Executive Summary -
For years, a number of Florida’s elected officials have had their sights set on eliminating the statutory requirement that Florida residents obtain a concealed weapons license (“CWL”) to lawfully carry a concealed weapon. Proponents of the change finally hit their target when, on April 3, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 543 making Florida the 26th state to enact “Constitutional Carry” legislation. Upon taking effect on July 1, 2023, HB 543 authorizes an individual to carry a concealed weapon, including a firearm, if he or she possesses a CWL or without a CWL if the individual meets certain specified requirements. The enactment of this new legislation has, understandably, triggered uncertainty among employers regarding the potential impact of HB 543 on the ability to restrict firearms at their workplace. This article will discuss the current state of the law following the enactment of HB 543 and identify what employers can and cannot do with respect to employees possessing firearms at the workplace.
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