Count Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams among the overwhelming majority of county sheriffs who said they oppose a measure that would allow concealed carry permit holders to openly carry firearms in Florida.
The Florida Sheriffs Association provided results of an email vote on the issue, as reported by the News Service of Florida, that resulted in 47 sheriffs saying they oppose the proposal, 10 saying they support it, five abstaining from a vote and five couldn’t be reached.
A spokeswoman for Williams confirmed today that he voted with the majority.
A majority of the Florida Sheriffs Association opposes measures (SB 300 and HB 163) that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry guns. In an email vote between Friday and Monday afternoons, 47 of the state’s sheriffs opposed the bills, 10 were in favor, five abstained and five others could not be contacted. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, representing the association, said Thursday that a number of sheriffs are against the measures because of philosophical reasons or simply the concept. Gualtieri added that other opponents would prefer changes, such as a need for additional training of permit holders, a better definition of where people couldn’t openly carry guns and a requirement that openly displayed firearms are secured. “There is absolutely no requirement that it be carried in a holster,” Gualtieri said. “If someone is walking down the street, open-carry, with his .45(-caliber handgun) stuck in their back pocket, somebody could just come up and take it out of their pocket. That’s not safe.”
Bob Owens states:
A person acting in an otherwise normal, rational and law-abiding way should not be stopped merely because his shirt rode up, or was too tight, or she simply felt more comfortable carrying a firearm outside the waistband instead of concealed.
Perhaps if Florida law enforcement hadn’t abused existing laws to punish law-abiding concealed carriers who accidentally exposed their firearms I’d feel more sympathy for them, but they have… and so I don’t.
45 of the 50 states allow some form of open carry.
It is absurd that Florida does not.
Yes, it is absurd, but given Bob’s opposition to Texas open carry, frankly I’m not sure where he stands on the issue. But abuse of concealed carriers isn’t the reason to support open carry, and I wouldn’t be more supportive of the Sheriff’s opposition to the proposed law under any circumstances. Bob wants them to develop a more coherent case for their opposition, and I don’t think there is one to be developed.
So the Sheriffs are concerned about people taking guns from unsecure holsters (non-retention holsters or those not in positive control of their firearms, I guess)? Well, this is a stupid concern and doesn’t represent a coherent case for opposition to the law.
It’s a concern for folks openly carrying, but not LEOs. Since when does anyone oppose a proposed law that recognizes use and carry of a piece of property because a thief, larcenist or petty crook can steal your property? That makes no sense.
Do we also oppose ownership of automobiles because criminals can steal them? Sometimes people are responsible with their cars, and they still get stolen. Sometimes they drop their keys in a parking lot and thus they get stolen. We don’t change automobile ownership and use laws because someone drops their keys. And to be sure, the easiest way to perpetrate a mass killing is with a car, instantaneously and without LEO intervention.
I think Bob should clarify his position on open carry. I support it without reservation, and there is no coherent argument against its legality. If Bob wants to clarify what this “coherent” opposition to the legality of open carry is, I’ll assess it. As for the Florida Sheriffs, I don’t really care what they think.