A Florida Cop’s Explanation Of The Miami Beach Police Open Carry Incident

As a Floridian, a gun owner, and a law enforcement officer, let me explain what lead up to and caused the recent Miami Beach incident in which open carriers were detained. Florida has been called the Gunshine State due to a popular belief that the state’s firearms laws are very liberal. The truth, however, is very different.

Our laws are middle of the road in terms of Second Amendment freedoms and sliding downhill. Florida has no campus carry, no general open carry, and no non-permitted carry of any type except for vehicles and private property.

We have a law that restricts shooting on private property (property must be an at least an acre with one acre between residences/buildings). We have no background check exemption for CCW permit holders and now, after Parkland, no one under 21 can purchase a firearm.

Counties are allowed to heavily restrict private sales and they are allowed to lengthen waiting periods. All firearm and ammunition sales are banned during states of emergencies (we have them frequently during hurricane season). Plus we have a vague restraining order law that can strip you of your rights with little recourse in court.

On top of that, the limited permitted open carry rights we do have is never brought up as a legal means of exercising of our Second Amendment Rights is never mentioned by anyone at the state level. We have a Republican Party that is anti-gun and a Democrat Party that is extremely anti-gun.

Culture is the issue. Florida’s firearms culture is one of asking for permission, not enabling freedom. Only 36% of Floridians are born in Florida. The other 64% of our residents are folks from other states or from other countries.

These people bring with them their own voting patterns and life experiences. South Florida is known as the sixth borough of New York City and we all know how friendly New York City is towards civil rights like the Second Amendment.

Culture doesn’t just affect the common citizenry, either. It also affects law enforcement. In South Florida, it’s very much a ‘King’s Men’ attitude, and law enforcement officers there are all about that mentality. Many are actually cops from up north (some who are drawing retirement from there while working down here) who brought the same mindset with them. And the police culture from the Northeast is that cops are taught that citizens with guns are always a problem.

Some have stated that the MBPD patrol officers who responded were feigning confusion over the interpretation of the law. They probably honestly didn’t know the law since they were never instructed in it and relied on their training. The issue at hand with MBPD and many other agencies is the culture there and training (or lack thereof) when it comes to a number of laws concerning civil rights.

Police are told by their trainers and command staff that open carry is verboten in Florida. That’s the constant message parroted across the state. Police are also told if they see someone with a gun, it’s wrong and that person must be doing something illegal.

This all comes from the culture of politics that is embedded within agencies from command staff and the political leadership of the cities that they serve. That determines how orders and training that come down from the top are given, explained, and interpreted.

We saw that with Broward County and the utter fustercluck that was the cause of and response to the Parkland shooting.

Miami Beach is a leftist Democrat-run city. To give you an idea of how left-leaning Miami Beach is, the current Florida Democrat candidate front runner for Governor is former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and he’s a major bankroller in the post-Parkland gun control movement in the state.

Miami Beach is a city no different than other Democrat-run cities in the US like Berkeley, Chicago or Washington, DC. The police are a representation of the local political culture and the people who live there. The city is run by statists who believe they know what is best for you and me.

The Miami Beach Police revealed their attitude and knowledge of the law when they told a caller who stated that he was cleared to open carry under Florida State Statute 790.25 (3)(h) that he was wrong. They made all the classic cop moves. They repeatedly pushed the call off to someone else rather than looking at the statute. They told him call Florida Fish & Wildlife or Florida Department of Law Enforcement and get it in writing, even though the statute is clear and easy to find.

Furthermore, Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel J. Oates made a statement following the incident that shows exactly why this happened the way it did.

“Given the current climate, if six people show up to a pier in South Beach carrying guns, our citizens expect us to respond promptly and address any potential danger. We did so, and I am confident our officers acted appropriately.” – Chief Oates

What climate is that? Does he mean summer when lots of law-abiding Floridians are fishing? Or does the good chief mean the climate within his agency and city that considers gun control good and that anyone exercising their Second Amendment rights as either unreasonably uppity or up to no good? His former boss is now running for Governor and is bankrolling the effort to enact ever more gun control in Florida. Is that the climate he’s referring to?

New Smyrna Beach resident and Florida Carry executive director Sean Caranna forwarded to the Miami Herald a letter from Lighthouse Point’s Christopher Philpot to Chief Oates that says “On June 24, 2018 a few friends and I will be open carrying holstered handguns while fishing off of South Pointe Pier in Miami Beach.”

The letter, dated June 7, quotes Florida Statute 790.25(3)(h) directly, which allows a person hunting, camping or fishing to openly carry a gun, and states that he’s writing toChief Oates because “I’m sure there will be citizens that do not know the law. They may contact law enforcement when they see someone open carrying a holstered handgun.”

But Chief Oates, through Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez, claimed that he never received any such letter by e-mail or regular mail.

My own contacts within Florida Carry forwarded me the letter that was sent to Chief Oates and we also have the phone call that was made to MBPD.

June 7, 2018

Chief Oates,

My name is Christopher Philpot and I am an avid Florida Fisherman. The reason I am writing your office is because I wanted to notify you that on June 24, 2018 a few friends and I will be open carrying holstered handguns while fishing off of South Pointe Pier in Miami Beach. As you probably already know the open carrying of any firearm is legal in The State of Florida, pursuant a person engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition.

