Firearms Owners Against Crime

Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action

Congresswoman-turned-gun control activist lies about permitless carry bill :: 03/16/2023

Debbie Muscarel-Powell lost her seat in Congress in 2020 when voters in her south Florida district ousted her in favor of Republican Carlos Giménez, but she quickly found a new gig as a senior advisor at the gun control group Giffords. As a Floridian and someone who works on gun control issues, Muscarel-Powell should be well aware of what Florida’s proposed permitless carry legislation does and does not do, but on Thursday the former congresswoman was spouting off outright lies about the legislation’s effect.

If permitless carry becomes law in Florida, only those who could satisfy the criteria for obtaining a concealed carry license are eligible to carry without a permit. In other words, if you can legally keep the gun, odds are you can also bear it. But if you’re prohibited from possessing a firearm, either because of a criminal conviction or an adjudication of mental illness, it’s still against the law for you to carry one.

I highly doubt that her tweet can be blamed on ignorance, though if Muscarel-Powell wants to excuse her falsehood on being so bad at her job that she’s never read the legislation her employer opposes she’s welcome to try. I think she’s smart enough, however, to at least read over the particulars of the permitless carry proposals, and if she did then she knows full well that prohibited persons won’t be able to legally carry a gun if the bills are signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The saddest thing about this is that Muscarel-Powell’s tweet isn’t going to sway a single member of the Florida legislature or stop permitless carry from being enacted, but it may very well cause some of her readers to needlessly freak out over a non-issue. The gun control lobby depends on fear as one of their primary motivating factors, and this is a perfect example of their reliance on scare-based tactics to motivate their base. Thankfully, gun owners have pushed back on the former congresswoman’s claims, so at least the right information is out there for her follows to see.

It’s pretty telling that Muscarel-Powell’s go-to argument against permitless carry is blatantly untrue. Of course the same was true of anti-gunners in Florida almost 40 years ago, when the state legislature was debating a “shall issue” concealed carry law. As the New York Times reported in May of 1987:

State Representative Sid Martin, Democrat of Gainesville, one of the most vocal opponents of the legislation, said:

”I think Florida will become an armed camp. This legislation is going to get a lot of people killed, and it won’t cut back on robberies, rapes or murders.”

In reality, homicides plunged by more than 50% in Florida between 1987 and 2019, and overall violent crime rates dropped dramatically as well.

Time proved the Gainesville Democrat was wrong about the effects of “shall issue” concealed carry on public safety in Florida, but it’s nice to see gun owners were able to expose Muscarel-Powell’s falsehood for what it was within moments of her tweet being posted. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for a retraction.

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