As very few of you know, I was on the road a good chunk of this past two weeks; in Hartford the last week of September, and I just got back from Jacksonville late yesterday.
Naturally, I was keeping a close eye on Hurricane Matthew, which I beat out of Jax by about 12 hours.
The most vulnerable time for people and communities during these sorts of disasters is when the population is dislocated; evacuated, out of power, or bludgeoned with massive damage. If worse comes to worst, coastal Florida and South Carolina might be all three of the above.
Just a reminder to potential looters; last year, Governor Scott signed a law allowing law-abiding gun owners to carry their firearms while complying with evacuation orders without need for a permit (emphasis added).
“As Hurricane Season approaches it’s critical that our rights are protected during natural disasters,” advised Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-Petersburg, in a statement. “With the signing of SB 290, all lawful gun owners will be permitted to carry a concealed weapon if they are complying with a mandatory evacuation during a state of emergency. I’m proud to have sponsored this bipartisan bill ensuring that we have the right to protect our families during these sometimes chaotic times.”
Brandes bill, SB 290, creates an exception to Florida’s prohibition against concealed carry of a weapon without a permit by allowing adults not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm to temporally do so while evacuating. The law allows for a 48-hour window that this would be allowed after the evacuation has been ordered. However, the governor can authorize an extension as needed.
Compare this to the arm-twisting that needed to happen with the metro DFL to ban the governor from confiscating firearms during emergencies, and you can see who actually supports freedom, to say nothing of public order.