Open Carry Letter to Florida Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

by Phillip Evans : Opinion

Open Carry Letter to Florida Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
Open Carry Letter to Florida Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Florida , USA –  -( I understand that it is generally illegal to openly carry a holstered pistol, such that the pistol itself is visible, and that Florida state law defines a “concealed firearm” as follows:

“790.01 (2) ‘Concealed firearm‘ means any firearm, as defined in subsection (6), which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person.” (emphasis is mine)

However, licensed-to-carry citizens in Florida who would like to have the right to carry openly do, I believe, have some options available to them, that would be the next best thing to open carry, even while not fishing, camping, or hunting.

If I'm mistaken about any of the following four points, please correct the record:

German WWII P38 Hardshell Black Leather Holster :
P38 Hardshell Black Leather Holster :
  1. While concealing a firearm, a citizen may wear a t-shirt with the words, “Lawfully Concealing” or “Licensed & Carrying”, with a graphic of a pistol printed on the t-shirt. Or any other similar peaceful message may also be worn.
  2. A citizen may openly wear a pistol-shaped holster if that holster essentially conceals all parts of the enclosed pistol. Such a holster would have some type of lid that could close and conceal the pistol inside it. The P38 holster is one such holster.
  3. Ammo magazine carriers may be worn openly.
  4. A fabric “sock” can be placed over a holstered pistol such that the pistol is covered, even though a graphic representation of a pistol is printed on the fabric.

The reasons for the above First Amendment expressions that indicate that one is armed in public, are as follows:

  1. It allows for the enjoyment, for the most part, of crime deterrence that actual open carriers of firearms enjoy in 45 states where either licensed or unlicensed open carry of sidearms is legal.
  2. It shows the public that just because one cannot see a firearm that it does not mean that firearms are absent, and therefore may help to convince people that laws penalizing licensed-to-carry citizens who dare carry openly, are frankly stupid laws.
  3. It may serve to embarrass state politicians who talk a good game of supporting our Second Amendment Rights, but who through political maneuvers keep infringements in place out of fear of hurting the tourist industry. When tourists see First Amendment expressions that people are lawfully armed, and they still visit Florida, then even the illusion that open carry would cause a loss of revenue will vanish.

So essentially, First Amendment expressions that indicate one is armed is a form of legal protest to demand that our rights be restored.

Please keep in mind that peaceful and lawful exercises of the First and Second Amendment DO NOT rise to the level of Reasonable Articulable Suspicion required to detain anyone under color of law.

Please make sure that your deputies and officers are either already trained, or receive any needed additional training to ensure that the peaceful exercise of First and Second Amendment Rights outlined above do not result in any detainment or arrest of a lawful carrier of a firearm who merely carries in a concealed, although advertisement-style manner, while otherwise going about his or her lawful business.

I understand that the you may receive a slight increase in the number of MWAG (man with a gun) calls coming into 911 as a result of citizens exercising one, or a combination of the four options of advertisement-style carry listed above, simply because this will be new to the general public.

Open Carry in Florida
Open Carry in Florida

This form of protest is not intended at all to make your job more difficult or to spark any sort of confrontations between citizens and law enforcement. Anyone lawfully carrying a firearm should always be polite to everyone. And Florida's licensed-to-carry citizens live by this overwhelmingly every single day.

Citizens who exercise their right to carry concealed “out in the open”, simply prefer that the government remove all penalties for the exercise of a right, especially since they have gone through the time and expense to obtain a license to do so.

Is there ANY OTHER Constitutional Right where the government charges a fee and imposes a mandated training condition, then demands that citizens exercise it in secret?The Florida ban on open carry by licensed citizens is an infringement that must end now.

About Phillip Evans:

The author is a self-defense rights advocate and member of the NRA,, and, and posts at

  • 23 thoughts on “Open Carry Letter to Florida Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

    1. All of the protest options I presented in this article are completely legal under current Florida law. I invited law-enforcement to “correct the record” so we will know if they know the law.

    2. Florida House Bill HB 779:

      Starting at line 71:

      “A person licensed to carry a concealed firearm under this section whose firearm is temporarily and openly displayed to the ordinary sight of another person does not violate s. 790.053 and may not be arrested or charged with a noncriminal or criminal violation of s. 790.053.”

