Florida Politics

Want to take your gun to the courthouse? Bill allowing it is ready for Senate vote

The First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee.
The First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Miami Herald

A proposed law that would let 1.7 million conceal-carry permit holders temporarily store their guns with security while visiting Florida’s courthouses is on its way to the Senate floor.

SB 616 from Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Steube passed its final committee Tuesday afternoon. Members of the Rules Committee endorsed it — with at least a couple Democrats opposed — after offering no discussion or debate.

The full Senate is scheduled to take up Steube’s bill on Thursday, with a floor vote expected Friday.

It is likely to pass, but regardless of the outcome, the bill has little chance at becoming law this year. A companion measure was never filed in the House for members in that chamber to consider.

The measure is the only one of 10 gun-related bills Steube filed this year that got any traction. Steube is a staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights and campaigned heavily on the topic.

MORE: “Miami lawmaker’s leadership and ‘gun-bill fatigue’ disarm Legislature”

His other proposals — many of them highly controversial because they called for the elimination of “gun-free zones” — did not have the votes to pass the Judiciary Committee. The panel of five Republicans and four Democrats was the first assigned stop for this year’s gun bills.

Although Steube chairs Judiciary, moderate Miami-Dade Republicans — Anitere Flores and René García — would not give their support to Steube’s more extreme proposals.

It was at the first committee hearing on the courthouse bill during the first week of the 2017 session when Flores declared her reluctance to support most of the other gun bills.

Kristen M. Clark: 850-222-3095, kclark@miamiherald.com, @ByKristenMClark

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