Unified Sportsmen of Florida write [via Ammoland.com]:

Recent Palm Beach Post and Tampa Bay Times articles quote the Chairman of the Florida Sheriffs Association’s Legislative Committee (FSA). The Chairman makes many erroneous claims regarding Florida’s proposed open carry bills (SB-300 and HB-163). Below are some of those claims and our responses . . .

FSA CLAIM: “The bill as currently drafted is extremely broad, lacking limits on when, how or where firearms could be carried.”

FACT: The same provisions and restrictions that apply to concealed carry also apply to open carry (s.790.06). Only a person with a license to carry concealed will be able to carry openly. Additionally, the improper exhibition of firearms law (s.790.10) applies whether carrying concealed or openly.

Further, because of these and other erroneous claims, a clarification amendment, to stop open carry opponents from continuing to make such false claims, was added to the bill in Senate Criminal Justice Committee the morning of 10/20/15 – We know the spokesman made that claim even AFTER the clarification amendment was added because the spokesman made reference to an amendment “that didn’t pass” in the same committee meeting.

Since the FSA spokesman obviously doesn’t want to believe the NRA’s data, the following data was provided by Florida Carry, Inc. – and their data confirms ours.

FSA CLAIM: “The bill’s proponents claim that 45 other states already allow open-carry. But that’s not really accurate.”

FACT: To the contrary, it is accurate. Forty-five (45) states allow open carry of firearms. Varying restrictions on open carry in some states does not alter the fact that 45 states allow open carry.

  • 15 of 45 open carry states require a license to carry concealed or openly.
  • 30 of 45 open carry states do not require any license to carry openly
  • 0 of 15 of the concealed carry license states require additional training to carry openly
  • 0 of 45 states offer a separate “open carry” license
  • 2 of 45 states require an open carry holster. On 1/1/16 Texas will require a holster.
  • 0 of 45 states require a retention holster.
  • 5 of 15 are “may-issue” states where law enforcement issues licenses
  • 15 of 15 states require the license holder to produce the license on lawful demand by a law enforcement officer.

FSA CLAIM: “… most open-carry states have strict rules about … producing the permit on demand.”

FACT: This is a red herring. FLORIDA law already requires license holders to produce a license on demand by a law enforcement officer. And for the record, all 15 states that require a license, require producing the license on lawful demand by a law enforcement officer.

FSA CLAIM: “…[I]t’s ‘intellectually dishonest’ to say open carry laws are working in the 45 other states because there are so many variations in the laws and the demographics.

FACT: The open carry laws are working in 45 states. Opponents have presented no evidence to the contrary – no evidence that it isn’t working in any state and no evidence of problems in any state. These are just baseless allegations. Simply because different states have variations in their laws does not in any way alter the fact that open carry is allowed and that it’s working.

FSA CLAIM: “In Pennsylvania, for example, cities can opt out of its open carry law and some, including Philadelphia, do just that, Gualtieri said. Florida cities don’t have the option to opt out of a state law.”

FACT: Pennsylvania DOES NOT allow cities to opt out of it’s open carry law. Pennsylvania does not require a license for a person to carry openly. Philadelphia cannot “op out” of the state open carry law. Pennsylvania state law allows the city of Philadelphia (and only Philadelphia) to require a license to carry openly in Philadelphia.

FSA CLAIM: As for demographics, “You can’t compare Sioux Falls, S.D. to downtown Miami or downtown Tampa or downtown Orlando,” Gualtieri said.

FACT: This argument is illogical and perhaps intentionally misleading. Seventy percent (70%) of the American public live in open carry states from all regions of the country. Many of the 45 open carry states have large and diverse cities just like Florida and where you live geographically, whether it’s Trilby, FL or Fanning Springs, FL, you have the same constitutional rights as citizens who live in Miami, Tampa, or Orlando.

FSA CLAIM: “…the state’s trespass law gives businesses the right to ask anyone openly carrying a weapon to leave their property,” but they … “will be reluctant to tell a person wearing a .45 to leave.”

FACT: Posting signs prohibiting open carry inside a business establishment is a simple solution. Proper notification will stop citizens from even entering the establishment. Property owners already must post trespass signs to notify the public to stay off private property.

Businesses have the right to refuse service and evict anyone they wish unless it’s done on the basis of race, gender, or religion. Further, it is common to see signs that say, “No shirt, no shoes – no service.” Why are they reluctant to post signs saying , “No open carrying of firearms?”

FSA CLAIM: “..if you are McDonald’s you won’t be able to exclude somebody from putting their gun on the table and sitting there and eating.”

FACT: Again, any business may evict a customer for behavior they deem to be offensive, dangerous or inappropriate. Further it is a criminal offense under s.790.10 to exhibit a firearm in a rude or careless manner.

About:
The Unified Sportsmen of Florida is the premier lobbying organization for Florida hunters, gun owners, collectors, and Second Amendment supporters. Visit: www.flssa.org

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33 Responses to Memo to the Florida Sheriffs Association: Here’s The Truth About Open Carry

  1. Come on Florida. Please leave Illinois as one of FOUR states to ban OC. It will give us locals more ammo to ram this down Chiraq’s throat.