It is outlined by our State Legislators in Florida Statute: 790.25, The provisions of ss. 790.053 (Open Carrying of Weapons) 790.06 (License to carry concealed weapon or firearm) do not apply in the following instances, and, despite such sections, it is lawful for the following persons to own, possess, and lawfully use firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for lawful purposes (h) A person engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition.

The reason I wanted to reach out to your office is because I’m sure there will be citizens that do not know the law.They may contact Law Enforcement when they see someone open carrying a holstered handgun. I just want to be sure that The City of Miami Beach & Law Enforcement are fully aware that what we are doing is completely legal. My friends and I are law abiding citizens. We legally own our firearms and we have never committed any felonies or violent crimes. We are just a few people that love to fish and celebrate our Freedom & Second Amendment rights!

Sincerely,

Christopher Philpot

CC- Eric Friday, Richard Nascak, Scott Whigham, Dennis Fields

So the agency was contacted both by phone and mail and yet this still happened.

For MBPD to show up in the manner they did, drawing their guns on law-abiding Floridians who were acting within the law was wrong. Simple possession of a holstered firearm does not constitute a threat. But the MBPD’s response goes back to their mindset and culture in dealing with civilian firearms ownership and use.

This is by no means just an issue with the Miami Beach Police. A few years back, when some in the Florida Legislature were considering legalizing open carry, a number of chiefs and sheriffs made their opinions known. The sheriff of Pinellas County, Bob Gualtieri, was the most vocal.

“At a minimum, they’re going to be thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them or worse.” – SheriffGualtieri

The City of Tampa had a similar situtation in 2015 with another fisherman. Florida resident George Freeman was legally open carrying while fishing and Tampa Police repsonded in a similar manner. They detained him for 70 minutes. Once they realized they were in the wrong, they trespassed on Mr. Freeman’s property as a way to get even with him. The matter is currently in the courts and Florida Carry is fighting it.

And for a real glimpse at how Florida law enforcement views the public being armed, I give you the Dale Lee Norman incident from 2012. A Floridian who was legally carrying under the authority of a CCW permit. Mr. Norman had a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ and his gun was accidentally exposed. The Fort Pierce Police Department decided to take action. I’ll let the video show you what FPPD really thinks about citizen exercising their right to keep and bear arms.

This was in 2012, a year after State Senator Bogdanoff (R-Fort Lauderdale) gutted SB 234 (open carry) and made it a bill about legal protection for accidental exposure of a firearm. Mr. Norman was covered under that bill and yet the police did what you see in the video.

I don’t know every statute on the books, but I make a constant effort to stay as current as possible. I also keep a cheat sheet of common statutes and a statute book to make sure that I enforce them properly. I have even had suspects inform me of statutes that I looked it up and found that John Q. Public was right, then thanked them.

I do, however, know chapter 790 because it’s so important. We have over 1.5 million active CCW permits in the state and a lot more gun owners in addition to that. Many who simply choose to carry in their vehicles, homes, or businesses since it’s not required to have a CCW permit to do so.

When I worked for a certain prior agency, the training staff told us that we have the authority to arrest anyone who has a Florida CCW permit and an out of state ID. They said the law is that you must have a Florida driver’s license or state ID and it must be carried in conjunction with the Florida CCW permit. I had to correct the trainer on that and show them that we issue non-resident CCW permits to folks who reside out of state.

I had a coworker in another former agency I worked for who wanted to charge a driver with illegal conceal carry. As the arrest affidavit was being written, I reviewed it and corrected the officer.

It was a traffic stop on a motorcyclist. The driver had a GLOCK in a book bag and it was strapped to the rear of the seat. I explained to that officer that a zipped book bag is legally defined as ‘securely encased’ under chapter 790 and that the State Attorney’s office will throw the charge out. The officer didn’t believe me and rather than looking up chapter 790, he called the legal section who confirmed what I’d told him.

Again…training and culture. The mindset was that guns in the hands of the people is wrong. That is what caused the situation we saw in Miami Beach.

Not all police are bad, mind you. Some truly fight hard and are on our side. But you, the People of the Gun, need to understand why Miami Beach happened.

Just like the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the gay rights movement of the 1990s and 2000s, gun owners need to continually fight for their rights. Sometimes the end result will be what we saw in Miami Beach.

The fight, however, is the same: opposing oppressive authoritarians restricting the civil liberties and rights of honest, law-abiding Americans. We can’t hide in the shadows. We need to be open, loud, and stand strong in the face of this kind of intimidation.

comments

  1. avatar Gralnok says:

    Blah blah blah. I stopped reading the list of excuses halfway down. More bullshit, same old routine, “it’s not our fault, we just enforce the laws” yeah right. These people weren’t out to kill anyone or even break any of your precious dictates. They were marching for their rights. Rights you, (assuming the Florida leo is writing this) seem intent on ignoring. Make no mistake, you got lucky. Cooler heads prevailed and instead of opening fire on your sorry ass, they humored you. You and your Democrat buddies are poking a sleeping tiger. Best be prepared for the claws, when they come out.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Were you reading a different article? This is a very good writeup.

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        Actually, I do have a confession to make. I didn’t actually get halfway through the article. I stopped reading the excuses a bit less than halfway, skimmed through to the halfway point, then got further sick of the bullshit and wrote my comment, which I still stand behind.

        Florida cops are no friends of gun owners. They made that quite clear.

