The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 3 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Florida Gun Owners Aren’t Fooled by Fake Constitutional Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
12 months ago


Only three states fully prohibit the open carry of firearms by citizens, and I bet you’d be surprised to hear Florida is among them. Yes, we frustratingly find ourselves in the company of New York and Illinois on this issue. And Republican leaders, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, appear poised to keep it that way under the misnamed “constitutional carry” bill that is expected to pass this session.

Gun owners saw right through the façade when House Speaker Paul Renner threw a press conference at the end of January to celebrate introduction of the “constitutional carry” bill.

On the one hand, it does go a long way in restoring the rights of our residents and visitors alike to carry arms in public for self-defense without a permit. On the other hand, the bill falls short of every constitutional carry law in the country by quietly omitting the right to carry openly.  So our leaders are trying to appease one side and fool the other.

I drove eight hours to testify at a hearing earlier this month on the current bill, and walked away ecstatic when witness after witness demanded the addition of open carry. In contrast, when pressed about open carry afterward, sponsor state Rep. Chuck Brannan (R-Macclenny) apathetically stated the bill “is what it is as filed.” Meanwhile, Brannan’s sentiments were shared by Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples).

[ … ]

The same old arguments about bad people getting guns and “Wild West shootouts” materializing in the streets will be raised, but we have a mountain of evidence from other states to refute these claims. And to clarify, this legislation has nothing to do with acquiring firearms – rather it only authorizes those who already own firearms legally to carry them in public without government permission.

Now is the chance for Gov. DeSantis to once again step in and snag victory from the clutch of defeat by the members of his own party in the Legislature. While he’s catching some flak over other Second Amendment missteps, DeSantis can prove the doubters wrong with this issue by demanding open carry before anything gets his signature.

We don’t want watered down legislation. We want the great leap that other states have taken, which will put Florida at the forefront of liberty on another critical issue and far away from New York, Illinois and Washington, D.C. I’m urging Florida’s leadership to get it done – the right way!

Luis Valdes is the Florida state director for Gun Owners of America, a nonprofit, grassroots lobbying organization. He is a former police officer and detective.

The so-called “constitutional carry” Florida is pushing is not constitutional carry.  There is nothing in the constitution about the government telling men how they must carry their weapons.  What they’re doing is a sham, a fakery, and an insult.

It’s a trick perpetrated by carnival barkers and flim-flam artists.

The Florida legislature has failed that they even have to be told to do this, and even greater that they’re refusing to do it.  This is all a gigantic failure, and while I like what I see in DeSantis, if he claims on the campaign trail that he recently passed constitutional carry, I’ll point out the lie each and every time I see it.

He should make it clear to the legislature that unless this bill includes open carry, he won’t sign it.  That the current bill doesn’t include it is totally irrelevant.  They can work through the night to pass the right language.  So in addition to being flim-flam artists, the legislators are liars for pretending in front of constituents that there is nothing they can do about it.

They can always rectify errors.

Florida Legislature Fails with Constitutional Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
1 year 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 …

Florida Constitutional Carry Being Considered

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago


Florida is set to become the 26th state to allow citizens to carry firearms without a permit under legislation outlined Monday by Republican House Speaker Paul Renner.

[ … ]

Renner spearheaded the press conference, a signal it’s a clear top priority for the speaker, but the bill is being sponsored by state Rep.Chuck Brannan (R-Lake City) and state Sen. Jay Collins (R-Tampa). Lawmakers did not formally file a bill at the time of the news conference but are expected to by Monday afternoon.

[ … ]

The proposal does not address whether people will be allowed to openly carry firearms in public. Under current Florida law, gun owners are not allowed to carry guns in the open.

In 2021, Texas approved a similar “open carry” law that allows most gun owners 21 and over to carry a handgun in a holster without a permit. The Texas law allows citizens to carry the gun in the open or concealed.

Well, they may as well go back to the drawing board if “the only ones” are the only ones who can carry openly.  This is a huge touchstone for me.

Do you want to hear why this whole effort is likely to fail?  Via David Codrea.

But word in the halls of the Capitol in Tallahassee is that Republican lawmakers don’t want to advance Constitutional Carry to the Governor. They’d rather advance a watered-down bill that would keep the permit requirements in place. Why? Because a number of these so-called Republicans are anti-gun, or to more bluntly put it, they’re anti-civil rights. Very recently, Gun Owners of America worked hard with the chairman of a county level Republican Executive Committee in the panhandle of Florida to advance a Constitutional Carry resolution. The resolution passed with one vote. The Republican members of that REC who voted against it did so because they were against the idea of “criminals” carrying firearms. And by “criminals,” they meant people of color.

Criminals will always carry firearms if they want to, moron.

Yes, you read that right, there are Republicans who voted against advancing a resolution that supports Constitutional Carry because they don’t want people of color to be able to exercise their inalienable rights. They defended the Jim Crow era gun control and specifically brought up the killing of an ex-confederate town marshal as a reason why gun control needs to be kept in place. Yes, they used the example of a former confederate being killed over a century ago as a reason why we need to have restrictions on the carrying of arms.

