Florida Legislature OKs carrying guns at churches with schools

TALLAHASSEE — A proposal that would let people with concealed weapons licenses pack heat at churches or other religious institutions that share properties with schools is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday voted 24-16 along party lines to give final approval to the measure (HB 259), which passed the House last month. DeSantis’ office did not immediately reply to a question about whether the governor will sign the bill.

Florida law generally allows people to carry concealed weapons at churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions, but it bars being armed on school properties. That leads to people being prevented from carrying guns on properties shared by religious institutions and schools.

Senate sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, said the bill closes a “loophole.”

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