        1. avatar Marty says:

          Your totally anti police mentality is definitely showing what a dipshit you really are. The author pointed out how certain police departments in the state are truly anti gun. In now way did he say all departments in the state were anti gun. Your attitude displayed in your comment, in my mind make you more dangerous than the anti gun cops.

        2. avatar Just Sayin says:

          Actually an apology by you to the author is in order.
          If not, it then cements your comments as bigoted, and coming from a place of ignorance.

        3. avatar Silphy says:

          If you can’t even finish a maybe 2000 word explanation of an event, how do you consider yourself educated for any kind of rebuttal to anything? This wasn’t making excuses for them, it’s literally laying out what they did. Were the police making excuses, yes. Was this article or the author? No. He was very calmly explaining the culture and how it got where it is. And in case this is too wordy for you,

          tl:dr you are the kind of person that’s wrong with the system.

        4. avatar Ed says:

          I am ny NO MEANS a police supporter of any kind…but how do you comment on something you admit to only reading less than half-way? The town cops were quite indiferent to firearms where I lived. When the left was going full retard right after sandy hook the county sheriff where I lived set up a county militia for the people to join, free of charge and no records kept. All you had to do was walk into an office at the dmv and tell the woman what name you wanted on your militia card. She went in the back, typed it up, laminated it and gave you as many county militia bumperstickers you wanted. The sheriff also held a pro-2a rally in the local dmv lot and promised the people that as long as he was sheriff he would not allow any federal infringement in the second amendment rights of the people of the county. Everyone from local church congregations to outlaw bikers showed up. Rednecks in pickups parked next to state reps in cadilacs and everyone was there for the same cause…to support back the one LEO in the area that had supported the peoples right to bear arms, to the point he set up a militia to counter the ” theres no militias anymore” antis. How can you complain about that?

        5. avatar Hannibal says:

          reading is HARd!

        6. avatar Gralnok says:

          To Marty, Just Sayin, and everyone else interested in kissing police asses:

          The article reeked of bullshit. I’ll give it another read, but only to shut you up. Otherwise, you can pucker up for my ass too.

        7. avatar Gralnok says:

          Well, since I consider myself an honorable man, or at least one aspiring to be honorable, I shall now eat my words. Someone please pass the salt.

          I had made a hasty decision and automatically assumed this would be an article about why the protestors were in the wrong, or some other explanation of a bullshit ordinance that had been passed in secret. I didn’t read it fully, though some of my original argument still stands. These officers were in the wrong and are a disgrace to the uniform. That said, I apologise to the author of the article. I would, however, suggest a different line of work, since it’s clear that the Florida cops are not friends of gun owners.

        8. avatar B says:

          Gralnok,

          It’s all good, brother. It’s an honest mistake. I’m sure you were only getting blasted because you wrote the first response, that EVERYBODY reads.😉

          What’s funny is, that you’ve already apologized a few times for not having read the whole thing. But, if everybody read everything in the comments section too, there would be less response to your post, lol. ✌

        9. avatar Mark Webb says:

          Cut Gralnok some slack, he’s probably one of the 14% of adults that can’t read…..

          https://www.livescience.com/3211-14-percent-adults-read.html

        10. avatar 4808 N says:

          @ Gralnok. Are you friends with my father in law? Your closed mind and poor comprehension skills remind me of him.

      2. avatar Freeheel says:

        4808 N don’t get pissy with Gralnok because you married a B**ch with idiot parents. You should have vetted them out before you settled.

      3. avatar james says:

        Agree, very good article.

    2. avatar surlycmd says:

      You should have read the entire article. Your assessment of the author is wrong. If you read the entire article and still believe what you wrote is true, read it again. Please practice your reading comprehension skills.

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        Perhaps I am wrong. I fully admit I didn’t read halfway through the article before I got an overall sense that the author was trying to make excuses for the behavior of his friends and colleagues. I’m not going to waste my time hearing stupid excuses for something the cops shouldn’t have done in the first place.

        1. avatar rc says:

          Well, if by “trying to make excuses for the behavior of his friends and colleagues”, you mean “explaining how they followed the letter and intent of the law”, then yeah, stop reading. Otherwise, you obviously don’t give a damn about the law…you just don’t want anybody carrying guns. But, we all knew that already.

        2. avatar FedUp says:

          RC: “followed the letter and the intent of the law”?

          Don’t you mean “trained themselves contrary to the law, so they could investigate their own performance and find that they performed in accordance with their training”?

        3. avatar Gralnok says:

          To RC:
          Exactly how does not accepting some PR crap mean I don’t want people to have guns? I’d ordinarily take great offense, but I’m not sure I can if what you say doesn’t even make sense.

        4. avatar rc says:

          FedUp & Gralnok…sorry, I missed the point of Gralnok’s post. Thought the knock was on the guys open carrying. Read too fast I think. Anyway, general point I think Luis was making was that Florida (and esp. some Florida cops) are infested with NYC transplants and that had a lot to do with the way this went down. I think that is a reasonable point.

        5. avatar Gralnok says:

          Actually, I made a correction post above.

    3. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Yeah, you clearly didn’t read the article. If you would’ve, you would know the author spent a significant amount of time tearing apart anti gun police and anti gun culture of south Florida. But instead of using the flaming anti cop retohoric, he used actual facts and examples. You must not be used to that kind of article. You should spend more time here reading, and less time on MSM bash articles. The only bash articles you’ll see on TTAG will be due to caliber wars.

      1. avatar Dougboffl says:

        I know what the author is saying,

        .40S&W is much better than 9mm and .45ACP.

