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Today the Florida House is expected to vote on a bill that would allow people with clean criminal backgrounds to conceal firearms without a permit during emergencies including hurricane evacuations.


When the House debated the bill Wednesday, some legislators including state Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, and Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, asked if evacuees could then bring their guns into hurricane shelters. Bill sponsor Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, said that would not be allowed.


We checked in with Miguel Ascarrunz, Broward’s interim emergency management director, about the rules for shelters -- which are all at public schools -- in Broward.


“According to the Broward School Board’s Safety Department, no weapons are allowed on school property, including schools designated as evacuation shelters,” Ascarrunz said in an email.


Depending on the strength of an expected hurricane, up to about 143,000 residents live in a mandatory evacuation zone in Broward.

Guns banned at Broward hurricane shelters | Naked Politics


 

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Should requirement for concealed carry license be waived during emergencies?ALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House has passed a bill that would allow the public to carry concealed firearms while evacuating their home during an emergency.


Sponsor Rep. Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, explained the bill extends carry-and-conceal privileges to those fleeing during a mandatory evacuation declared by the governor or local officials. Individuals, otherwise, must be in compliance with all laws, including having the right to be in possession of a firearm.
The bill (HB 209) was passed 80-36 on Friday. The Senate version (SB 296) has to clear one more committee before being heard on the floor.
[HR][/HR] SARASOTA, Fla. - A controversial bill in Tallahassee is making its way to the house floor. If passed, House Bill 209 would allow people in Florida without a permit to carry firearms when a state of emergency is declared.


Usually if you're caught concealing a firearm without a permit in Florida, you could face several years behind bars. But what happens in the event of something like a hurricane?


Supporters of this bill say that people without a permit should be allowed to take their guns in the event of an emergency. Opponents say this potential law will do more harm than good.


Rick Koenig knows a lot about firearms. He's the gunsmith at Fully Loaded Guns and Ammo in Sarasota. He says it would be a good idea to allow those without permits to conceal their weapons in an emergency, like a hurricane or even a riot. “If I can leave my house with my kids, dog, my car and personal items, that's a personal item. I believe I should have that.”


The law would apply only to those with clean criminal records. “I believe it’s a good bill. I think there are people with apprehensions about it, and I think some are valid, but I would like to see it passed,” says Koenig.


Some of the people with apprehensions are law enforcement officials from around the state, who cite concerns over safety.
There is a Senate version of this bill as well, SB 296. It passed the Community Affairs Committee on Tuesday and has one more committee to go before being heard on the floor.

Read and see more: Should requirement for concealed carry license be waived during emergencies? - Sarasota News | Mysuncoast.com and ABC 7: Local News
 
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