Florida Law Enforcement Mislead & Push the Limit of the Law to Stop Open Carry Rights Bill

Florida Law Enforcement Officers Mislead & Push the Limit of the Law to Stop Open Carry Rights Bill

Florida Open Carry
Florida Open Carry

Florida –-(Ammoland.com)- The main provision of Florida Senate Bill 234 would, for the first time since 1987, permit concealed weapon or firearm license holders to carry handguns openly.

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony regarding the bill.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Major Ken Davis told of a recent traffic stop of six Tampa Bay Outlaw motorcycle gang members. “Although the six Outlaws were certified gang members, and had histories of criminal arrests, most were also concealed carry permit [sic] holders”, he related.

According to Florida Statute, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must suspend the licenses of those persons arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify an individual for a license until final disposition of the case, and a licensee who is under an injunction that restrains them from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence. Finally, the agency must revoke the license of a licensee who have been found guilty of, had adjudication of guilt withheld for, or had imposition of sentence suspended for one or more crimes of violence within the preceding three years.

One must conclude that Major Davis was either embellishing the facts surrounding the criminal arrests of the certified gang members in order to sway the committee, or his department was derelict in not reporting the disqualifying arrests to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for suspension of the licenses of those involved.

In fact, it appears that members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office may have violated the law in order to influence the committee members.

During his testimony, Captain Mike Fewless stated, “I actually stopped by every one of you guys’s [sic] office this morning (and) dropped off seven photographs of some biker outlaw gang guys that have carrying concealed firearm permits [sic]. Those are the ones we’re worried about carrying.”

Florida Statute 790.0601 expressly forbids the release of personally identifying information of a person who has applied for or who has received a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. The specific circumstances in which that information may be released are with the express written consent of the licensee, by a court order upon showing a good cause, or upon request of a law enforcement agency in connection with performance of lawful duties.

There is no exemption for release of identifying information by anyone for the purposes of furthering a political agenda.

Outright misrepresentation of fact appears to be a tactic our sheriffs are willing to utilize to defeat SB 234. Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson testified that open carry would be evident in the stands at next year’s Daytona 500 auto race. Conveniently, Sheriff Johnson omitted the fact that carry at a professional athletic event is a violation of existing statute, and Daytona International Speedway is a privately owned facility and has the statutory right to have anyone trespassed from the property for any reason, including carry of open or concealed firearms.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly in these times of fiscal austerity, were any public funds utilized to oppose the expansion of Second Amendment rights on behalf of the Florida Sheriffs Association?

Although elected officials, like the sheriffs are exempt, statute forbids anyone else to be compensated for lobbying without being registered as a legislative branch lobbyist. This means that if any non-elected law enforcement officers were compensated for in any way, by any public or private entity, they very well may have been in violation of law. Were any publically owned vehicles used for travel? Did any of the officers use per diem allowance or stay overnight on the taxpayer dime? And how many were on the clock? But even if on their own dime, was it ethical to then wear their uniforms and, ironically, their firearms to the committee meeting?

It is apparent that member agencies of the Florida Sheriffs Association may be willing to embellish circumstances, bend the law, and intentionally misrepresent facts in order to influence the committee and the legislature at large in order to maintain their virtual monopoly on open carry. Ironic since in 1987, when shall-issue concealed carry was being debated, the same association stated they preferred open carry over concealed carry so their deputies would not have to guess at who was armed.

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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

  • 30 thoughts on “Florida Law Enforcement Mislead & Push the Limit of the Law to Stop Open Carry Rights Bill

    1. Just imagine how many laws and or rules I would have broken if I'd have pulled and blasted ol' momma moccasin into the middle of next year? In my last above statement. It could boggle the mind!

    2. Going to or from fishing/hunting carrying openly was expected and condoned in Florida with common sense suggested. That at least hasn't changed has it? Now with all the private yaghts in recent years tied up in south america with owners missing I think carrying openly on Floridas waterways with or without a fishing pole is responsible. on october 4 2010 I had to capture a 4.5 foot momma moccasin at gate of my daughters hwy 27 hugging highschool with a designated bald eagles nest 50 yards away across street at 10 am with a hoop net I keep. I am ccw holder. The school cop didn't even know what it was. and got me a bag.

    3. Everybody, CC permit holders and Sheriffs alike are missing the whole point of this bill. It is designed to protect permit holders from committing a crime if their concealed weapon becomes exposed. It is not to promote open carry.

    4. WaltKurz, what you're arguing against is not what is being proposed here in Florida. Sheriff Coats, speaking as the representative o the Florida Sheriffs' Association, has said that any ccw licensee who allows her (or his) weapon to become visible, even for a moment, will be arrested for illegal open-carry of a weapon (which is presently a felony in Florida). Conviction of an open-carry violation will, therefore, result in cancellation of the ccw permit and the now convicted felon will not be allowed to get another. The bill that Coats is lobbying against will not allow unlicensed open carry; it will allow ccw licensees to open-carry. Get with program, guy.

