TAMPA, Fla. — In less than a month, Floridians will no longer need a permit or training to carry a concealed weapon. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state’s permitless carry bill into law in April. 

Supporters of the bill argue it aligns state law with the Second Amendment, while critics fear the changes will lead to more violent crime.

 What You Need To Know

  •  Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida's permitless concealed carry bill into law in April

  •  Starting July 1, Floridians will no longer need a permit or training to carry a concealed weapon

  •  The law does not allow for open carry

  •  Some gun sellers are still encouraging people go through training, even once it's no longer required by law to carry a concealed weapon

Come July 1, you’ll no longer need to complete concealed carry training, obtain a permit, or pass a background check by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to carry a concealed weapon. However, the new law will still require a less-detailed background check and a three-day waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a gun.

The law does not allow for open carry. 

When a new gun owner walks into West Armory in Dade City, owner Kevin West said his top priority is to make sure they know how to safely handle and use the gun before leaving his store. Since the permitless carry bill passed, West said he’s seen an increase in handgun sales and a decrease in people interested in training. 

“It’s like driving a car,” West said. “You just don’t jump in a car and take off. If you had no training driving a car, didn’t know what the laws of the road are, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble, possibly get people hurt. Same thing with the guns.”

West Armory offers a three-hour training course for new gun owners. West encourages new gun owners to still complete concealed carry training, even once it’s no longer required by law. 

“There are a lot of scenarios and places you can’t go and things like that, to where you really should have training with that gun,” he said. “It is a weapon. It can be dangerous if you don’t know how to operate it properly. So, we highly recommend that you do get training with that gun.”

The general manager of Florida Gun Shows, the state’s largest gun show, said they’re also seeing a bigger turnout at their shows – especially among first-time buyers – since the permitless carry bill passed. Florida Gun Shows do offer two sessions of concealed weapon training at each show.

“It’s great as far as knowledge,” said general manager Robert Geisler. “You go over safety, where and when you can’t carry. Also, Florida reciprocates with about 32 other states, so if you’re a traveler and you want to go up north there’s a lot of states that you can carry in but if you don’t have a permit, then you won’t be able to carry.”

Geisler said spots are still filling up at Florida Gun Show’s training courses, though the next time the show is back in Tampa, that training will no longer be required by law to carry a concealed weapon. Some gun sellers and owners alike are still encouraging people to undergo training. 

“You want to be a responsible gun owner,” said Leo Grossman, who’s owned a gun for 45 years. “I would suggest taking a course, even if you think you know all there is to know about guns. It’s good to understand the law, it’s good to understand, be the right kind of person to carry a weapon. Keep it away from children, always keep the guns locked, keep the bullets away from the guns at home.”

Currently, more than 2.5 million Floridians have a concealed carry permit, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Gun safety advocates argue permitless carry may endanger Floridians by expanding access to guns with less oversight. Florida is the 26th state to pass permitless carry legislation.