    4. avatar B says:

      Valdes writes; “Culture doesn’t just affect the common citizenry, either. It also affects law enforcement.”

      This is a huge problem when law enforcement administrators kowtow to politicians and give rank and file wrongful marching orders. These administrators are political pawns or even politicians themselves that have clearly lost sight of the road.

      Uneducated line officers approaching legal permit holders simply compound the problem.

      Valdes clearly outlines that not all police officers are educated properly on carry laws, including those with Instructor titles that spread inaccurate information throughout their agencies. Obviously, an embarrassing truth that needs to be rectified immediately through the State’s Peace Officers Standards and Training.

      Valdes, as a Police Officer himself, takes on a professional attitude by keeping himself current on the laws. This knowledge makes his job easier, and I would guess that when HE answers these types of citizen complaints, that he handles them with professionalism and competence. Traits we wish all LEOs would have.

      But it’s always good to see the regulars posting comments. The incidents in Valdes’ article are problematic from the Top-Down and solutions need to be made from the Ground-Up…..code 3! 😉✌

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        This is a huge problem when law enforcement administrators kowtow to politicians and give rank and file wrongful marching orders.

        And that there would be conspiracy to deprive people of their rights, in addition to deprivation of rights under color of law, both of which are serious felonies. Those law enforcement administrators should thus be spending 10+ years in prison — which would provide the appropriate incentive for the rest of them to promote lawful and just policy and stop depriving people of their rights.

        Of course that will probably never happen because the ruling class almost never hangs their own enforcers.

    5. avatar LJPII says:

      Wow, lol. Try reading the article first before commenting and making yourself look like a dumb*ss

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        I point you to my correction post up above, though would advise you practice safe sex and go f*** yourself. ☺️

        1. avatar UPS Driver says:

          I agree Gralnok. You made a mistake, then you admitted it and apologized for it. Nothing more needs to done.

    6. avatar CATMguy says:

      “I NEVER LEARNED HOW TO READ!”

      Comprehension skills also sub-par. 🙂

    7. avatar Alan Devincentis says:

      Should have kept reading, blah blah.

    8. avatar stevc says:

      ii thankyou the effort to get accurate information out to the rest of us; t’is appreciated.

  2. avatar Stateisevil says:

    The Florida GOP is crap. Won’t vote for them. Gunshine state my ass

    However, just because there is a house or building next to yours does not mean you can’t shoot. It has to be a residential neighborhood with more than one house per acre.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      The linked statute doesn’t even support the author’s statement:

      We have a law that restricts shooting on private property (property must be an at least an acre with one acre between residences/buildings)

      The relevant part of the statute says:

      Any person who recreationally discharges a firearm outdoors, including target shooting, in an area that the person knows or reasonably should know is primarily residential in nature and that has a residential density of one or more dwelling units per acre, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree

      So…

      1. The restriction doesn’t apply to all “private property” – just property that is primarily residential in nature. The statute does not apply to a bunch of 0.5 acre unimproved lots (i.e. no dwellings).

      2. As you (stateisevil) point out, there is absolutely no mention of any minimum distance between houses (“dwelling units”). The statement “an acre between residences/buildings” is nonsensical; an acre is a measurement of area, not distance.

      3. The idea that “property must be at least an acre” is not supported by the text of the statute. The residential density must be less than one dwelling unit per acre. That is, the average lot size (presuming one house per lot) in the area must be greater than one acre. When referring to “area”, “primarily residential in nature”, and “residential density”, the legislature was almost certainly not referring to individual properties, but multiple properties that would comprise a “residential area”.

  3. avatar rt66paul says:

    I still see cops and a chief that need to be fired and have their pensions taken away. LEOs that use those high handed tactics are not neded or wanted in the country.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      ….. now all you have to do is convince the mayor, city council, voting constituency, chief of police, city attorney, district attorney, and the black robe mafia the cover that part of the country. By the time it gets to the supreme court for adjudication, all of them are going to be retired or dead from old age.

  4. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    The dude in the pic being arrested has a legit white trash beard… Respect.

    1. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

      That’s the man who was filming.

  5. avatar Aven says:

    Florida is a Northeastern Yankee State that happens to be below the Mason-Dixon Line. The folks came down from the Northeast and brought their mindset and thinking with them. Calling Florida a Southern state is an insult to the south.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      North and western Florida are both very much like Alabama and Georgia. If only we could secede from south Florida.

  6. avatar LKB says:

    Excellent write up.

    So, what to do about this? Quite simply, IMO, sue the bastards. Sue the individual officers involved. Sue the cities/counties who employ them. There is no freaking way any of them should get qualified immunity (the go-to “get out of sh*t free” card that bad cops typically rely upon) in this situation, especially if can be proven that the local “cop culture” is to simply ignore unambiguous statutory law.

    It’s similar to the situation that was faced by people who videoed cops in public in certain jurisdictions a few years ago. What these people were doing was 100% legal (with lots of caselaw establishing that fact), but the local po-po still didn’t like it and so decided to just disregard the law and arrest the videographers on specious charges. After the lawsuits started coming (and the attendant motions to dismiss on the basis of qualified immunity started being denied), the powers that be got the message quickly.

    1. avatar Gralnok says:

      Lawsuits would work only against non government entities. They have infinite taxpayer dollars to fight the suit, and if they lose, infinite taxpayer dollars to pay out. A police department, as far as I know, cannot go bankrupt.

