Response To Rude Open Carry Blogger
By Marion Hammer
The following is in response to a blogger/website owner who is one of the overzealous “open carry” supporters whose behavior is far beyond arrogant and offensive — and who only cares about “open carry” and cares nothing about other gun owners and gun rights. He is attacking NRA & USF because SB-234 and HB-517 Relating to Firearms, was amended on the Senate floor. Those bills are our concealed weapons & firearms license reform/improvement bills that were filed for the purpose of protecting the rights of concealed weapons license holders. These response explains this issue and what the “open carry” faction has done in Florida — Marion Hammer
Florida, USA –-(Ammoland.com)- Dear Sir: First of all you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Neither NRA nor USF sold out anybody — we are protecting the rights of all law-abiding gun owners.
Second you are as rude and offensive as you are wrong. It is you, and other open carry supporters like you, who are also rude and offensive, who are selling out all law-abiding gun owners.
There are currently over 800,000 CW License holders and 8 million law-abiding gun owners in Florida. These bills are about their rights — not the small number of open carry supporters who are trying to hijack and control the bills. A few hairs on the tip of the tail are trying to wag the dog.
SB-234 and HB-517 were filed on behalf of NRA and USF and they were NEVER about “open carry.” Neither OpenCarry.org or FloridaCarry.org had anything at all to do with the purpose, the drafting, or the filing of those bills.
(Note: FloridaCarry.org intended to file their own bill this year to provide for “full constitutional open carry.” When they couldn't find sponsors for their bill, they decided to support NRA/USF bills. Subsequently, some of their members started attacking NRA/USF because our bills didn't give them all they were demanding. — MPH)
These bills also contain other important protections for gun owners including clarification of where CW License holders may have firearms in their vehicles when they park and language to repeal the contiguous state law and thus allow Floridians to purchase rifles and shotguns in other states.
Go back to the very beginning when we started working to pass the bill and read the first USF and NRA ALERT on SB-234 (ALERT ROUND 4 on February 18, 2011)
The sections of those bills that deal with how you can carry a firearm — that added “openly” — were ALWAYS about protecting concealed weapons license holders from being arrested and charged with a crime for violating the “open carry” law, s. 790.053 (click here: s.790.053 ) or the improper exhibition law, s. 790.10 (click here s.790.10 ) when carrying a concealed firearm and the firearm accidentally or inadvertently or unintentionally becomes exposed.
Because the terms, accidentally or inadvertently or unintentionally are highly subjective, it is clear that the use of those terms in legislation would not deter the law enforcement officers who are predisposed to harassing and abusing their authority with law-abiding gun owners.
The only way to fully protect CW License holders is to decriminalize open carry for license holders. That's why the language in the original bill would have allowed CW License holders to carry concealed or openly. Open carry supporters would have benefited from that provision but the central point is that CW License holders would not have to worry every time they are carrying concealed, that their guns might become exposed and they end up being charged with a crime.
Unfortunately, because of the behavior of some overzealous, rude, ill-mannered, open carry supporters calling legislative offices and bullying, demanding, and threatening, Senators and their staffs, the bill had to be amended to gain support for passage.
Bad behavior of a few open carry supporters, NOT law enforcement and NOT the business community caused this bill to be amended — because the idea of ill-mannered bullies carrying firearms openly scared the heck out of people.
Even the testimony of Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats, who threatened that law enforcement would abuse gun owners carrying openly if the bill passed, (See Video Below to view excerpt of testimony: FL Sheriff Jim Coats' Threats ) couldn't cause the bill to be amended — it only angered legislators, other law enforcement officers and gun owners alike. Open carry supporters did it to themselves and have no one else to blame.
The current language of the bill as amended is not what NRA or USF wanted (click here CS/CS/SB-234 ). But it is what you and other overzealous open carry supporters forced on all law-abiding gun owners.
It is not perfect and it is not assured to provide protection from the few anti-law-abiding-gun-owner law enforcement officers out there.
It may not protect:
- Folks like the New Smyrna Beach sportsmen (a CW License holder) who was unlawfully detained, abused, injured and jailed overnight because 1/4 inch of the tip of the barrel of his gun was exposed through a hole that had worn in his pocket (He sued and won, by the way — but who wants to go through that?);
- OR the South Florida business man, (a CW License holder) who had his suit coat blown open by the wind exposing his gun in a shoulder holster who was forced to lie spread-eagle on the sidewalk, searched and detained for over 45 minutes before being released and told to “keep your coat buttoned;”
- OR the elderly gentleman (a CW License holder) who withdrew some cash at the bank, and after the teller expressed concern for him walking around with cash, opened his shirt to show her his gun so she wouldn't worry — and was subsequently arrested for “brandishing” a firearm.
- Or the lady, (a CW License holder) who put her purse on the counter to take out her wallet to pay for her purchase and the store clerk saw her gun and called police who stopped her outside the store, pushed her up against the wall, searched her and detained her for more than 30 minutes before telling her “we won't arrest you this time, but if you show that gun again, you're going to jail.”
If the abuse is not stopped by the amended version of this bill, we will be back again to try to fix it and we will not ask for nor want any “help” from you.
But lets be clear. Neither NRA nor USF are opposed to open carry, it is just not a priority right now and that is not what this bill is about. Over 800,000 CW License holders just had their rights jeopardized by the misconduct of a few shortsighted open carry supporters. Sleep with that if you can.
You are the one with no credence, and if you don't want to renew your membership with USF, fine. We'll miss you like we miss a migraine.
Now, let's see if you post this on your blog like you did the last time I responded to one of your rude and obnoxious emails.
P.S. By the way, you seem to be a big fan of Jon Gutmacher. You support him financially by posting information about his books on your website. Why did I not find any criticism of his anti-open carry editorials recently published by anti-gun newspapers in Florida and published on his own website? Were you too busy attacking us to even notice the real opponents of open carry? Jon H. Gutmacher: The problem with ‘open carry' laws | Gainesville.com