    5. I was struck, in a very negative way, by Sheriff Coats' blatant threat that he would have his subordinates deliberately threaten and possibly shoot citizens without any evidence nor even reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Surely such a threat is a crime. And, not living in Pinellas County, I can't even vote the creep out of office, although I do have to travel and do business there.

    6. Wake up America, what happen to the friendly local sheriffs department,that they were the first and best agency to call if need. Change has taken place without you even reconizing it.

      Think about the brown shirts of hitler, then the black leathers and the gustappo, how did it happen Germany?

    7. Pinellas County NEEDS a NEW Sheriff, Folks.

      Please, someone step up to the plate. Coats is corrupt, criminal, inept, arrogant, an elitist …and I can guarantee the 'lower crime stats' are false …Chicago style (5 murders at one scene is reported as 1). Gosh, where do I start?

      Let us start with him being an arrogant "double dipper". http://origin.tampabays10.com/news/local/story.as… …is now making a HUGE 6 figure income on the backs of taxpayers. Moving along …

      http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/legislature… …NO Love Fest with the Legislatures on this arrogant elitist Sheriff.

      And finally the video of this Schmuck …At about the 1:36 mark it goes dark – but it picks back up. Is unfrigginbelievable how arrogant this man is. And that the FL Sherrif’s Association is against “Open Carry” …what more can one expect from a bunch of Government Union Thugs carrying and supporting the Annoying One’s policies (Obama). Would not surprise me in the least that they also support the UN’s “Hand Gun Ban Treaty” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqrLRePn8Js

      COATS MUST GO. Pinellas County deserves better. We deserve a "Sheriff Joe Arpaio" who IS making a difference for both the community AND true rehab of the inmates at about half the cost to the taxpayers.

      Sheriff Jim Coats is a Commie Marxist Socialist that has to go.

      And I am a gun totten' Mama 24/7. While I will not 'open carry', I approve wholeheartedly of the law, just in case mine shows on that 1 inadvertent time. To lose MY rights as a law abiding citizen for such is beyond wrong. But Coats would love nothing more.


    9. I will certainly have to keep the Florida Sherriff's Association spokesman's statements in mind when I check my mail or answer the phone. I have a very powerful document shredder for the mail. The phone call will not last very long.

      Hopefully they will get tired of asking me for a donation and take me off the list. I suspect after the phone call, they will.

      When the fecal matter hits the fan, and you really will only have the option of open carry to stay alive, the outcome of the workings of our Legislature will be of little consequence.

      If you have not been assaulted by an armed criminal, you really don't have a good feel for why you should not only be armed, but, well trained in the efficient and safe operation of your weapon.

      The open carry debate should take into consideration that up until 1987, it was perfectly legal to openly carry a weapon in the state of Florida. Violent crime has increased, not decreased, since the ban on open carry of weapons in Florida was imposed.

      If everyone in the state actually carried a weapon in plain view, and, were trained on the use of said weapon, I propose that violent crime rates would plummet to record lows.

      Sure, there will always be nut jobs out there who could care less what the law says. There will always be accidents with guns.

      Most of us in Florida drive cars. Cars are involved in accidents on a daily basis. Sometimes these accidents are fatal. Should we therefore ban people from driving cars as a result of this fact? Same goes for guns.

      It is the socialist/Marxist/communist nut jobs that are behind the gun ban push to disarm this nation because they know that a defenseless victim is most easily controlled.

      Don't be fooled into giving up your right to defend yourself and your family from some psychotic sociopath, hell bent on denying you your God given right to life, your right to your liberty, or your right to your property.

      When open carry was the norm for the state of Florida, before 1987, most of us did not wear a sidearm or openly brandish weapons, because we know how to safely operate, store, carry, and display our weapons. But, if we found ourselves in a position where the need existed, we were legally able to do so.

      We should all watch what our elected officials do with regard to our Constitutional rights, and, when the need exists, go to the voting booth and remove those officials who do not act in the best interests of their sovereign citizens.

      I always ask the question, "Will the action result in greater liberty for me and my fellow citizens, or, will it take away liberty from them?" If the action takes away liberty, then, the action is bad for freedom and liberty and is not in the best interests of the citizens or our nation as a whole.

    10. Well, Florida Sheriff's Association, you have gone & done it now! Please don't send me anymore requests for $$$ for your "used to be" fine organization, helping the kids of Florida out in Boy's Ranch, Girl's Villas, etc., because it was shown where alot of that hard earned cash went to, You all up in Tallahassee, like you are Lobbyists, which you are not suppose to be representing the fine outstanding Law Enforcements, in your "decked out" uniforms & your stars & ribbons, predominantly displayed for the world to see! No, we have enough Lobbyists up there as it is, thank you, so go home & protect the people of this Great State of our's!