They didn’t want Constitutional Carry nor Open Carry to pass because the idea of their minority neighbors being armed scared them. They claimed that the laws on the books, the very laws that bar people from carrying without a permit, keeps criminals from being criminals. Yet one of those who voted against it is a retired judge who proudly stated to the room that he currently carries without a permit and openly violates state law. But, he is against Constitutional Carry. This is the fight that Gun Owners of America and Florida’s gun owners are facing across Florida. Republicans who campaign on being pro-gun, are anti-gun; and they’re anti-gun because they’re anti-liberty. This was the fight that Gun Owners of America and Florida’s gun owners faced back in June 2022 to get the Republican Party of Florida to pass the following resolution to support Constitutional Carry.

It was a hard fight to get that resolution passed. But pass it did. And now, you have Republican lawmakers wanting to make the Governor look bad by scuttling the passage of true Constitutional Carry. Gov. DeSantis pledged that he would enact Constitutional Carry in Florida before he leaves office—whether that means 2024 or 2026. The Governor pledged to Floridians that he would make sure our rights would be properly restored and that the stain of Jim Crow bigotry would be removed from the fabric that is our state.

We’ve heard this story before.  Recall why the South Carolina senators and house members “low state” around the Charleston area were always opposed to open carry?  Near the tourist city of Charleston!  No, they always voted against it, and did so when open carry recently passed.  I listened to the debate and watched the votes online that day so I could report on it.

And Charleston is still a tourist city today.

Give me a break from the stupid please.  Please.  I can’t take any more stupid.

Florida permitless carry bill coming next legislative session, top Republican says

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago


TALLAHASSEE — Incoming Florida House Speaker Paul Renner told a supporter his chamber would move a “constitutional carry” policy for gun owners in Florida in the next legislative session, according to a video surreptitiously recorded at a fundraising event last month and posted online.

In the video, which was filmed at a House GOP fundraising event in Ocala on May 17, a man pulls Renner aside and asks if expanding the right for Floridians to carry guns without permits would be a legislative priority.

“I can tell you, we’ll do it in the House,” Renner tells the man. “We need to work on the Senate a little bit.”

In an interview Wednesday, Renner said he didn’t know he was being recorded or who he was speaking with at the Ocala event, but confirmed the video’s authenticity. The Palm Coast Republican reaffirmed his support for “constitutional carry” legislation but said he didn’t call it a priority.

“The issue on constitutional carry is whether government should be playing a role in saying whether you can or can’t carry outside the home when you meet the basic requirements of being able to pass a background check,” he said.

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis promised to deliver a bill allowing permitless carry before his time as governor was through. The support of Renner, who leads one of Florida’s two legislative bodies, would mean the policy would have significant momentum in the next legislative session.

Current Florida law requires handgun owners to obtain a license to carry their weapons in most public places. Open carry of weapons is mostly prohibited: Florida’s licenses only allow gun owners to carry guns concealed on their person. In order to get a concealed carry permit, a handgun owner has to take a training class that includes instruction involving the live firing of a loaded gun.

In other states, “constitutional carry” has allowed gun owners to carry their weapon without a permit — and thus without going through that training. Supporters call the policy “constitutional carry” because they argue the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms means Americans should be able to carry without the regulatory burden of obtaining a permit.

[ … ]

Passidomo on Wednesday pointed to Florida’s red flag law as a good balance between Second Amendment rights and protecting communities and schools. That law allows law enforcement to petition for a risk protection order if they believe someone is a danger to themselves or others. If a judge approves the order, firearms are removed from a person’s home. The process allows the person given the order to oppose it in court.

Luis Valdes, Florida state director for Gun Owners of America, who posted the clip of Renner to YouTube, said he planned to push for a permitless carry policy this legislative session. Valdes believes Passidomo will come around eventually.

“She is right now kind of being a little bit squishy on the issue, but I think with a little bit of political education, she would push the bill,” Valdes said in an interview Thursday.

For fighting the good fight in Florida for open carry, I recommend The Armed Fisherman.

And while some may disagree, I think this is the wrong order.  Florida police are far too arrogant and need their comeuppance.  We need to see people openly carrying in Florida.

When people get accustomed to seeing men carry weapons, and seeing that the sky doesn’t fall, then proceed to constitutional carry next.

I would be most dissatisfied with constitutional carry passed without open carry.

Where are the strong men in Florida?  Why is there no push to see this happen?  Florida apparently wants to be like Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Ron DeSantis Finally Calls For Special Session Of Florida Congress To Address Constitutional Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 11 months ago


The special session begins on April 29th.  It could have been sooner and I pressed the governor to push on the legislature more, but this just may be a good tactic.  They are now in “special session” to address certain things.  It may avoid the ridiculous committee blocking of bills that tends to derail pro-gun laws in Florida.

Better late than never.

Gun group papers Chuck Brannan’s district demanding hearing for open carry bill

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

Florida Politics.

The fliers were funded by the National Association for Gun Rights, which takes a “no-compromise stance when defending our right to keep and bear arms.”

Brannan, a Macclenny Republican, chairs the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee. The flier includes a call to action to contact Brannan’s office and demand he slate a “constitutional carry” bill for consideration. Specifically, it seeks an agenda spot for legislation (HB 103) carried by Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican.