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Sue the individual cop, one of the suits could be a violation of civil rights if you were carrying legally.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Yes, those cops are guilty of “Deprivation of rights under color of law” and are personally accountable for fines in excess of $10,000 in addition to 10+ years in prison.

          As I stated above, however, that will almost never happen since the ruling class has no incentive to hang their own enforcers out to dry.

        2. avatar AngryAZ says:

          Pretty sure people of the gun will be willing to fund a legal action against jack booted Democrats we need to ruin cops and or their superiors who don’t bother to be up to date on basic civil rights!!

    2. avatar P Hall says:

      I wonder if a class action lawsuit would be possible?

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      LKB,

      Those men should have sent that letter to the local Police Chief via certified U.S. Mail with signature requirement and return receipt.

      They should also have personally visited the police station and recorded their attempt to ensure that the local police station knew the law and followed the law.

      1. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

        To exercise a right? That’s stated in the same statute that provides LEO’s their ability to carry? That’s rich

  7. avatar KenW says:

    I was raised down in Homestead and after the service worked in Downtown Miami.
    by the mid 70’s it was becoming obvious that the area was rapidly changing. Having to look at how a door was designed to see which way it opened ( little Haiti ) . Needing to learn Spanish so I could function in my job. The crime waves that were happening with the cocaine wars. Noticing a car fire when I left my house in the morning and finding out that night 3 bodies were in the trunk, and this was 1 block from my house. We were in the Dadeland mall when that place went nuts and after the riots downtown I said the hell with this and moved to the west coast. Smartest decision I ever made. But slowly this area is also changing, no longer rural, to many out of state folks live here now.

    1. avatar Renov8 says:

      I lived in south Miami during the cocaine wars…I lived about 5 minutes from the south miami strip mall where that notorious gun fight happened between the DEA and the drug cartel. My parents were out on a boat for an early evening cocktail party and drifted upon multiple bails of pot…and had to call the CG to have them pick up. I was out one night in Coconut Grove when the Miami riots started. We were driving thru town and were surprised no one was out….until we got home and my parents were glued to the tv, watching little Haiti go up in flames. I could go on and on about the stuff that I witnessed in the 6 years we lived there. Ended up leaving the area when I decided to go to school in Central Florida…nice change of scenery.

      Living abroad for 16 years and then moving to Miami…yes, it shaped my love for being afforded the Right to bear arms.

  8. avatar Steve B says:

    Thank you for a great article and explanation.

  9. avatar m. says:

    sue the mfkrs into the ground

  10. avatar RA-15 says:

    Thank you !! It is good to see a Leo that seems to be on the RIGHT side of this serious problem. It’s shamefull the way the officers treated the law abiding citizens on the pier. ” I watched the whole video ” people have to stand up to this type of Tyranical behavior by Leo’s. We are all human beings & the 2nd amendment should stand firm in every state.

  11. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

    You lost me at “At a minimum, they’re going to be thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them or worse.” – Sheriff Gualtieri

    Florida is turning into nothing more than a poor white trash version of New York.

    iF i’m wrong, SHOW Me.

  12. avatar Matt(TX) says:

    @ LUIS VALDES I owe you an apology. I expected something else. Thank you for the frank article.

  13. avatar Jay in FloriDuh says:

    1000% BS!!! About the cops not knowing about open carry while fishing.
    They know about it. They just don’t care.
    Otherwise, this article is 101% correct about the utter bull crap that goes on in this state.
    We have no gun loving politicians in any party. The North Easterners have totally F@#$%ed up our state.

  14. avatar DUG says:

    Enjoyed the article. Still hate when LEO take the “us vs them” attitude and immediately over react when their “authority” is challenged by law abiding citizens.

  15. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    “…and no non-permitted carry of any type except for vehicles and private property.”

    Not quite true.

    Gov Scott signed into law legalizing permitless concealed carry during a declared emergency.

    …and all the more odd since during that same declared emergency, guns and ammo cannot be sold.

    The Florida laws are a bit schizoid concerning guns…

  16. avatar Stephen M says:

    FL Carry has planned a much bigger open carry fishing day in Miami later this year. I’m gonna have to go, it’ll be fun.

    Maybe I should bring a bulk box of handcuff keys though…

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    “Not all police are bad, mind you.”

    Yeah, I’m sure there are one or two good cops in every state.

  18. avatar New Continental Army says:

    As a Florida resident from Georgia, it’s sad to watch this state slowly circling the leftist drain. I actually commend Floridians for fighting as hard as they have, against insurmountable odds, to have kept it a red state this long. Many other states would’ve capitulated long ago. At this point the fight for Florida will likely have to be won in the Supreme Court, which is a possibility now. Personally I say bring on open carry and hurricanes to the point where all the carpet baggers flee back to the hell they care from.

