Florida’s Ban On Open Carry Creates Constitutional Problems
Florida - -(Ammoland.com)- In 2008 the United States Supreme Court held that you have a right to have a handgun for self defense.
As ruled by the high court, you have “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”
That right has just been applied to the states by the latest Supreme Court ruling that also struck down a licensing scheme that made handgun ownership almost impossible in Chicago. Your right to self defense, anywhere you are legal to be, is constitutionally protected.
Every day hundreds of thousands of Floridians go about their daily activities while carrying a firearm. These people are retired or off-duty police, current or former military, and the average law abiding American citizen. They are responsible people who are trained, fingerprinted, submit to a background check, and are licensed to carry a firearm to be able to defend themselves and others should that horrible need ever arise. These people are however required to conceal their firearm at all times. That works pretty well while outside during the winter when we dress in heavier clothes and jackets but when you go inside, you want to take your coat off.
Florida is one of only seven states with wide prohibition on carrying an unconcealed firearm. This presents a huge problem in the summer heat or while engaged in many outdoor activities. There are exceptions for going to and from the shooting range, fishing, hunting and camping; but that’s about it. It is just not possible to conceal a standard handgun in most regular summer attire.
There is also the issue of licensing a constitutional right. Writing this article did not require that I apply and pay for a writer’s license. No reasonable person would argue that the First Amendment applies only to those who have been to journalism school and are employed as a member of the press.
Just as the First Amendment does not protect your write to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater; the Second does not give you the right to wave a gun around or threaten anyone. You have the right to carry a weapon for self defense but in Florida, you have to be licensed to carry it concealed and you can’t carry it unconcealed. Now that the Second Amendment has been applied to the states just like the First, we have an issue to solve. Privileges, like driving, can be licensed but constitutional rights cannot.
Repealing the ban on unconcealed or Open Carry will eliminate these practical and constitutional problems in Florida. It will provide relief from the summer heat for people who are carrying their concealed firearms. You will be able to dress in lighter clothes, take off your coat when you stop for lunch, or enjoy a walk in the park without having to make the choice between being defenseless and getting heat stroke. Lawful open carry would also protect our Florida Concealed Weapon/Firearm License (CWFL) from constitutional issues. The CWFL will act to license the act of concealing the firearm while repealing the open carry ban would satisfy the constitutional right of law abiding American Citizens to bear arms. Remember, “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” has been affirmed.
Florida Open-Carry.org is a grass roots organization of Florida residents who endeavor to raise awareness in the community of our second amendment rights. Our primary goal is to help educate others about their right to legally open carry and advocate for repeal of the general ban on open carry in Florida. Florida is one of only seven states where open carry is generally illegal. Visit: www.open-carry.com