannan was caught last year trashing petitions asking him to schedule constitutional carry for a hearing.

    Does he believe he has an expectation of privacy while yelling at someone from his driveway? Screw this dude.

  • Lori richards

    March 12, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    Y’all would think the sheriff’s assoc. Would support open carry this way they know exactly who has a gun and who doesn’t. I’m sure the deputies would appreciate knowing when they approach someone whether that person has a weapon or not. With open carry there is almost no guess work.

  • SickOfRINOs

    March 12, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    These are the same “republicans” that force fed us gun control after parkland, and have eliminated the right of American citizens aged 18-20 to keep and bear arms.

    I would say what they deserve, but we all know the sheep will keep re-electing them.

  • Mark

    March 12, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    Does Florida need to be “The Wild West” Think about that.

  • Rich7553

    March 13, 2023 at 8:26 am

    47 states allow open carry. Which ones constitute “the wild west”?

    • Mark

      March 13, 2023 at 9:14 am

      Get your facts straight 37 states allow open Carry without a permit.

      • Ken

        March 13, 2023 at 1:36 pm

        How are you counting the states that don’t specifically address open carry? The fact is that 47 states have open carry laws more lax than Florida’s.

      • Rich7553

        March 13, 2023 at 1:44 pm

        My facts are straight. Only Florida, Illinois, and California outlaw open carry. DC does as well, but it’s not a state.

        • Mark

          March 13, 2023 at 2:28 pm

          Open Carry State Laws
          Allowed 37
          Permit Required 9
          Prohibited 5
          Florida is trying to pass Open Carry without a Permit.

  • HL P

    March 13, 2023 at 8:48 am

    All these gun control people have been screaming every time a bill to give Americans back their constitutional rights about blood in the streets and deaths everywhere, Guess what? It has never come true, never.

  • chip

    March 13, 2023 at 8:54 am

    The reporter should have read his own link in relation to recording conversations. If there is no expectation to privacy then recording someone is not illegal. The guy was outside in PUBLIC, no laws were violated.

    And this Rep is just tying to throw crumbs to the peasants before the revolt. Acting like he is doing us a favor by allowing us to carry without a permit. You can tell from his voice that he does not give two flips about restoring our right to bear arms…efing eliite politician.

    And to the people who think FL will become the “wild west”. There was not blood soaked wild west. It was a time when anyone carrying was able to protect themselves at all times.

  • Mark

    March 13, 2023 at 9:23 am

    Would you like to see shoot outs in the streets and innocent people getting hurt or even killed.

    • Alvin Heskett

      March 14, 2023 at 12:15 am

      Um… you mean Chicago? That’s not the wild west. And they don’t have constitutional carry.. what they have are strict gun control laws AND just what you proposed. Every week. Shoot outs and killings on the street. Let the common citizens be armed ang that WILL STOP.

  • It's Complicated

    March 13, 2023 at 10:01 am

    Anyone who understands the legislative process knows the following:
    *Take whatever forward progress you can get when you can get it
    *Always seek to ‘live to fight another day’ (i.e., Don’t ruin credibility using scored earth tactics when it is clear you won’t win the day)
    *Reaching the goal sometimes occurs in incremental steps

    Honestly don’t believe ‘open carry’ would pass in this legislature, even with GOP super majorities, particularly given that the Senate President doesn’t like it.

    • Greg

      March 13, 2023 at 3:33 pm

      Florida Republicans rate among the highest for absolute arrogance & hatred towards their constituents.

      This isn’t an extreme demand, it’s a God-given right that’s legal in FORTY-SEVEN other states. Florida is among the minority, with New York & Illinois to ban Open Carry.

      I’d rather see the bill KILLED than to give them the credit of passing anything remotely disguised as a pro-gun bill.

  • Walter Brennin

    March 14, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    You all can whine all you want but it wont do a damn bit of good. Did you not read the article? The Representative just told you whiney diaper babies to STF up and be happy with what your going to get. I think its pretty clear the Representative ment exactly what he said. What part of NO dont y’all understand?

  • Wendell

    March 17, 2023 at 9:03 pm

    Take permit less legislation this yr and go for openly carry next yr. Don’t
    Loose everything now. That activist was
    wrong acting like that with a dumbass pic

Comments are closed.


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