      If the companion bill in the Senate (SB 646) passes, and neither are watered-down or poison-pilled, this could be a very interesting law.

      Having a picnic in a public park for three hours, my gun might be “temporarily” worn openly for two of those hours. 🙂

    3. Bill passed the house late yesterday (along with 6 other gun friendly bills)
      Heading to the rest of the Gov. for approval then to the Governor who says when it gets there he will sign it
      The bill is only for concealed permit holders to not be held as felons if they “briefly” expose their gun
      now we have to see what “briefly” means
      Are we talking about a concealed gun that the shirt popped up or are we talking brief in that there are 24 hours a day and the guy is carrying open only when in public 🙂
      We shall see just posted the update I got from Marion Hammer the NRA state director

    4. Off topic somewhat, but my thoughts. Open carry where no threat is implied is a good thing. That means, for pistols, holstered and for rifles, slung over the shoulder or back. In my opinion, persons openly holding and walking with a pistol, even though their trigger finger may be above the trigger, implies a threat. Same thing with a rifle. Carrying a rifle with finger above the trigger, even carrying a rifle via a 1, 2, or 3 point sling, implies a threat. Seeing someone approach in this manner would make me nervous.

    5. Given that concealed licensees (in general, with studies in more than one state) are more law-abiding and safer with their guns (ie, they have far less “unlawful shootings”) than LEOs, why are our LEOs allowed to carry openly? If open carry is so scary that it needs to be restricted, maybe LEOs shouldn’t be doing it either.

      1. Careful now, then they (LEOs) might have to explain a-the deterrent effect that an openly carried gun has and b-that open carry makes for a faster draw and c-retention holsters can greatly reduce the chance of someone else taking your gun. For me, open carry is an interesting concept that I do not use right now. I am in Texas and licensed, so I could, but I will admit to it mostly not being worth the potential hassle right now. I might OC for a political statement, but not in general, and I talk about firearms enough that my acquaintances know I carry. Still, open carry is a way to help people ‘get over’ hoplophobia, and if you doubt that, why do you think that police wear uniforms, that LGBT citizens have ‘parades’. Sadly, we now have enough people that need and use prosthetic limbs that seeing them is no longer a point of comment (at least in San Antonio). The whole ‘we must keep the scary gun hidden’ concept is still part of the ‘rules for radicals’ process of ‘isolate, ridicule, eliminate’, so when people say, “Gol darn it, no real man needs to show a gun!” that just means they are already a victim of the leftists. I point to myself as well, since I do not relish daily interaction with police that mostly realize that MWAG calls are BS – because with the terrible attacks on LEOs, some may be a bit ‘defensive’ and I do NOT want to get into that. Call me timid, cowardly, lazy – to some extent they may all be true. But that is my decision, you make yours.

        1. WOW Cecil – I agree with you so totally that you and I could be brothers! and I even live in SATX too. Great post.

    6. NM is a by-statute, open carry state, with no permit needed for open (or concealed on/in a vehicle), and cops have no problem with it. Are NM cops, politicians, or voters, somehow smarter than those in FL?

    7. Having been a police officer in the Air Force and civilian life for nine years I wore my firearm openly. I understand the issue from both points of view; un-necessary restriction of a right and carrying open. When the firearm is visible and easily reached by another, everyone is at risk. More than one cop has had his gun taken away and even more attempts have been made. I’ve seen open carry where the person leans over and the gun is poking in your face. I’ve seen cops carrying an object in their right hand and the gun on their right hip. It’s dicey to carry open. Me, I like concealed carry and the advantage it gives me if I end up in a situation where using a gun becomes a necessity. When I carry I’ll always choose concealed, to matter what State jurisdiction I’m under.

    8. Why does some a**hole always have to throw out that carrying a firearm, whether concealed or open, or at all, is a d*** measuring issue? IT IS A CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED RIGHT!!!
      If the government was infringing on a right that they held dear would they not fight back?

