Open Carry Florida
You are limited while open carrying your legally purchased handgun in the fine state of Florida. This is covered under Florida Statute FS 790.053. There are exceptions to the statute. It is legal to open carry when hunting, fishing, trapping, and while at work. This is covered under FS 790.25(3)(h), (j) and (k). "Anyone, while fishing, camping, or hunting....or while going to, or coming from fishing, camping, or hunting is exempt from the prohibition on open carry."
Florida was once open carry. In October of 1987, after several years of trying to pass a concealed carry bill in the state legislature, a back door deal between political parties was made to pass the bill. That deal, and the price all Floridians would pay, was to restrict open carrying in Florida in exchange for instituting a conceal carry permit bureaucracy. From that day forward, Floridians partly lost one of their rights. Additionally, in an obvious attempt to generate revenue for the state, the new law required citizens simply carrying pepper spray or stun guns to obtain a concealed carry permit.
There are 43 states which do not prohibit open carrying of their citizens handguns. Surprising as it may be, even California does not outlaw open carry of handguns. There have been several stories in the national news of late covering this. Of those 43 states, only 14 require the citizen to possess a concealed carry permit to legally participate in open carry. Some states, like Virginia, have no permitting requirements. Citizens in this state exercise their 2nd amendment right openly and freely, without having to obtain a permission slip from their state to exercise a right already afforded under the constitution and upheld recently by the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonald vs. City of Chicago 2010. States like this use the common sense approach. Citizens pass a background check already when purchasing a gun. A second, duplicate, background check for a permit would obviously be redundant. Criminals certainly do not apply for conceal carry permits in order to go out and commit crimes, therefor a state handgun permitting system is nothing but a de facto tax on the law abiding citizens. Let's remember, the heinous crimes committed at Columbine, Virginia Tech and most recently in Arizona were all committed with legally purchased guns. Let's ask ourselves, if a carry permit issued by a state, or denial thereof, would have changed anything in the hearts and minds of the criminals who committed these violent acts.
Open Carry Florida is a citizen driven organization. We are tired of having fewer rights afforded us under the US Constitution than the vast majority of other Americans residing in other states. Local news media informs us of tragic events occurring every day where citizens are attacked, robbed, brutalized, etc. Armed citizens are NOT easy targets for criminals. State and local budget cuts are reducing the police presence, not increasing it.
When was the last time dumb luck meant there was a police officer standing right there the moment you needed one. Sadly, this scenario is only afforded the rich and famous who can afford to hire personal body guards. The rest of us have to fend for ourselves, and our families. By contacting our local and state representatives and sharing our desire in this area, positive efforts and progress can be made. Organizing local groups and events are reported every day by the media and heard by our elected representatives. Recently elected Governor Rick Scott has indicated he is sympathetic toward this issue.
Our wishes are simple:
Allow citizens to simply exercise the right protected under the Bill of Rights. Restore the freedom Floridians once enjoyed, to carry our protection openly. Allow us what the majority of other states have, to carry our guns openly for protection. Allow us the deterrent to crime which an openly carried handgun provides; and the message it sends to those who may think of harming us...we are NOT easy pray. Allow legally purchased handguns to be carried legally, nothing more, nothing less. Follow the spirit of the Supreme Court's decision and rescind the ban on open carrying in Florida.
A few thoughts, in light of recent events that have brought sadness to families, and our nation.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, following the Supreme Courts decision to overturn and declare unconstitutional bans on handguns instituted by some cities, issued a statement. (The cities with the bans have some of the highest criminal gun violence in the country) Representative Giffords went on record as stating, "As a gun owner, I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. This is a common-sense decision that reaffirms the Constitutional right -and Arizonan tradition- of owning firearms." Gabrielle Giffords, and some 19 other American citizens, were the tragic victims of a lone, mentally disturbed individual.
