As Florida lawmakers once again consider a proposal to allow open carry of firearms, opponents, including the League of Women Voters Florida, argue that if passed, such a law would devastate the state’s biggest industry: tourism.
There’s a compromise solution, though, says Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner of MomsRising.org, a grassroots organization that seeks economic security for all American families.
That’s why she supports a proposal from the Florida Sheriffs Association called the “Inadvertent Carry” Amendment.
“Legislative proposals in Florida that would allow concealed weapons permit holders to openly carry their firearms are causing concern among families in the ‘Sunshine State’ and families who vacation there,” Rowe-Finkbeiner said in an email to supporters. “We have heard from people across the country that they will give up their Florida vacations if open carry laws are passed.”
The LWVF echoes the concern over a possibility of Open Carry laws in Florida, and what effect it could have on the state’s tourism industry.
“We have been, and remain strongly opposed to, legislative proposals HB 163 and SB 300, which would allow concealed weapons permit holders to openly carry their handguns in Florida,” LWVF officials said in a statement. “Not only would ‘Open Carry’ pose a threat to public safety, but it also could negatively impact Florida’s tourism industry.”
What the FSA proposes, they said, provides something of a compromise. The measure would still ban Open Carry, but offers greater legal protection for permit-holders who inadvertently display a weapon.
Rowe-Finkbeiner added that the FSA amendment is a “responsible solution that balances the rights of permit holders with the legitimate safety concerns of families.”
Both MomsRising and LWVF praise Inadvertent Carry as “common sense regulation” that prevents Florida residents and visitors from “needless” open carrying of firearms.
“This regulation directly addresses the concerns voiced by the NRA that under current law, gun owners with permits who accidentally expose their firearms have been targets of ‘abuse’ by law enforcement and that open carry laws are needed to stop such ‘abuse,’” Rowe-Finkbeiner said.