Florida Senator Greg Ever’s Open Carry Bill is Not Enough
OpenCarry.org Calls on the Florida Senate Committee on Criminal Justice to Remove the License Requirement from the Open Carry Bill.
Sacramento, California –-(Ammoland.com)- Next week the Florida Senate Committee on Criminal Justice will hold a hearing on Senator Greg Evers’ SB 234 which would decriminalize the open carry of properly holstered handguns in Florida.
Unfortunately the bill merely allows open carry by those who possess a “Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License” or a similar state issued permit accepted by Florida.
“Our constitutional tradition does not tolerate licensing schemes to exercise fundamental rights,” says John Pierce, co-founder of OpenCarry.org, “so why should gun owners have to pay for and carry a license just to open carry?”
“Don’t get me wrong,” adds Pierce, “I think Senator Ever’s bill is a step in the right direction, but why go for half measures when Florida’s Governor Rick Scott ran for office in part on the open carry issue and stands ready to sign a full strength open carry rights restoration bill?”
Florida is one of only 7 states banning open carry, along with Illinois, New York, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Of the 43 states allowing open carry, 29 states allow open carry in public without any license and Oklahoma is widely expected to raise this number to at least 30 this year.
OpenCarry.org calls on the Florida Senate Committee on Criminal Justice to amend SB 234 to strip the license requirement from the open carry bill.
“Open carry is a right not a privilege,” emphasizes Mr. Pierce, “and our members who live in or visit Florida will be reminding the Committee of this important American value.”
“Besides,” continues Pierce, “an FBI study concluded that criminals rarely open carry,” and “police in Georgia recently confirmed an instance of open carriers deterring an armed robbery of a Wafflehouse just by open carrying while eating some chicken fried steak and short stacks.”
- See www.opencarry.org/opencarry.html (count up all gold, orange, and olive colored states to get to the 29 states which allow unlicensed open carry).
- See www.claremoreprogress.com/local/x465503311/Oklahoma-senator-wants- open-carry-firearms-on-campus (reporting on a 2011 bill “to allow any adult to openly carry a firearm” in Oklahoma).
- See “Open carry deters armed robbery in Kennesaw” at www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-atlanta/open-carry-deters-armed-robbery- kennesaw (“Captain Jerry Quan, the Commander for Precinct One, where the Wafflehouse is located, confirmed Matt Brannan's story as one in which the open display of a pistol deterred a well armed robbery crew”).
Unlicensed open carry was legal for most of the Sunshine state’s history, and it’s high time the right was fully restored. SB 234 must be amended to fully restore the **right** to open carry.Carry on!
OpenCarry.org was founded in 2004 by Virginia gun-rights activists John Pierce and Mike Stollenwerk and has served to ignite the “Open Carry Movement” that is sweeping the country. In addition to being an invaluable legal resource for gun owners, the site has quickly grown to be a social networking portal for thousands of American gun owners. Visit: www.OpenCarry.org