Let the Gunshine In!


With its concealed carry stance and acceptance of so many other state permits, Florida is a state leader in supporting and defending the Second Amendment. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issues Florida’s concealed carry permits. According to the Director of Licensing Stephen Hurm, at the current rate, Florida — with its population of 21.3 million people — will surpass the 2 million mark before summer ends.


And yet, just last week, my friend Frank Black was unexpectedly attacked in his home in the middle of the day by a masked and gloved intruder. The intruder beat him senseless with the butt and barrel of a long gun, took $400 in cash and then stole Frank’s truck. The truck was located the following day, not long after Frank was released from the hospital.

Image of a beaten man with injuries to his head

Frank Black, 92, was surprised in his home by a low-life who beat him senseless for, the police surmised, enough money to buy the next hit of Benzos, heroin or street meth. (Photo by Rick Sapp)

The attack against Frank, who is 92 years old, leaves me cold — stone angry — but serves as a reminder to beef-up our own passive home security. (Apparently the thug walked into Frank’s relatively secluded home through an unlocked sliding-glass door.) My wife and I are often armed when we leave the house. And we have a dog that barks when sandhill cranes, cottontails or squirrels are in the yard. Now though, I keep pistols on both ends of the house. I am also considering adding motion detectors, cameras and security lighting. The cost is relatively minimal for the extra protection, and it is easily offset by the additional peace of mind.

State to State

Thankfully, the state of Florida appreciates attempts at self-protection. Last month, newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed House Bill 5 into law. It contained an amendment by Rep. James Grant (R, Dist. 64) to restore the right of Floridians to control the citizen ballot initiative petition process. The amendment is intended to stop out-of-state billionaires, such as New York’s eternally meddlesome Michael Bloomberg, from crafting amendments to Florida’s Constitution. It also prevents sending paid, out-of-state petition-gatherers into Florida to collect signatures to change the Constitution for the benefit of out-of-state special interests.

Writing for the Tallahassee Democrat on June 8, Bill Cotterell said, “The bill will soon require people gathering petitions to register with the state and live in Florida, effectively eliminating a sort of cottage industry that specializes in crafting constitutional amendments and guiding them through the referendum process. It also forbids paying canvassers by how many voter signatures they gather.”

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Florida recognizes concealed carry permits from 35 other states. Notably absent are the left coast, the Chicago-Madison-Minnesota Axis and the left-wing states huddled around New York.

A non-resident can apply for a Florida concealed weapons license (CWL), and the state shall issue it — as long as the applicant is a U.S. citizen, more than 21 years of age and a non-felon and then pays the fee. Of course, there are some peculiarities in the laws. Take Vermont, a constitutional carry state, which does not issue weapons/firearms licenses. Thus, Florida licensees may carry in Vermont, but a Vermont resident may not carry in Florida without holding a valid Florida concealed weapons license or license from a state with which Florida has reciprocity. The $102 Florida permit is good for 7 years, so it’s a bargain whether you live in Florida or not.

Personal Protection

With 10 percent of its residents permitted to carry concealed, Florida is sometimes called the Gunshine State. Frank had no permit but did have a handgun on a shelf in the bedroom closet. But with unlocked doors and no barking dog, he was surprised in his semi-rural home by a lowlife who beat him without mercy.

Florida Sen. Dennis Baxley (R, Lady Lake) said, “I’m encouraged that more people take responsibility for themselves and others because law enforcement can’t be there. The violence is not in the firearm; the violence is in the heart of the person.” And for once I agree with a politician.

About Rick Sapp

After his stint in the U.S. Army, including time as an infantry platoon leader and working with West German KRIPO during the 1968 Soviet invasion, Rick Sapp returned home to earn a Ph.D. in social anthropology. Following his education from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Catholic University of America and the University of Florida, he moved to France for a year. Rick worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service before turning to journalism and freelance writing, authoring more than 50 books for a variety of publishers.

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