    11. these r typical florida fbi's (fla born idiots). they r probably getting training from hillary. the police r the people who best know that armed citizens do not give them trouble. it is the ARMED criminals who are problematic. since when do OUTLAW BIKERS concern themselves with permits of any kind? whoever made this statement is absolutely dramatizing the whole issue in order to carry thru their liberal agenda. we know how UNION members feel about conservatives.

    12. I grew up in a small town before gun paranoia was cool. We road to school with our .22 rifles strapped to our bicycles so we could go hunting or plinking after school. No one worried about the guns being stolen or a 10-year-old shooting a friend. Often adults carried openly because they were either enroute to the woods or returning. No one thought anything about it. Deputy sheriffs then dressed in civilian clothes, usually a business suit but they took their coats off when they went to a restaurant and their weapons were clearly visible in a shoulder holster or on their belt. There was no way to know they were law enforcement, except everybody knew everybody and no one thought anything about it.

      If arrowrod was in a small town in North carolina, I wonder how he was aware that the guy he described wasn't local law enforcement. The fact is, he didn't. Further, cops move around the community openly carrying and there are as many mavricks in law enforcement as there are in the general population but no one thinks anything about four or five cops having coffee in a restaurant with their weapons in full view.

      Mr. Arrowrod goes to great lengths to describe what he's packing concealed, using a lot of slang in his description. Makes me think he may be a "gun nut" and I'm more fearful of them than someone who is carrying openly and not bothering anyone and certainly not bragging about what a hot-shot gun guy he is.

      This begs the question: If a bad guy comes into the diner with the intent of causing trouble, who is more likely to make him think twice…the guy carrying openly or the guy who has a weapon that can't be seen?

    13. Not surprised at all. I've always felt that the average law abiding citizen is far more honorable than the average Florida policeman. As a resident of Florida, I have no confidence in our local sheriff's office ability to accurately tell the truth. So it comes to no surprise that we seem to have false testimony and possible election law violations. My guess is that there will be no investigation.

      What the law enforcement community wants is a police state where we have rely on them for safety when, in fact, they are almost never around when a crime is actually committed. But they certainly want to justify their ballooning pay rates and benefit packages.

      When I was young, a policeman made about the same as a teacher. Now, some of these sheriffs drive around town in their luxury SUVs and Mercedes Benz vehicles. They have gone from public servants to wanting us to serve their needs. This trend needs to stop starting with an investigation regarding their sworn statements and their lobbying practices.

    14. 46 states allow open carry. Of those, 34 states allow open carry without a permit or license while 12 states require a permit to carry openly. Only four states, including Florida, prohibit open carry.

      Floridians are tired of that and finally folks are fixing it.

      There is no language in any of SB234 that would stop Florida's licensing process along with background checks. Law abiding citizens are the benefactors of the results of the bill, not criminals.

    15. You mean there are dirty cops? Naw that would never happen, this is 2011. Cops help little old ladies across the street all the time. They would never be dirty. Powered sugar on their shirts but never dirty.

    16. now just think about these open carry sheriffs who want to disarm you

      there is nothing more out of control than a dirty cop , who is watching them but more dirty cops , watch your back at all times

    17. Doug : what about arrowrod setting in the booth across from your family {WITH CONCEALED CARRY } and a grin ? At least I know the guy with the exposed gun has one and you don't know this nut has one , a guy with the an exposed gun would make me think twice about doing anything in his presents .

    18. Arrowrod : narrow mindedness is a problem , stupid statements is another , did this guy bother anyone in the joint? NO , I'm uncomfortable with people like you carrying because of the stupid statement you made , The guy with the open carry would be the first to get a bullet in the back of the head , { HOW DAM STUPID CAN YOU GET } , if trouble broke out , he would probably be the one carrying your weight while you crawel under your table , wise up stupid ,we must stand together or go down alone

    19. Well, arrowrod,

      It works both ways…

      At least I know he's armed, and if he has ill intent, why would he carry openly?

      "So picture the worst of the worst sitting in the booth across the way from you and your family at a restaurant wearing a .357 and a grin. And tell me open carry is a good idea."

    20. From what I understand the only ones who will be allowed to open carry will be the ones that all ready have passed a background check and has a concealed carry permit and that the permit might have to be showing to open carry. Just any Tom, Dick or Harry won't be allowed to open carry. Time will tell. And we don't really need to worry as it is not a done deal yet. And to each his own.

