The Florida Constitution has this to say about the rights of its citizens:
All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, possess and protect property…
Unless, according to the Florida legislature as of last Tuesday, by "possessing and protecting property," one means prohibiting others from bringing firearms onto that property.
no public or private entity may prohibit any customer, employee, or invitee from possessing any legally owned firearm when such firearm is lawfully possessed and locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle in a parking lot and when the customer, employee, or invitee is lawfully in such area.
The law, Florida House Bill 503, also prohibits owners of commercial property from even asking of employees or customers whether those people are bringing guns onto the premises.
Mind you, I support your right to own a gun, and to keep arms in your home. I simply do not support your non-right to bring a gun onto my property, against my wishes.
Naturally, there are exceptions, and one of those exceptions is the State of Florida itself, which does have the right to prevent people from entering much of its property with firearms. But for others, this is a rather shocking abrogation of the rights of Florida merchants and employers to determine for themselves whether guns are to be allowed onto their property, and to control their property in general as they see fit. It goes far beyond now-traditional civil rights protections, which prevent merchants and employers from discriminating on the basis of race, gender, religion, and the like, as those are to an extent inherent characteristics, whereas the decision of whether to pack heat is always an individual choice.
The provision that guns must be kept locked in the car is a fig leaf of sanity, providing no real protection to anyone who feels that guns are unwanted on his or her private property. How long does it take to unlock a glove compartment or to pop a trunk?
Still, I suppose Floridians should be glad that the federal government is beyond this law, or nobody's mail would get delivered once Florida's postal workers learned of it. As are manufacturers of explosives, a loophole that Disney has exploited rather cleverly. But banks, and many other sensitive businesses where guns are traditionally thought a no-no, are not excepted.
H/t: Jag of the Popehat forum.