Florida Legislature Fails with Constitutional Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Readers know I have been closely following this issue.  Here’s an update on the Florida constitutional carry effort this session.

People who carry concealed weapons in Florida must complete a gun safety course, but that could change under a bill that has the backing of the state’s Republican leaders.

“Central to the idea of freedom is the right that we can defend ourselves against physical attack, as well as defend those that we love,” said State House Speaker Paul Renner last week after unveiling a proposed measure to allow “constitutional carry,” which would eliminate the requirement of a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

“All aspects of that permit would go away.”

The bill — HB 543 — would eliminate permitting requirements to carry a concealed weapon. Those include completion of a gun safety course and an attestation that the concealed carry permit is desired for lawful self defense.

If enacted, it would take effect on July 1.

At a press conference announcing the legislation, Renner expressed confidence that the measure wouldn’t pose a serious threat to public safety. “Anybody that’s a gun owner and uses guns knows that safety comes first.”

So this discusses the permitting scheme.  What about open carry?

The bill reads as follows.

… specifying it is not a violation for persons authorized to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm without a license to briefly and openly display a firearm under specified circumstances.

Oh, so they’re throwing bones to the dogs who want to openly carry to make them happy, but “the only ones” are the only ones who are permitted to openly carry their weapons.  “Briefly and openly.”  Your shirt or coat tail can accidentally go above your firearm and when the only ones come to arrest you because of that Karen-call down at the grocery store, you can plead for leniency because you really didn’t mean it, and they can take the statement of Karen versus yours and see what a prosecutor will do with it.  You can discuss it with the judge in court.

So they’ve queued up an abject failure as far as I’m concerned.  Open carry is an essential part of constitutional carry.  It isn’t constitutional carry if the state tells you how you must carry your weapons.  The job isn’t complete.  The job has been left undone.

As far as I’m concerned, they failed.  This is a cheap trick to persuade the citizens of Florida that they respect their God-given rights concerning weapons.

I’m not impressed.  I’m disgusted.  Pffft …


Comments

  1. On February 7, 2023 at 9:37 am, Paul B said:

    I think Authorized and specified Instances make that part of the verbiage of the law open to massive law suits.

    Bad law made by common core graduates.

  2. On February 7, 2023 at 1:14 pm, Nosmo said:

    790.053 Open carrying of weapons.—
    (1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device. It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense. [Emphasis added-Nosmo]
    (2) A person may openly carry, for purposes of lawful self-defense:
    (a) A self-defense chemical spray.
    (b) A nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes.
    (3) Any person violating this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    I forget exactly when that bolded section was added to the statute, to the best of my memory it was about 15 years ago; it was added because CWP holders had been complaining to the legislature for quite some time about the Only Ones arresting them for “open carry” if their shirt rode up, or jacket blew open, briefly exposing the gun or even part of the gun.

    Adding the language did not change the behavior of the Only Ones, they still arrested CWP holders for “open carry” which required going through the booking process, procuring bail, hiring a lawyer, and a court appearance, during which charges were routinely dismissed.

    If one places any degree whatsoever of trust in law enforcement officers to do the right thing one is making a large and potentialy very expensive mistake. They do not work for the citizen.

    And, Herschel, I agree with you: if so-called Constitutional Carry does not clearly and unequivocally stipulate “any time, any place, in any manner, by anyone legally allowed to possess a firearm, without restriction” it is not Constitutional Carry, it is just another version of government-regulated carry.

  3. On February 7, 2023 at 4:35 pm, Frank Clarke said:

    Color me unsurprised.

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You are currently reading "Florida Legislature Fails with Constitutional Carry Bill", entry #33950 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Second Amendment and was published February 6th, 2023 by Herschel Smith.

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