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FL – SELF-PROTECTION – County commissioners support open carry of guns, lowering minimum gun purchase age

Brevard County commissioners have come out in support of a change in Florida Statute to allowing gun owners in the state to openly carry their weapons, as long as they have a concealed weapons permit, News 6 partner Florida Today reports. Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday night in favor of a resolution introduced by Chair Bryan Lober, urging the six-member Brevard delegation to the Florida Legislature to push for such a change in the 2021 legislative session. The resolution also included an amendment, introduced by Commissioner John Tobia, to reverse the portions of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act that increased the minimum age to purchase firearms in Florida from 18 to 21. “This is an easy one for me” to support, Commissioner Kristine Isnardi said. “I’m happy that it went through,” Lober said after the County Commission meeting, although he noted that it may be a challenge to get an open-carry bill approved by the Florida Legislature in the form he wants. Commission Vice Chair Rita Pritchett voted against Lober’s resolution. Pritchett said she encourages people to get concealed weapons permits and carry their weapons and believes 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds “should have complete adult rights.” But Pritchett said she has qualms about having open-carry in Florida. “I do believe that people should carry guns,” Pritchett said. “I’m just struggling right now with where I’m landing on open-carry.” As of June 30, there were 2.12 million holders of Florida concealed weapon/firearm licenses, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing. That includes 69,741 residents of Brevard County. Most states already allow open carry of firearms, according to data compiled by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Two speakers addressed the County Commission on the open-carry issue. Marcie Adkins of Grant-Valkaria told commissioners she supports Lober’s proposal. Adkins is a Republican candidate for Florida Legislature in District 53, challenging incumbent Republican Randy Fine in the Aug. 18 GOP primary.  [full article]

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