    1. avatar Stephen M says:

      As a FL native, agreed. I like hurricanes. The Yankees evac, I have a week off work to get drunk

  19. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    There are two Floridas. North and South. They are light years apart. Unfortunately, like New York, Illinois and California, the urban areas are beginning to exert undue influence on the rest of the state. I am a true Florida Cracker. (Look it up.) My great grandfather fought at the Battle of Natural Bridge where the Confederacy repulsed the Damnyankees, yes it’s one word, and threw them back into the sea. Tallahassee was the only southern capital not captured during the war. Anyway, I’ve conducted many traffic stops where the motorists handed me their CCW along with their DL. I would give it back and tell them, “Not only don’t I need to know you have a firearm, I don’t care.” Contrast this with some incidents a very good friend of mine had as a young deputy in south Florida. He told me that he stopped many retired L.E.O.s from N.Y. and N.J. He said they would invariably crack the window a couple of inches, hang the retired badge out and stare out of the windshield. Not even the courtesy to acknowledge his presence! Mark said he would smile and say, “That’s very pretty. Now, can I see your driver’s license?” And he would write them a citation. Every time. Most native Floridians I know wish we could build a wall from Jacksonville to Pensacola. This place really would be a paradise if it weren’t for the Damnyankees. Oh, and while we’re at it, take Disney World, and the rest of that bullshit, and move it up north somewhere. Then they won’t have to drive so far and we’ll be able to get around on our highways again.

    1. avatar Maybe Gator says:

      You and the author are 100% correct about Florida. This was basically my point in my comments under the original article where I was roundly flamed. The point is, these open carry guys knew they were poking this behemoth of anti-gun power structure and I would have expected the exact same treatment if I was there. Now, wherever the legal chips fall is fine by me.

    2. avatar Marty says:

      Hey Paul, sounds like Forida would be perfect for a state split, Northern and Southern Florida, then put up a Trump wall between the two.

    3. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Its not as simple as north/south. In general its more urban vs rural with a strong southern bias (southern as in the cardinal direction, not as in the cultural South). so in General the big cities and developed sprawls (which tend to concentrate along the coasts) are very blue/liberal. Meanwhile the inland areas of south Florida and the sparsely populated coastal regions (Thousand Islands, Florida Bay, Nature Coast. Forgotten Coast, Emerald Coast) are all very red/conservative. Lots of Area in the northeast and upper eastern coast (First Coast, Space Coast, upper end of Treasure Coast) while not full-on rural are still pretty red. Its really the major metropoles (South Florida, Tampa Bay Area, Orlando, Talahasee) that are the real staunch blue holdouts. Though Tampa and Orlando are a bit of a mixed bag. Lot of old school Florida crackers living there, and a lot of displaced carpetbaggers too. I myself am also a 3rd generation Floridian, there’s not a lot of us around. For those unfamiliar with the state, its very rare to meet someone actually born here, and almost unheard of to meet someone whose parents were also born here. Kind of a weird situation, and one that is the root of a lot of our state’s problems.

      1. avatar Marty says:

        That’s exactly how it is on the left coast. Western Washington, Oregon and Kalifornia are the Liberal shit holes. Unfortunately, that’s where the high population is. Just a few counties vote controls the whole state. In Nevada, just two counties control the whole state.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        You are describing the exact kind of “multicultural” society the globalist progressives envision for their New World Order. They recognize that cultural values associated with place leads to the kind of independence that resists government domination. Socially isolated, culturally unconnected populations are easier to manage into authoritarian states.

  20. avatar AlanInFL says:

    Luis, keep up with good work. We folks down in Florida appreciate the hard work you do.

    A side note about Luis. He did go to the capital after the Parkland shooting to highlight that the current proposals that was working thru the legislature would just make more of mess with the Gun rights in Florida than solving anything to preventing another mass shooting. We know how that worked out afterwards.

    1. avatar Luis Valdes says:

      AlanInFL

      Correct, I have been going to the Capitol now for years fighting for better gun rights for all. Sadly this last session, the GOP rolled over and stabbed us in the back. But then again, that is standard GOP SOP.

      1. avatar Jaque says:

        Oh boy did the RINO’s flip. And if a Commie like Levine is elected I have zero confidence the legislature is going to defy his plans for Gun control. He’s told us his plans.

      2. avatar AlanInFL says:

        I know Luis that the time and effect on the last trip to hear you out took the wind out of you. Yes, we went to FL safe lite. It could have been worst. But the simple fact that any rights that we have is been converted over to privileges slowly. Then we would go UK stupid. I agree that the RINOs are making it worst. So far within, the past three or four years, the state leadership sold out on passing alot of gun rights reforms in the state.

      3. avatar B says:

        Luis,

        Great post and we appreciate your steadfast efforts! Stay safe out there, brother!💪

  21. avatar RMS1911 says:

    “At a minimum, they’re going to be thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them or worse.” – Sheriff Gualtieri
    18 usc 241
    18 usc 242
    42 usc 1983
    John Bad Elk

  22. avatar Jaque says:

    I live in Ft Lauderdale. Native born. 64. CCW holder for 25 years. NRA lifer. There are over 1.4 million CCW permits in Florida. There is no excuse for police officers to be ignorant of Floridas firearms laws. None. No excuses. Perhaps legislation is needed to insure that all Fla LEO are trained in sections of Fla 790 especially pertaining to CCW and OCW exceptions. To make it “official .” The way the author describes it is that Cops are taught to “round up the usual suspects” meaning to treat all gun carriers as guilty. Miami Beach did. But South Florida is a Communist outpost. Has been for 50 years. Not unexpected.

    Now I know the law says its ok to OCW when fishing. But was it necessary to open carry on a public pier in a city far from wolves, alligators or pythons ? Or was this group of fisherman carrying because the law says its permitted ? I’m asking the question. We’re they testing the waters to see public and police reaction ?
    I’m sure it they were fishing on the levee near Mack’s Fish Camp no one would have been challenged.
    A few years ago Florida law allowed backyard shooting ranges. And some nuts in their 75 x 50 yards built a backstop and blasted away. It wasn’t long before the law was changed ending that backyard range “loophole.” Wanna bet the open carrying of weapons while fishing law gets changed real quick. And if a Communist is elected as Floridas next Governor we are going to have bigger things to fight. Many may become instant felons for resisting KGB turn in orders on mags and rifles. I believe it’s coming.

