The “Hurricane Gun Law” signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R) is 2015 is taking center stage as Floridians prepare to flee the path of Hurricane Irma.
The law allows citizens without a concealed carry permit to carry concealed for 48-hours during a mandatory evacuation as they transport their families and belongings from the path of the storm. But Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that Gov. Scott can expand the window of time to legally carry “if needed.”
Guns.com spoke with Unified Sportsmen of Florida’s Marion Hammer on Tuesday and she said, “People who may legally possess a firearm may carry concealed or carry on or about the person while ‘in the act of evacuating’ under a mandatory evacuation order during a declared state of emergency. So far, even though the Governor has declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties, I am unaware of any mandatory evacuation order.”
When the “Hurricane Gun Law” was signed in 2015, Hammer commented, “This bill is a no-brainer, particularly in Florida with our hurricane exposure. When you’re ordered to evacuate — to take your kids, your dog and valuables and flee — the last thing you should leave behind is your gun.”
Laws protecting firearms during natural disasters took center stage following New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s (D) gun confiscation orders post-Hurricane Katrina.
Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005 and just over a week later–on September 8, 2005–a New York Times article began, “Local police officers began confiscating weapons from civilians in preparation for a forced evacuation of the last holdouts still living [in New Orleans], as President Bush steeled the nation for the grisly scenes of recovering the dead that will unfold in the coming days.” Those confiscations stopped after the NRA secured a court order halting them. The NRA was then able to “obtain an order requiring the return of the seized firearms.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org