Schizophrenia and other debilitating mental diseases are not the choice of the Sadly all to often, news medias only seek to focus on the bad. There may not even be a perpetrator in this case, should the recipient, nor the consequence of a bad lifestyle. It may turn out the shooter was not in control of his mind. Truly unfortunate. A simple brain tumor may prove to be the ultimate cause. Again, unfortunate. Or, it may turn out he is purely evil in heart and mind. Certainly, we must find out. In any event, this was the act of ONE person. One person in a country of approx. 300 million people. People must, and should, take personal steps to protect oneself, and family and friends, from harm in a potentially dangerous world. How can there be anything wrong with protecting oneself? If there were more persons carrying a handgun that fateful morning, an immediate intervention could have lessened the shooters act, and more people may have lived, or never even been harmed. It was ordinary citizens, both armed and unarmed, young and elderly, that stopped the shooter, not the police. It is unfortunate that people like actress Sophia Bu, in an statement to a national news agency, stated "I think it's incredibly important we get back in touch with our emotions." She went on to say, "No one should be able to walk into a public place with a gun. No one should be able to just get a gun. Things need to tighten up and get more secure overall." Mental health. Anyone who has dealt with persons afflicted with delusional disorders is aware that typically, delusional disorders take on themes from the dominant culture. There were certainly signs. Many people apparently reported this man to authorities. He had been arrested on multiple occasions, yet had no criminal record. He was suspended from the school he was attending, following officers from the Pima County Sheriff's office removing him from campus. Once again, he was released without further follow up.. He applied to the Army, but was rejected as unfit. The gun he had was purchased legally, despite the fact he made death threats towards school officials.
What happened in Tuscan Arizona is a national tragedy without dispute. It is also indisputable that what happened is neither a free speech issue nor a gun issue. This is an issue about the hotly debated topic of linking background checks to mental health data bases. Failure to aggressively deal with the real issue of untreated mental health in our country, coupled with failing to link mental health data bases to firearm background checks will only continue to have this tragic consequence. Remember, this is precisely what took place in the Virginia Poly Tech shooting, where a person with a diagnosed mental health disorder was once again able to legally purchase a gun. The rate of occurrence for delusional schizophrenia in society is about one percent. Most of these unfortunate afflicted individuals are not violent. Sadly, in America they also constitute the greater percentage of the homeless population.
Federal Judge Andrew Napolitano brought attention to another disturbing issue when he stated, "Another tragedy is certain members of congress are attempting to capitalize on a moment of tragedy to advance their Progressive agenda by proposing more laws to limit free speech and your right to protect yourself."
Yet, former Congressman Paul Kanjorski, D. PA is quoted as saying, "...it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation." However, this is the same Congressman who previously stated, in a remark directed toward now Florida Governor Rick Scott, "Instead of running for Governor of Florida,they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him." The Congressman typifies the double standard of civility and speech control they wish to legislate on the rest of America, but not themselves. The real problem in our country today remains that a bartender can be held responsible if a drunk person has an accident, but parents, schools, a Sheriff's department and a federal firearm background check are somehow not responsible for releasing, and then arming, an obviously disturbed individual.
In the often wise words of revered former President Ronald Reagan, "We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore Americas precept that each individual is accountable for his or her actions."
How's your knowledge of Latin and ancient law?
Our legal right to possess weapons (telum) and engage in self defense has been established long before our founding fathers guaranteed it in the Bill Of Rights. Since the time of Cicero of ancient Rome, the Codex Justinianus granted individuals these rights. The "Body of Civil Law", what we call today the Corpus Iuris Civilis or CJC, has survived since A.D. 534. Book nine reads, "He who, when placed in peril (descrimine constitutus) and in doubt of his life, has killed his aggressor or anyone else, ought not to fear malicious prosecution (calumniam) on account of such an act" (CJ.9.16.2, A.D. 243) The Code further states "If, as you say, you have killed a highway robber (latrocinantem), there is no doubt that he who first possessed the intension of committing murder (inferendae caedis voluntate praecesserat) is viewed as rightfully killed" (CJ.9.16.3(4), A.D. 265) The CJC was the foundation of our canon law in the West.