TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The open carrying of guns was again forbidden in Florida on Friday as Gov. Bob Martinez signed a new law hastily passed to close a legal loophole.
The legislation, which took effect immediately, was passed this week after Atty. Gen. Bob Butterworth and other prosecutors warned that the loophole in a new law apparently made it possible for people to walk around in public carrying guns.
A concealed weapons law that went into effect Oct. 1 established a statewide system for getting licenses to carry handguns in purses, coat pockets and boots. However, the law also wiped out an 1893 statute that prohibited people from carrying weapons openly in public.
Some Tested Law
Legislators feared that national reports about the loophole could discourage tourists from coming to Florida. Some people strapped on side holsters and guns and walked into businesses to test the law.