    9. What is with open carry, advertise you have a gun? Does it make you a bigger man to advertise you have a gun? Why not play secret agent and carry concealed? The second amendment gives us the right to bear arms it doesn’t give us the right to run all over town with bare arms! Play dress up like the big kids and carry concealed. If you want to carry open, the next best thing is go to and check out their holsters. I have several for different weapons I prefer to carry, love them, most comfortable concealed carry I have ever had. No no affiliation with them, I just like their holsters a lot!!

      1. I agree that open carry is not always the best option, but sometimes it is and there are many different people out there with different physical conditions and body types that makes open carry a better option for them personally. The bottom line is that is is an individual’s right to choose what form of carry (or bearing) works for them. I personally will continue to carry concealed in most situations but in the winter I might just throw a jacket over an OWB holster knowing that if it becomes exposed it’s no big deal. OC has nothing to do with being a bigger man or an ego thing for a majority of folks not to mention the women who are carrying.

      2. It’s not about how you carry. The point, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

        “in·fringe – act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on”

        To add a rule/regulation/law that requires me to conceal my weapon is a limit, PERIOD!

        I agree open carry isn’t wise in this day and age, so I don’t, but I don’t want the government to tell me what I can and can’t do. Especially when it is blatantly contrary to the constitution.

        1. @Erikk, You are 100% correct. All those volumes of theories, dicta, and commentary to the contrary by judges, politicians , and other forms of bureaucrat are just elitists trying to talk us our of our God given rights.

      3. I committed multiple “felonies” for years in Florida when I lived there according to “them”. What were these so called “felonies”? REFUSING TO BOW AND GIVE THEM MONEY AND GET PERMISSION TO CARRY A FIREARM FOR MY PROTECTION. It is either a RIGHT or a PRIVILEGE granted by some elitist dirt bag politician. WHICH IS IT PEOPLE FROM FLORIDA? I don’t read the word EXCEPT after the second amendment ANYWHERE. I carried WITHOUT a permit and WITHOUT their permission to exercise a right and geee…no one died. GROW SOME PEOPLE. Clog the system if you have to and learn about the power of jury nullification.

      4. The point for us here is that if someone even sees a print of our firearm, we could be in serious violation. Open carry would protect those of us that carry concealed against accidentally exposing our guns in public. I would never carry open, even if I could, but I don’t want to be charged for some weinie seeing my gun and calling the police to report me.

      5. It isn’t about the desire to open carry the issue is if you are wearing a legally concealed gun and bend over and your T-shirt lifts and uncovers the grip portion of your gun you can arrested for brandishing a weapon and then lose your right to carry forever
        If your shirt is white and it starts to rain and the shirts gets “see thru” you are also in jeopardy
        The new proposed law is about allowing the “temporary exposure” of a weapon by someone who is licensed to carry a weapon concealed
        Dr D

      6. I prefer to carry concealed….. most of the time, However, WHY the campaign against open? There are times when open IS the best option. WHY infringe upon a natural right? Are YOU there in every sitiation to pass judgement as to its acceptability trhen and there?

        Open SHOULD be legal…. and let those who carry decide which way THEY want/need to carry then and there.
        Nannies are getting too obnoxious. Time they take a “time out”.

      7. Here in the 200 year behind state namely Jasper County Indiana never openly carry a hammer on your property or wear a Halloween mask in October this is punishable by a visit by the local sheriff.

      8. Really? Well, The Second Amendment FORBIDS government from ANY powers on the keeping and bearing of arms. THERE IS NO RIGHT IN FLORIDA to keep and bear arms. PERIOD. IF YOU NEED PERMISSION, it is a PRIVILEGE.

        And until it is recognized that the Second Amendment does not GRANT a right; it forbids government from intruding on that right.

        And if you are not fighting to force government to conform to that limitation, you are no supporter of the Second Amendment.

    10. The fact is that FL is turning more and more “blue” every year. Miami / Orlando / Tampa… they are ruling the rest of the state. The time is running out to even stand a chance of passing pro-gun legislation. It gets harder and harder every year… in another decade or so, we’ll be so far left that this won’t even be a conversation.

      1. Yep. My little part of the state was pretty red when I moved here 15+ years ago. Getting awfully purple with blue blotches now though.

    11. Hmmm; why not charge a ‘voter registration fee’?? or a ‘ birthing fee’…..only LEFTISTS know what ‘fees’ are “fair”….

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