Sabatini, a lawmaker who regularly feuds with GOP leadership, tweeted the legislation was being blocked by RINO lawmakers …

“RINO Cowards like Chris Sprowls are once again BLOCKING Constitutional Carry!” he tweeted. “When will people wake up and vote these TRASH establishment ‘Republicans’ out?!”

Some members have pointed out there is no Senate companion legislation to Sabatini’s bill, which means the bill could not be passed by the full Legislature anyway.

Still, the gun rights organization would like the legislation considered by at least one chamber this year. If passed, the bill would eliminate any requirements for concealed carry permits in order for Floridians to carry firearms in public.

Until the bad actors are eliminated through primaries, this will continue to happen.  We pushed hard enough in South Carolina and made it such centerpiece legislation (even though I don’t live in S.C.) that they took open carry out of the judiciary committee and put it straight on the floor because the committee was blocking it.

Granted, it takes the majority of the senate to do that, but it can be done.

I really want open carry and constitutional carry for Florida.  I remain disappointed that the governor has not brought this up as an important piece of legislation and thrown his weight behind it.  Another reason, of course, that this is stalling is because LEOs are opposed to it.  Of course.

So far my reaction to DeSantis is … meh.

Does Constitutional Carry Stand A Chance In Florida?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 4 months ago

News from Florida.

Some top Florida Republican lawmakers have now said they would support constitutional carry legislation in the upcoming session.

The policy would allow all legal gun owners to carry firearms without a concealed weapons license.

The constitutional carry legislation was filed by the Legislature’s most outspoken conservative member, Rep. Anthony Sabatini.

“Our very liberal Republican Speaker Chris Sprowls has gotten tens of thousands of emails from gun groups,” said Sabatini.

The policy is split into two bills.

The first would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a license.

“You don’t have to go ask the government for permission,” said Sabatini.

The second would allow for open carry.

“You shouldn’t have the duty to hide your firearm if you’ve done nothing wrong,” said Sabatini.

Eskamani said she’s doubtful Sabatini’s bills will get a hearing, due to his strained relationship with the House speaker.

“Sabatini does not have a lot of leverage within the chamber,” said Eskamani.

But recently, top brass in the Senate indicated they would support constitutional carry legislation, including Senate Majority Leader Debbie Mayfield.

“I support constitutional carry. That is one of the things that we will probably be looking at this session because it is important,” said Mayfield in a legislative delegation meeting last week.

Florida GOP Chair and State Sen. Joe Gruters said he might support constitutional carry, but doesn’t want to see assault weapons openly carried on beaches.

“Because I think that would adversely impact Florida’s tourism economy,” said Gruters.

While there seems to be some support for constitutional carry legislation in the Senate, a bill hasn’t yet been filed in the chamber.

I predict it won’t go anywhere this session.  Florida has a horrible history on gun control.  But it will eventually pass in coming sessions with enough effort.

You know what would help the case?  If Governor Ron DeSantis went on record for his support for the measure, and even demanded a bill be brought to his desk for approval before any other bill would be considered by the governor.

I also predict he won’t do that.

Florida state representative proposing open carry and doing away with certain permits for gun owners

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

News from Florida.

Republican Representative Anthony Sabatini, of District 32, is proposing to do away with some restrictions when carrying a gun in public.

The bill could also allow for open carry in the state. This is the third time Sabatini has proposed the bill. It’s been struck previously by both Republicans and Democrats.

This is a copy of the proposed legislation: House bill 103.

If passed, gun owners would not need to get a permit to carry a gun in public places. They could also carry their gun freely without concealing it.

“If they’re a law abiding citizen and this bill is passed, they can carry a firearm without having to ask for government permission,” Rep. Sabatini said. “The second part of the bill is open carry. So, you’re allowed to carry a firearm on your person, even if it’s not concealed. You can carry it on your waistband for example.”

[ … ]

“We’re not saying you can’t have a gun,” Foy said. “At least have some structure with it–where you have to get a license, you have to get a permit.”

Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty also reached out to the Republican Committee Chairman Representative Cory Byrd for a statement. He previously killed Sabatini’s bill in the 2021 session. He did not return Moriarty’s call.

It’s a modest first step.  It sounds like permitted open carry, which is a halfway house.

But this has been proposed and shot down for years in Florida.

I hear all about Ron DeSantis and how he would make such a great candidate for president.

Well, let’s see his mettle.  Let’s see him threaten to veto every other bill until this one comes to his desk.  Let’s see how much he really supports the RKBA.

There Is No Open Carry In Florida, I’m Going To Take Your Weapons

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

It sure seems like one day Florida LEOs would get the news.  Who trains these guys anyway?

More On Open Carry In Miami Beach

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 8 months ago

Following up this post, this video documents the legal response to the Miami Beach Police Department thus far.  The LEO point that they are allowed to point weapons at armed men even if armed legally (for the purpose of officer safety) is idiotic beyond belief.

If that’s true, they should go around pointing weapons at everyone since anyone could be concealing a firearm.  At any rate, this point of logic will be lost on LEOs since .. well, just because.

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