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Bill could ease open-carry penalties

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee filed a bill Tuesday that would reduce penalties for people who have concealed-weapons licenses and openly carry guns.

The bill (SB 148), filed by Sarasota Republican Greg Steube for the 2018 legislative session, stems from a law that bars people from openly carrying guns in Florida. The bill would keep a second-degree misdemeanor penalty for people who do not have concealed-weapons licenses and openly carry guns. But it would lead to reduced penalties for people who have the licenses and openly carry.

In such cases, license-holders could be cited for noncriminal violations that would include a $25 fine for a first violation and a $500 fine on a second violation. They would face second-degree misdemeanor charges on third or subsequent violations.

Under the bill, people with concealed-weapons licenses also could not be arrested or charged if firearms are “temporarily and openly displayed.”

Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

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