    Oh, I also believe in originalism, that the constitution means what the authors wrote and not what a Marxist federal judge “feels.” That means that all federal firearm laws are unconstitutional. That’s what I believe.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      That’s exactly why I left Kalifornia. Kalifornia is losing it’s good citizens by the 1000’s and are being replaced by illegal aliens. I forsee the same happening in FL.

      1. avatar Paul McMichael says:

        Sadly Marty, I think you’re right. My dad had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago. He’s doing okay now, but I know he and Mom won’t be with us much longer. Any room out there for a middle aged whiskey mike, conservative with an assload of firearms and a “don’t bother me and I won’t make you wish you hadn’t” disposition?

        1. avatar Marty says:

          Paul, sorry to hear about your parents. I know how tough that can be.

          You would be welcome out here at any time. I’d love to have a Bourbon drinking buddy near by as there ain’t many like us in this state. And we do have all kinds of places to shoot real close. Our Governor has become a real RINO, and after the recent shootings, the ass hole is calling for more gun control, including getting us into NICS. I doubt he will get his wish, as most of the legislature is fairly conservative and pro gun, except for the libs in SLC, but their not enough to pass anything by themselves. Time will tell, but in any case, by all means you are welcome anytime. Just let me know when you want to make the trip. I’ll give you my fire department email address and we can set up contact thru that. The Trolls can do whatever they want with that as it’s easily changed. Again, I’m real sorry to hear about your parents.

  23. avatar Hannibal says:

    Countdown to Florida passing a law to eliminate the ‘fishing’ exception…

  24. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    I don’t know if this is a mountain, or a mole hill. All my local and state news comes out of Tallahassee. You know, the capital. Television, on line and even newsprint. The only place I’ve seen this story reported is on this website. Maybe locally it was a story, but unless I was napping, the rest of the state could care less. Besides, if I understand correctly, after the fishermen were found to be in compliance with the statutes they were dusted off and sent on their way. Done it myself after getting things sorted out. You think every L.E.O. has state statutes memorized? I used to keep a condensed version in my patrol car. It made the King James version of the Bible look like a pulp fiction paperback. Marty and I have said it before; You think you can do it better? No, you think you can make it better?! Pin a badge on your shirt, strap a pistol on your waist, climb in one of those cars with a funny paint job and the blinking lights on top and go get you some! Or shut the fuck up!

    1. Did you catch the part in the post where Luis ID’d himself as a law enforcement officer?

      1. avatar B says:

        😉 Nice, Dan.👌

        Gotta read everything.

      2. avatar Paul McMichael says:

        Yes, I did. Generally, I agree with everything he said and thought it was a very well written and articulate article.

    2. avatar JPT says:

      “You think every L.E.O. has state statutes memorized?”
      Well to me they should considering it is their job. They carry the authority of the state and can totally fvck up lives and pocketbooks not to mention use deadly force where a lower class of citizen isn’t. Ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse for us and it shouldn’t be for them either.

      1. avatar Marty says:

        JPT, not even attorneys have all criminal codes memorized. They have to go to the state penal code all the time. When they get a case on a particular violation, they beef of on the law. Good law enforcement officers to the same. Not a chance they could have all codes memorized. You expect way too much of your officers.

        1. avatar Toni says:

          and that is exactly why 98% of law and regulation needs to be repealed. keep the laws simple and the punishments harsh and there tends to be more respect of the law. when the laws are so numerous that no one person can know them all it makes those just going about their daily lives unwitting criminals and so respect for the law is lost. this applies pretty much in every country in the world

        2. avatar Marty says:

          Toni, absolutely agree. It has been said there are so many laws on the books, every one of us commits a felony every day and we don’t even know it.

  25. avatar oliver says:

    The way I see it, anyone can purchase a police uniform and pretend to be law enforcement. Anyone. There have been way too many examples of this. Besides, I have zero clue as to what law enforcement wears outside of my home state. Anything that doesnt look like an NYPD uniform simply looks like a halloween costume to me. No offense. If you are carrying and doing nothing wrong and some bozo starts to point a gun at you, well, your training should kick into high gear. Get to cover fast and return fire faster. Tunnel vision on the hands and drill center mass. When the smoke clears the details can be then sorted by legitimate authorities. Better than being hogtied on a pier by some potential gangbangers or terrorists by a longshot. No pun intended. Seriously, if you choose to carry you should train for zero hesitation if you catch a whiff of deady force coming your way. Otherwise, just do yourself a favor and keep the piece at home and only take it to the range. Not being anti-law enforcement here, just pointing out that the sooner police realize that citizens who carry, and are probably former military and better trained than they are in combat pistolcraft, are on tneir side, then the less opportunity for tragic mishaps. I really hope they teach this in police academies. But maybe Im being naive. Oh well.

    1. avatar Paul McMichael says:

      Oliver, there have been L.E.O. impersonators. They are vigorously prosecuted when arrested. Oh, and they don’t usually tend to work in groups. Also, their vctims are usually sexual assault victims. Not a bunch of guys exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. Did the doctor drop you on your head at birth, or are you just naturally stupid?

