Florida gun rights activists had a victorious day in the Capitol as the
Republican-controlled Legislature considered two St. Petersburg
lawmakers' bills, passing one through the Senate and shooting down the
The Senate endorsed a bill allowing lawful gun owners to carry a weapon
while evacuating in an emergency, even if they don't have a concealed
carry permit. Later in the day, a House panel voted down a Democrat's
proposal to set more limits on shooting a gun on residential property.
Only one Republican, state Rep. Chris Latvala of Clearwater, voted
with Democrats in a failed attempt to limit rights to shoot on
State Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg,
filed the bill in response to a St. Petersburg man, Joseph Carannante,
who angered neighbors and others with plans to set up a gun range in his
backyard earlier this year.
Under current law, it's legal to fire
a weapon on residential property, unless it's done "recklessly or
negligently." Rouson argued this language isn't specific enough and said
laws that give the state power to set gun policy make it risky for
local officials to prosecute people in cases like Carannante's. After a
torrent of negative feedback, he dismantled his range in favor of a
membership at a commercial gun range.