Florida officials announced this July that they will begin expediting concealed weapons permits for active duty military members and veterans in light of the tragic murders in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs plan to issue licenses within thirty days, a mere third of the time allotted by state law.
The Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said in a statement, “The men and women who serve and have served our country deserve all of the support we can provide ... we are pleased to expedite active military members and veterans’ applications for a concealed weapon license, and our partnership with tax collectors throughout the state will make this process even more convenient.”
A requirement to obtain this express certification is official military identification, complete applications, copy of service members’ current orders and veterans’ DD214 long forms.
This new law allows military members and veterans to carry concealed weapons outside of military installations within the State of Florida. Before this law, the military had very strict rules about who could and could not carry weapons on military installations and bases. Generally, it was restricted to security, those guarding classified information, law enforcement or personnel guarding equipment.
This new law comes amid national debates about how to best protect recruiting stations from armed terrorists and citizens showing up and murdering military personnel in cold blood. While some military personnel believe that openly armed recruiters are not necessarily a good protocol, others support recruiters having the right to defend themselves with concealed weapons.
These military facilities need to be protected so armed military personnel feel safe and those joining the military feel safe entering recruiting centers.
Additional safety protocol options being considered include bulletproof glass at storefront recruiting stations. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said, “We continue to partner with and rely on first responders for the safety of the communities where our service members live and work.”
However, first responders do not always arrive in time, which is why Florida took matters into their own hands, giving military personnel the right to defend themselves when facing deadly situations.