Florida Open Carry Bill Up For Hearing
HB 517 – FL House Judiciary Committee
Hearing scheduled for 3/24/2011
Florida – -(Ammoland.com)- HB 517 is on the agenda of the FL House Judiciary Committee on Thursday at 8:00am. Florida Carry, Inc urgently requests that you email via the members of the committee in support of House Bill 517.
This NRA authored bill comprises several separate initiatives.
These include the option for CWFL holders to carry openly; a the right to store a firearm in one's vehicle wherever it may be lawfully parked; the authorization for the Department of Agriculture to take fingerprints; the repeal of Florida’s ban on long gun purchases in most other states. Quite simply put, this is the most comprehensive carry rights bill since shall-issue concealed carry was passed twenty-four years ago.
Florida is one of only seven states where open carry of firearms is generally forbidden, excepting under certain circumstances. Arguments against open carry generally consist of concerns regarding the fearful reactions of the general population. Some have suggested that an open carrier becomes an instant target, having his firearm snatched by a criminal in line at a convenience store. The facts simply do not support those allegations. In states where open carry is lawfully practiced, citizens have become accustomed to the understanding that a holstered weapon is a danger to no one.
There have been no wholesale attacks on open carriers, nor have open carriers been shot with their own weapons. Police officers are not fearful of open carriers as they know that a 5-year FBI crime study has shown that criminals do not open carry, nor do they carry in holsters. Criminals shun attention, something that the open carrying of a firearm invariably draws to some extent. Not a single state that has legalized open carry in recent years has repealed the right.
In 1987, open carry was outlawed primarily because of the predictions of wild west shootouts, blood in the streets, gun battles over parking spaces, and normally law abiding people indiscriminately becoming homicidal maniacs. The main opponent of open carry was Janet Reno, then assistant state attorney. She was able to rally support from a vocal group of police administrators with the doom and gloom scenarios. Amazingly enough, the exact same arguments were heard against “shall-issue” concealed carry. Twenty-four years later, and none of the rampant bloodshed predictions about concealed carry have come true.
Florida Carry supports HB 517, and encourages all gun owners/carriers to join us in contacting the senators on the Florida House Criminal Justice Committee. Please tell them 24 years is enough.
We urgently need you to email the committee members NOW!
Include “Support HB 517” in the Subject Line
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Support HB 517 – Support the Second Amendment
This e-mail is to express my support for House Bill 517, Firearms. As a member of the Florida House Judiciary Committee, you will be hearing this bill on March 24th. I respectfully ask that you wholeheartedly support this bill.
The predictions of doom and gloom that preceded the adoption of “shall-issue” concealed carry have been proven to be fiction. For twenty-four years, Florida concealed weapons/firearms license holders have proven themselves to be responsible to the extreme. Since 1987, only 168 of nearly two-million licenses have been revoked due to misuse of firearms. It is time to recognize that responsibility by giving those licensees the option to carry their firearms in the manner that is most appropriate to their situation, openly or concealed. In the 43 states that permit some form of general open carry, not a single state has repealed that right.
Please support HB 517.
Florida Carry is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental civil right of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self defense as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 8 of the Florida Constitution. Florida Carry, Inc. was organized by a group of Florida gun rights activists in order to better coordinate activities, effectively lobby the state legislature, and to provide a legal entity capable of filing suit to demand compliance with state and federal law. Florida Carry stands only to represent our members and the over 6 million gun owners of Florida. We are not beholden to any national organization's agenda that may compromise that mission.
Florida Carry works tirelessly toward repealing and striking down ill-conceived gun control laws that have been proven to provide safe havens to criminals and be deadly to law abiding citizens.