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What to know about Florida's new permitless concealed carry law

The new law takes effect July 1 and experts are urging gun-owners to get training, even if it's no longer legally required.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — On July 1, Florida will join more than two dozen other states in allowing people to carry concealed guns without a permit and previously required training.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law last April, saying it strengthens Floridians' second amendment rights.

When it comes to buying guns or where Floridians can bring them, those laws don’t change.

“The criteria to carry a concealed firearm is the same to be eligible for a permit, including being a U.S. Citizen that is at least 21 years of age with no felony convictions,” explained Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri in a public service announcement. His office also released a fact sheet regarding the new law before it goes into effect.

Private businesses and property owners can still prohibit them and guns will still not be allowed at bars, courthouses, schools, sporting events or airports.

“Even though it’s permitless carry, the same places that were off limits before are off limits on July 1,” said Tampa International Airport Police Chief Charlie Vazquez at a press conference Tuesday.

TPA leaders reminded gun owners that airports are still a place you can’t carry, doing so could result in charges, fines and arrests.

“Our last resort is to put somebody in jail for something we’d rather that you understand the laws as they’re written and abide by them,” Vazquez added.

Learning those laws was a part of getting a concealed carry license in Florida, those teachings and live-fire training will no longer be required.

While law enforcement officials are anticipating what comes with the law change, experts are also encouraging folks to get proper training.

Brian Anderson Needham, a U.S. Marine veteran and co-owner of Weapon Brand, runs a local business that trains people on gun handling and self-defense.

“I've been handling a firearm for close to 30 [years] and I can still tell you, I need more training for that,” Needham explained. 

He is urging more people to seek out training even if it’s not legally required.

“Not just [learn] the legalities, know where you can carry, when you can carry it. How are you handling that firearm? Where are you storing it? How are you able to get to that firearm in the case of crisis? A lot of things go into that,” he explained.

After the law changes, permits will still be available for people that may want to carry concealed guns in other states where Florida has reciprocity agreements with.

The new law also includes more than a million dollars in grants for local law enforcement departments to offer concealed carry classes to the public

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