    21. This is one reason why i stopped supporting the Florida Sheriffs Association. I was always giving until 2005. That was the year that I really found out what the Sheriff dept is really like. Long story. I have respect for all police but not when they stop us or try to stop us from our legal rights..Hopefull this will pass and they can be shown that they had nothing to worry about..Peace

    22. Open Carry is a bad idea, not a bad RIGHT. I am a FLorida native and have been a ccw holder for many (since before it was cool) years. I just got back from North Carolina, where it is apparently OK to wear your side arm to breakfast. I carry concealed a .45 in a Galco Miami Classic with two mags in the other side for ballance. Over gunned, over ammoed, oh yeah. But no one knows I am carrying. My friend and I are eating breakfast at a greasy spoon in the mountains on 441, and in walks this guy with a double stack nine on his hip. Sits there and sips coffee- alone- staring at the wall. NOT a cop. Everyone in the place is looking over at the guy constantly. Wondering are we gonna be the next headline. It really put people off. Including myself. I didn't enjoy my breakfast after that. I was pissed to put it bluntly.

      Armed citizens are a polite society. The fact no one knows we are armed- adds to the politeness. Flashing our guns around just makes us look bad and gives people an excuse to rally against us. Oh- and the first guy to get one in the back of the head if I decided to start shooting up the place- you guessed it- the wannabe cop with the ONLY exposed gun in the room.

      The reason I carry is the fact that I know scum. I know what they think, why they think, and how they think. And they think open carry is great. Because it eliminates any of their doubt prior to their attack. They know you are right handed or left, they know the caliber, they know how much it's worth in their market, they know they added at least 200 bucks to whatever is in your wallet or your purse. And they know they have to step out from behind a van in a mall parking lot and KILL you to get it. And they WILL. I know people who have been ccw and mugged and didn't even pull their gun. Just handed their wallet over and walked away. Everyone lived and the victom didn't have to spend time in a court room for months explaining why the dead perp should be dead while the perp's mom is crying to the judge her kid was the greatest thing since sliced bread was invented. (He spent a few hours in hell at the DMV getting his DL replaced instead.)

      The Great State of Florida has pretty easy going gun laws when compared to other places. We should be happy AND proud of that fact. We have worked hard for it. We don't need open carry. It will only confuse the issues and set us back 20 years.

      Also- think of it this way. We all know there are people who shouldn't be allowed to drive, be parents, own guns, operate heavy machinery (and the list goes on) yet their "rights" allow them to do ALL of the above. So picture the worst of the worst sitting in the booth across the way from you and your family at a restaurant wearing a .357 and a grin. And tell me open carry is a good idea.

      BECAUSE- concealed carry requires a background check- open carry won't and CANNOT BE ENFORCED EVEN IF IT DID! Who's got the time to check every twit with a gun on their hip. I'd prefer the Police spent their time on better things, like the drug problem in our state. (among others).

    23. Let's all calm down. The sheriffs are political. They are elected. They think that the are exempt from telling the truth, because all politicians fabricate.

      For most of us, open carry means that an inadvertent exposure of our concealed firearm won't result in our arrest.

    24. I think that with the comments made by the Sheriffs in these counties, and I am in Pinellas, that the ones who have a permit and if this does pass that all should open carry on the day that it does pass. They are doing that because they don't want us to have guns in Florida at all. I know some CCW permit holder will say that we shouldn't open carry, I say if you don't want to open carry don't but don't tell others that they shouldn't or make fun of them for doing it. That is like saying.."You have a drivers license then you shouldn't drive" If it passes it is our RIGHT to open carry. I don't care what other think or say..It will be my right to open carry and I am not going to let other CCW holder intimidate me..Hope for the best but expect the worse..Peace

    25. I hope they that is thwe sheriff officers of florida dont come for a visit to Oregon. I would hate to have some of that stupidness rub off on our fine Sheriff officers here. On second thought mabe if they did come for a visit we could explain how really stupid they are. I think here in Oregon you might just go to jail for making a statement like that jerk made.I know he would be looking for work if he were to do it here.

    26. Sounds like these "fine, upstanding cops" are riding a little too high on their LE Horses. Do they really think that convicted felons whom aren't supposed to have a weapon at all will open carry for the world to see ? And wouldn't them "drawing down" on everyone be in some violation of innocent until proven guilty ? Yeah, they're WAY too full of themselves.

    27. It's very disappointing to learn of these actions. These sheriffs are not only of very poor character, they're also idiots. We all need to keep track of their statements in the event that there ever is an incident… Let's also remember the next election cycle.

    28. Are the Sherrifs making threats? Most people will not open carry. Sounds like some remedial training might be in order about the 2nd amendment and CCW laws.

    29. Exactly why accurate information and facts need to be introduced, education is key after all isn't it better than a child or teenager knows how to safely use a gun or at least handle one then not know at all which is what the brady and others would prefer, you never know you could be in the woods and a bear comes along and not knowing how to fire, load, and ammunition.

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