Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert: The Truth about Open Carry -- Erroneous Claims Exposed

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Florida Alert: The Truth about Open Carry -- Erroneous Claims Exposed

 

DATE:  November 1, 2015
TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President


Many folks remember that during the fight to pass Florida's Concealed Carry law, the Florida Sheriffs Association opposed concealed carry.  They literally said they didn't like "hidden guns." 

At the time, open carry was legal in Florida and had been for decades.  They said if people were going to be allowed to carry guns, they needed to carry them openly so law enforcement officers could see them and know who had guns -- they claimed it was a matter of officer safety.

Now, they have reversed positions.  They claim concealed carry is fine and they don't mind concealed guns.  BUT, open carry is dangerous. They claim they won't know the good guys from the bad guys, and one sheriff (now retired) said law enforcement would have to "draw down" and anybody carrying openly.  You've probably heard or read most of the rhetoric. 

They always lead off saying they are strong Second Amendment supporters then proceed to explain why they OPPOSE Second Amendment rights. 

The Constitution guarantees your right to keep and bear arms and it certainly doesn't say you can only exercise your rights if your sheriff agrees with it.

Below are the facts about open carry -- it is a rebuttal of some the latest claims.  

You may also click here The Truth About Open Carry to download a copy for the fact sheet to share with others.

The Truth About

The Open Carry Bill & the 45 States that Allow Open Carry

In recent Palm Beach Post Blog articles and a Tampa Bay Times Blog article, the Chairman of the Florida Sheriffs Association's Legislative Committee (FSA) is quoted with some erroneous claims regarding the proposed open carry bill in Florida (SB-300 by Sen. Don Gaetz and HB-163 by Rep. Matt Gaetz).

In recent Palm Beach Post Blog articles and a Tampa Bay Times Blog article, the Chairman of the Florida Sheriffs Association's Legislative Committee (FSA) is quoted with some erroneous claims regarding the proposed open carry bill in Florida (SB-300 by Sen. Don Gaetz and HB-163 by Rep. Matt Gaetz).

Below are some of those claims and our responses.

FSA CLAIM: "The bill as currently drafted is extremely broad, lacking limits on when, how or where firearms could be carried."

FACT: The same provisions and restrictions that apply to concealed carry also apply to open carry (s.790.06).  Only a person with a license to carry concealed will be able to carry openly. Additionally, the improper exhibition of firearms law (s.790.10) applies whether carrying concealed or openly. 

Further, because of these and other erroneous claims, a clarification amendment, to stop open carry opponents from continuing to make such false claims, was added to the bill in Senate Criminal Justice Committee the morning of 10/20/15 – We know the spokesman made that claim even AFTER the clarification amendment was added because the spokesman made reference to an amendment "that didn't pass" in the same committee meeting.

Since the FSA spokesman obviously doesn't want to believe the NRA's data, the following data was provided by Florida Carry, Inc. – and their data confirms ours.

FSA CLAIM: "The bill's proponents claim that 45 other states already allow open-carry. But that's not really accurate."

FACT:  To the contrary, it is accurate.   Forty-five (45) states allow open carry of firearms.  Varying restrictions on open carry in some states does not alter the fact that 45 states allow open carry.

15 of 45 open carry states require a license to carry concealed or openly.
30 of 45 open carry states do not require any license to carry openly
0 of 15 of the concealed carry license states require additional training to carry openly
0 of 45 states offer a separate "open carry" license
2 of 45 states require an open carry holster.  On 1/1/16 Texas will require a holster.
0 of 45 states require a retention holster.
5 of 15 are "may-issue" states where law enforcement issues licenses
15 of 15 states require the license holder to produce the license on lawful demand by a law enforcement officer.

FSA CLAIM: "... most open-carry states have strict rules about ... producing the permit on demand." 

FACT: This is a red herring.  FLORIDA law already requires license holders to produce a license on demand by a law enforcement officer.  And for the record, all 15 states that require a license, require producing the license on lawful demand by a law enforcement officer.

FSA CLAIM:  "...[I]t's ‘intellectually dishonest' to say open carry laws are working in the 45 other states because there are so many variations in the laws and the demographics.

FACT: The open carry laws are working in 45 states. Opponents have presented no evidence to the contrary – no evidence that it isn't working in any state and no evidence of problems in any state. These are just baseless allegations.  Simply because different states have variations in their laws does not in any way alter the fact that open carry is allowed and that it’s working.

FSA CLAIM:  "In Pennsylvania, for example, cities can opt out of its open carry law and some, including Philadelphia, do just that, Gualtieri said. Florida cities don't have the option to opt out of a state law."

FACT:  Pennsylvania DOES NOT allow cities to opt out of its open carry law. Pennsylvania does not require a license for a person to carry openly.  Philadelphia cannot "opt out" of the state open carry law.  Pennsylvania state law allows the city of Philadelphia (and only Philadelphia) to require a license to carry openly in Philadelphia.

FSA CLAIM:  As for demographics, "You can't compare Sioux Falls, S.D. to downtown Miami or downtown Tampa or downtown Orlando," Gualtieri said.

FACT: This argument is illogical and perhaps intentionally misleading. Seventy percent (70%) of the American public live in open carry states from all regions of the country.  Many of the 45 open carry states have large and diverse cities just like Florida and where you live geographically, whether it's Trilby, FL or Fanning Springs, FL, you have the same constitutional rights as citizens who live in Miami, Tampa, or Orlando. 

FSA CLAIM: "...the state's trespass law gives businesses the right to ask anyone openly carrying a weapon to leave their property," but they ... "will be reluctant to tell a person wearing a .45 to leave."

FACT:
Posting signs prohibiting open carry inside a business establishment is a simple solution.  Proper notification will stop citizens from even entering the establishment.  Property owners already must post trespass signs to notify the public to stay off private property.   

Businesses have the right to refuse service and evict anyone they wish unless it's done on the basis of race, gender, or religion.  Further, it is common to see signs that say, "No shirt, no shoes - no service."  Why are they reluctant to post signs saying, "No open carrying of firearms?"

FSA CLAIM: "..if you are McDonald's you won't be able to exclude somebody from putting their gun on the table and sitting there and eating."

FACT: Again, any business may evict a customer for behavior they deem to be offensive, dangerous or inappropriate.   Further it is a criminal offense under s.790.10 to exhibit a firearm in a rude or careless manner.   

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida Open Carry
TRENDING NOW
“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

On March 12, a two-week campaign was launched in the United Kingdom to encourage subjects of Her Majesty the Queen to surrender firearms, ammunition, weapons, and any other object even vaguely reminiscent of a gun ...

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

News  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

Former President Donald J. Trump will headline the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Choke Point “Lite”

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

Choke Point “Lite”

Ten years ago, the Obama Administration introduced “Operation Choke Point,” a program to weaponize the banking industry and financial service providers against certain lawful businesses and merchants. Implemented by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and ...

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). The report is the result of the ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

NRA Statement Ahead of 2022 NRAAM

News  

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

NRA Statement Ahead of 2022 NRAAM

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on Wednesday, May 25

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider S.513, legislation which would create a rebuttable presumption of no bail for gun offenses.

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

California: Anti-Gun Bills Eligible for Floor Votes

Saturday, May 21, 2022

California: Anti-Gun Bills Eligible for Floor Votes

On Thursday, both the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their suspense files prior to the fiscal deadline, passing a number of anti-gun bills and one pro-hunting bill. These bills will now be eligible ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.