DeSantis Georgia

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Adventure Outdoors gun store Thursday in Smyrna, Ga. John Bazemore/Associated Press

Florida will become the 26th state to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit, Gov. Ron DeSantis promised supporters Thursday in remarks the Republican delivered at a gun shop in Cobb County, Ga.

His comments came as the Republican-led Florida legislature passed a measure Thursday that will allow individuals to carry concealed weapons anywhere without a permit.

DeSantis, who is widely expected to announce a bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, was visiting an Adventure Outdoors gun store in Smyrna, Georgia, as part of his book tour, which has doubled as a testing ground for his possible campaign message.

In his remarks, DeSantis said he’s “proud” to support Americans’ Second Amendment rights and congratulated Georgia for recently passing a measure that allows permitless carry statewide. Florida, he promised, would be next.

“As of right now, there’s 25 states … that allow that,” DeSantis noted. “Well, in Florida next week, we’re going to make it 26.”

DeSantis has previously said he would sign the measure when it reaches his desk.


The Florida governor told supporters in Georgia that he is proud “to stand here and say that we support our Second Amendment rights.”

His message came just days after a shooter killed six people, including three children, at a private school in Nashville. While the shooting has renewed calls among Democrats to pass comprehensive gun-control measures, Republicans have doubled down on their promise to continue fighting for the rights of gun owners.

Democrats criticized DeSantis’s decision to appear at a gun store so soon after the Tennessee shooting, with some demanding that he cancel the visit, including Rep. Nikema Williams, chair of Georgia’s Democratic Party.

“Holding a campaign event at a gun store days after another horrific school shooting where innocent children were murdered should be beyond the pale, but Ron DeSantis seems to not care,” Williams said in a statement. “DeSantis is showing Georgians exactly where his priorities lie as he advocates for an extreme MAGA agenda that could make it easier for criminals to carry guns in Florida and puts the gun lobby ahead of our children’s lives.”

The permitless-carry bill that passed the Florida legislature Thursday overturns a state law that requires that gun owners obtain licenses to carry concealed weapons. To obtain these licenses, individuals are required to complete training courses and pass background checks.

In his gun store speech, DeSantis also made a pitch about his executive skills, highlighting that his time in the governor’s mansion hasn’t had a “single leak of anything we’ve done.” He never mentioned Donald Trump by name, but the remark seemed to chide the former president’s chaotic tenure in the White House.

He also mocked other Republicans who he said “get into office, and they’re like potted plants.”

“They just wait for the … left to determine the scope of the debate,” DeSantis claimed, adding that Americans should not “reward” that type of leadership.

“People want to know if you’re willing to fight for them,” DeSantis said.

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