Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill permitting concealed carry permit holders to bring their firearms with them to places of worship as the fight to protect the Second Amendment across the nation continues.
The governor signed House Bill 259 into law late last month, which allows licensed Floridians to carry at churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious places. DeSantis’ new law which took effect immediately received sweeping support when it passed both legislative chambers in the state just weeks ago.
The law also permits those individuals to bring their firearms to “property owned, rented, leased, borrowed, or lawfully used by a church, synagogue, or other religious institution,” according to the bill’s text. This also means those same gun owners will now be permitted to carry guns at religious institutions that share property with schools.
“Under the bill, a person who has a concealed weapon or firearm license may carry a concealed weapon or firearm on the property of a religious institution regardless of whether the property is also used as a school,” the bill’s summary states.
However, this expansion of gun rights, which conservatives tout as a huge win in protecting the rights of gun owners, does allow the institutions themselves to prohibit even CCW holders from carrying firearms onto their property.
The bill’s summary clarifies that the new law “does not limit the private property rights of a church, synagogue, or other religious institution to exercise control over property that the church, synagogue, or other religious institution owns, rents, leases, borrows, or lawfully uses.”
Many Floridians have praised the governor for signing H.B. 259 and some are even calling for the state to join 21 others in becoming a constitutional carry state, which would allow gun owners to carry handguns openly or concealed regardless of licensing.