Don Gaetz backs off attempt to revive open-carry proposal
Sen. Don Gaetz today backed down from plans to make a last-ditch effort in getting his open-carry proposal heard this session.
The Niceville Republican had wanted to amend his plan on to a different concealed weapons bill that senators heard on the chamber floor today.
But the attempt was short-lived.
Ever since Gaetz filed the proposed amendment last night, some senators had been coordinating to thwart Gaetz by citing Senate rules.
Heading into the Senate session this morning, Gaetz acknowledged the opposition but said "we'll give it a try."
But when SB 612 came up early this afternoon, Gaetz said he'd been advised by Rules Chairman David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, that his amendment was "out of order," because it was the subject of his standalone bill that stalled in committee.
Gaetz said "in deference to Senate rules" he would withdraw the open-carry amendment.
Gaetz's bill -- which would let 1.5 million concealed-weapons permit-holders openly carry handguns in Florida -- cleared the its first committee last fall but then stalled before the Senate Judiciary Committee when Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, refused to take it up.
Diaz de la Portilla's decision to not even consider open-carry sparked anger from Gaetz two weeks ago -- which led to a passionate retort from Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, with whom Gaetz has had a long-standing feud.
The Republican-heavy House passed its version of the open-carry bill in February, by a 80-38 vote.