TAMPA, Fla. — Floridians will soon be able to carry concealed guns without a permit starting July 1, 2023.

However, along with this new law comes the authority for police to ask gun owners for identification even without suspicion of a crime.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis signed permitless concealed carry into law, which takes effect July 1

  • Under this law you must carry identification on you and present to law enforcement upon request

  • If you decline to show identification upon request it's a civil infraction of a $25 fine, according to defense attorney Andrew Pouget

One gun owner who supports the new law is Lucas Haney, an Iraq war veteran who spent 15 years serving in the Navy.

Haney now volunteers at the VFW post 10141 as a chaplain and service officer, while also assisting homeless veterans.

He believes that owning a gun is a way to protect his family, and he is glad that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed permitless concealed carry into law.

However, Haney wishes the law allowed for open carry as well.

"It's a right I shouldn't have to give an explanation of why I have a firearm, but most of the time it's to protect my family. I have a wife and two kids, and even though we are in a good area here, you never know what's going on," Haney said.

According to the new law, anyone carrying a concealed weapon must have identification at all times and must show it upon request by law enforcement.

Criminal defense attorney Andrew Pouget explains that this is not considered a frisk stop, and police do not need to have suspicion of a crime to ask for identification.

"Now they are going to have to make a determination not just whether you have or do not have a concealed pistol license. They are going to have to make a determination if you apply for one, would you qualify? And they don't have the benefit of a background check, they don't have the benefit of fingerprints to do a search," Pouget said.

Pouget, who serves clients in the Tampa Bay area, also notes that this new law puts an added responsibility on law enforcement officers who may not have had sufficient training before it takes effect.

Despite the new law, Haney has decided to continue carrying his permit as he feels it provides an extra layer of safety.

"I'd still feel safe having the permit, especially with the way law enforcement is going to handle it," Haney said. "It's just giving that little extra. I hate to say it, but you are going to have people that aren't supposed to have guns that are going to carry conceal now."

It's worth noting that if someone is carrying a concealed weapon and fails to provide identification upon request, or declines to do so, it will result in a civil infraction with a fine of $25, according to defense attorney Andrew Pouget.