- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Senate passed a bill allowing gun owners without a concealed weapon permits to take their guns along during emergency evacuations.

The bill (SB 290) passed Tuesday on a 29-10 vote, with only Democrats opposing it.

It allows people to carry a concealed gun without a permit if they are subject to a mandatory evacuation during a hurricane or other emergency. There would be a 48-hour time limit for the exception.

Opponents argued that hurricane shelters are chaotic and stressful, and someone without training and a legal permit shouldn’t be allowed to take a gun into one.

But supporters said the bill will save lives, not endanger them. Some pointed to looting in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as a reason the bill is needed.

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