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Florida bill would allow gun owners to carry without a license during emergencies

Gloc hand gun
Posted at 5:39 AM, Mar 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-05 05:39:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla -- Florida lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow gun owners to carry their guns without a concealed-weapons license, during an emergency.

The bill has the backing of the Florida Sheriff's Association.

House and Senate committees approved the measure yesterday, that would allow legal gun owners to carry their guns without a concealed-weapons license in the first 48-hours after an emergency evacuation order is given. State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen is sponsoring the house bill.

She says the legislation is important, because people often have to leave quickly during an emergency.

State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R- Fort Myers

"It's reasonable because when you are leaving for an emergency, a lot of times you can't get to your final destination to take care of your firearms for 48 hours, because you are driving several counties away, and sometimes out of state."

A similar proposal that didn't include the evacuation time frame or language restricting the conceal carry without a license to within the evacuation zone died last year in the Senate.

In addition to the 48-hour window for individuals to carry weapons while they get away from an evacuation zone once the order is given, the bill would allow the governor to extend the order by an additional 48 hours.