Ron DeSantis says he could call open carry Special Session ‘if I can get the votes’
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/7/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, is flanked by House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, left, and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, as he gives the State of State address during the opening day of the 2023 Florida Legislative Session, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

The comments came as the Legislature passed a permitless carry bill, ignoring hard-liner pleas for more.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing for a Special Session to further expand gun rights.

During a campaign event in Georgia, an activist asked DeSantis, “will you call a Special Session for open carry?”

DeSantis’ response was clear. “If I can get the votes.”

Video of the comment was quickly shared by gun activist Matt Collins. The remarks came the same day the Legislature passed a permitless carry bill DeSantis has said he will sign.

That bill (HB 543) will eliminate any requirement for concealed carry licenses to bring a firearm to public settings, but would still require guns to be concealed.

But hard-line Second Amendment activists have said the legislation doesn’t go far enough. Some groups have suggested allowing the Legislature to stop with permitless carry will be a political liability as DeSantis considers a run for President.

“By signing a bill that keeps open carry illegal, DeSantis is putting political expediency ahead of the full Second Amendment rights of Floridians,” said Sean Themea, Chief of Staff at Young Americans for Liberty. “This was a chance for him to stand up to the RINOs in his own Legislature and demand a clean bill. If he can’t do that in his own state, how can gun owners trust him to do that at the national level?”

Of course, DeSantis’ recent remarks come with an important qualifier. There’s no guarantee the votes exist to pass open carry in either chamber of the Legislature.

Rep. Mike Beltran, a South Riverview Republican, filed an amendment to expand the permitless carry bill to open carry, but withdrew it before it reached the House floor. That was widely seen as a rebuff from GOP leadership.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, meanwhile, has deferred to law enforcement, noting the Florida Sheriffs Association supports permitless carry but opposes open carry.

DeSantis has long signaled he would sign open carry, but also said this week he won’t reject permitless carry.

“In terms of the constitutional carry, I’m for everything,” DeSantis said. “But if they (the Legislature) send me something that is 90% or 80%, I mean, I’m going to take that win and we can come back for more at some time in the future.”

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].


  • M. Mouse

    March 30, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    Ronnie the rat. No guns allowed when he speaks in public, permit or not, concealed or not. He’s special, you’re not. Squeak!

    • Earl Pitts American

      March 30, 2023 at 8:33 pm

      Good evening M.Mouse,
      Minnie and I, Earl Pitts American, have been looking for you. Thinking you were perving and drugging again with the Presidents son we went over there to bring you home. He told us you went off with the last two Democrats to not be elected Govornor of Florida. We are very disappointed in you M.Mouse and we are totally going to dry you out, ckean you up and make you go to Church this weekend. Now get home right now so Minnie can start sobering you up. And Mickey use a condom this time.
      Thank you M. Mouse,
      Earl Pitts American

      • Ian

        March 31, 2023 at 8:02 am

        Goddamn your stupid!!

  • Darnell Hobbs

    March 30, 2023 at 9:36 pm

    Remember folks! This is Florida! And Stand your Ground is very much a thing that this state. They actually celebrate people like George Zimmerman here.

    With all the mass shootings happening, If you see a person openly carrying a gun in public, it’s best to assume they’re about to commit another mass shooting. Protect your own life and shoot them first.

    There’s literally no other reason to have your gun out in the open unless you plan to use it for mass murder.

  • Victor Quick

    March 31, 2023 at 7:52 am

    I’m my opinion , more POC’s will be killed by law enforcement if anyone can carry without a license and definitely open carry because law enforcement will have to put everyone on the ground until they can prove you are not a criminal and the weapons are not stolen. Florida gun laws are excellent the way they are.

  • Mark Tilham

    March 31, 2023 at 9:25 am

    Maybe over a decade, the Republicans will kill each other off as carnage accelerates. Then we can elect people who are not brain damaged to positions where they write our laws and nominate our judges.

  • JD

    March 31, 2023 at 9:37 am

    “It’s not the heat. It’s the stupidity”

    Vote out Hitler 2.0. When a leader is afraid of the laws he creates, we are not free.

    Shameful Florida GOP

  • Donna

    March 31, 2023 at 9:41 am

    How much is the NRA paying a child’s life more important then the MONEY…

Comments are closed.


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