  2. Just 2 weeks ago, My wife and I ate inside Burger King in Wind Gap, PA with 2 bikers open carrying handguns in holsters on their hips. Amazingly, no one was shot, SWAT was not called, other folks with kids also sat down and ate their meals in peace. there was absolutely no problems of any kind at all. And we were still eating when the 2 bikers mounted their rides and left. There was not one drop of blood spilled, not a voice raised, just the ravenous consumption of burgers, fries and ketchup. Why anyone witnessing this might have assumed that gun owners are quiet peaceable people, just everyone else, except Shannon.

  3. I just moved from FL to CO, and was taken aback at all the open carriers out here. Once you get over the WOW feeling, it’s ok cool. Time for a new holster. I saw people in Wal Mart… no one freaked out… I Chatted with one guy while eating, and never noticed his gun. My Wife did, she thought it was super cool… and no one got hurt. Well the Orange Chicken did 😉
    Seriously like everything else, IF you are going to do it, just be smart about it.

    I will keep carrying concealed, for now, but once I get a better holster for that, you bet I will open carry, even if it’s just when in the woods.

    • The amount of support its getting in committees (even some democrats have been keen to it), it most likely will. Not to mention the two bills are put in by father and son are identical. So there will be no need for conference.

  4. Virginia has always had open carry because they never passed a law making it illegal. Having lived in Virginia all of my 68 years, I have never heard of a single problem from it.

    • Back in the late 80s, open carry was legal in florida. and was used as justification to NOT allow conceal carry. 30 years later and they flipped the roles. Thankfully Law Enforcement and the florida judiciary decided to ignore the law passed in 2011 thet allows for printing and accidental exposure of concealed weapons. Because it caused the legislature to create these bills which explicitly allows CCW holders to open carry.

  5. And here I sit in a state where the open carrying of UNLOADED handguns (as required by law) led to a complete ban of the open carrying of ANY firearm in all incorporated areas of the Great State of California. And it has only gone down hill from there, with no relief in sight.

    • There *are* other states you can relocate to, you know…

      Florida is hot, sweaty, full of northeast transplants, just plain whacko citizens…

      And NFA ‘toys’ are good to go via a trust.

      What more could you want?

      • What more could I want??
        For all the transplanted North Easterners to vacate Palm Beach County. To go home. Any place else and make this the nice rural area I moved to 35 years ago again.
        Not to live in Long Island but HOT!!! As its become here.
        Also open carry would be nice too. Im tired of having my T-shirt tucked in when on the bike or trike.

        • Eh, I’m in palm beach county too… I have to agree! It would be nice to actually wear MY regular clothes when carrying instead of oversized clothes. So many times I have to decide it I want to carry of change my clothes and die of a heat stroke -_-

        • West is as bad. In WA many years ago before the CA surge of left progressives invaded, my grandfather would sight his 30.06 on the home property. Today someone would be sure to call the cops, you may well get a SWAT team, your firearms would be confiscated and you’d be in jail. I bet FL used to be a great place too.

        • Overall I like these responses; most of them addressed the “concerns” with broad, baseline type explanations that left little or no wiggle room to continued dispute on the particular topic. There was one exception, though:
          “FSA CLAIM: “In Pennsylvania, for example, cities can opt out of its open carry law and some, including Philadelphia, do just that, Gualtieri said. Florida cities don’t have the option to opt out of a state law.”

          FACT: Pennsylvania DOES NOT allow cities to opt out of it’s open carry law. Pennsylvania does not require a license for a person to carry openly. Philadelphia cannot “op out” of the state open carry law. Pennsylvania state law allows the city of Philadelphia (and only Philadelphia) to require a license to carry openly in Philadelphia.”

          The answer int his case addresses only the specific case of Pennsylvania, not the wider, implied, issue: there is, at least one (possibly more), state where municipalities can opt-out of open-carry. The one that comes to my mind is Oregon; they have a great state pre-emption law, except for the fact that the state pre-emption does not apply to open carry; most of the Portland metro area does not allow open carry at all, despite the fact that pretty much the rest of the state does and w/o any license.

          I don’t know in what way the FSA thinks this strengthens their overall position (I don’t think it does; requiring people to memorize patchwork regulations sucks and is absolutely NOT common sense in any but the most nonsensical definitions of “common sense”)

  6. Actually, your claim that 30 states allow open carry, or 45, or whatever, is intentionally vague to drive your point home. Did you ever specify where they allow open carry? The majority of those say you can open carry but while hunting, as does Florida’s own laws. Yes, I’ve read them all from the ease of the NRA-ILA website.

    So both you and your opponent are wrong because you’re not being specific. You’re both being vague on purpose. Both of you need to stop trying to win an argument and start trying to tell the full truth.

  7. Georgia’s recent gun bill (the vaunted “Guns everywhere bill” actually has removed the requirement for hand gun carriers to produce their WCL unless they’re being stopped for another reason, I believe. That’d be 14/15 in my mind then.

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