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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.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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