Open carry bill heading to Florida House floor

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – A bill allowing licensed gun owners in Florida to openly carry in public is heading to the House floor.

The Judiciary Committee approved Rep. Matt Gaetz’s bill Thursday after nearly two hours of debate. The Fort Walton Beach Republican added an amendment that loaded or unloaded guns openly carried have to be holstered.

Rep. Dave Kerner proposed an amendment that would have not allowed open carry and only protect people with concealed weapons permits who display their guns accidentally, but it was voted down. The Florida Sheriff’s Association supported Kerner’s amendment.

The National Rifle Association and Florida Police Chiefs Association supported Gaetz’s amendment and the bill.

Florida is currently one of five states that don’t allow people to openly carry guns in some form. The others are South Carolina, New York, Illinois and California.

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