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        Actually, there are websites where you can buy genuine police tech and gear. Substitute the fake stuff in where you can’t get real stuff, and you could become a cop in a weekend or less. It doesn’t help that some precincts have ridiculous vehicles. Apparently, Phoenix PD will sometimes use Smart cars as patrol vehicles, and I’ve personally seen a Prius in police livery. Neither of which I’d stop for.

      2. avatar Oliver says:

        No need to to be personally offensive Paul, you imbecilic cretin. Bless your heart to mention to any potential victims that after a good gang rape the impersonators were “vigorously prosecuted”.I’m sure your mother was happy with that outcome.

  26. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    I reflexively support law enforcement. Until they prove themselves, either individually or collectively as a department, to be tyrants. In this particular case, I’d have no problem of each offending individual officer being sued into bankruptcy and brought up on federal hate crimes for the denial of civil rights. It sure beats the alternative of what a really vindictive and vengeful citizen might demand. Politicians on the other hand should Stand trial for intentionally undermining the US Constitution and face the death penalty. Once a dozen or so of these tyrants are executed, I’m sure in the future, like minded tyrants will be disabused of continuing their subversive crimes.

  27. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    I guess Mr. Valdez, good on you for understanding the law as written. But as a law abiding citizen and a responsible gun owner let me say that it’s disturbing (and sadly no surprise) that we have a large number of people in positions of authority that either don’t care to acquaint themselves with the necessary knowledge they need to do their job, or worse, are deliberately ignoring it for their own desire. An incident like this should be setting off alarm bells within the LEO community because surely you must know, respect is earned and easier to lose. It takes just a few officers like the ones on the piers, whether willfully ignorant or not, to create a level of distrust that eventually leads to confrontations between law abiding citizens and those appointed to keep law and order. I would hope that those of you who understand that being able to properly do an effective job requires this respect from the community and are scrambling to regain it. The alternative is to become openly derided and completely ineffective.

  28. avatar Paul says:

    This article is the truth.

  29. avatar piper says:

    Cops can follow the law like everyone else or lose all respect, just like everyone else.

  30. avatar Kenneth G Maiden says:

    The real bottom line is: Serfs, AKA legal, law-abiding American citizens, must learn to accept their place. YOU WILL OBEY the overlords, citizen slime. You’re only good for tax money, so we can get fat and rich. Now, back to work peasants, cause we are hungry for your MONEY.
    Yeah I know. But I suffer in a commie state.

  31. avatar MIO says:

    I’m a LEO. Learn the law. Political Climate be damned. The end.

  32. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    Nicely written article.

    Very poor comment section.

  33. avatar Chip in North FL says:

    I would also like to point out that in FL not only can we open carry while fishing BUT we can also openly carry a replica loaded black powder pistol. Not sure why more people are not doing this. FL Statute defines a black powder replica as a “non-firearm”. FL Statute 790.001(6)

  34. avatar little horn says:

    bottom line: GTFO of Florida

  35. avatar Mike says:

    I understand and appreciate the writer, many cops have the attitude of “arrest all and let the courts sort things out”.
    It will take a major lawsuit with the courts ordering Police to train cops better or a cop being shot when they are trying to arrest someone who is obeying the law to change things.
    I was just following orders” excuse was used by German Soldiers after WW11,

  36. avatar Marty says:

    EOD, right on. The author was obviously a very pro gun cop who was against anti gun law enforcement agencies.

  37. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Good job, Luis. I think your description of how police cultures become dysfunctional is very accurate. What’s particularly scary to me is how familiar the arrogance and condescension the cops you mentioned actually is. I think everyone reading your article, regardless of where they live, has encountered this attitude. America is arming itself and a reactionary police culture is on a collision course a free citizenry.

  38. avatar JD says:

    This type of BS and other leftist mind think is why we pulled out of St. Petersburg and moved to way North Florida. Valdosta is the closest metro area for me. It’s almost like living in Eastern KY again. People are polite and shooting whatever I want whenever I wish is just one of the perks.

  39. avatar Tom says:

    Paul McMichael , I’m a gun toten law abiding citizen of ohio. You keep dipsy world , we don’t want it. Not all northerners are left wingers. We have the same problems you do. No offense , but I don’t like Florida . To dam hot and humid for me. However at 62 yrs old , I guess it would be better then shoveling snow . Lol. Regards.

  40. avatar Clay says:

    Florida paved the way to 911 by restricting the possession of a fully trained and experienced person when confronted by Mohamed Atta the master mind carrying out 911.

    Let that sink in !

    Did I mention I was that person disarmed by Liberal Florida?

    911? Florida you own it!

  41. First I am a 35 year LEO, and now train LEOs for a living. Second these cops have no knowledge of the law concerning Open Carry Exceptions or firearms in general in Florida. They had no legal reason to treat these law abiding citizens the way they did. They presented no danger, no actions they took, nothing they said or did, presented any reason for the cops to draw firearms on them and to detain and disarm them they way they did. The cops were in the wrong and should be held criminally liable for their actions. Florida State Staute is very clear on this issue.

    Something that citizens may want to address with the FDLE/CJSTC (the body that governs police training in Florida) is that police recruits in the basic law enforcemnt academy get ZERO training on firearms laws in Florida. I know that sounds unbelievable, but it is true. There are NO blocks on Concealed Carry or Firearms laws in general in the police academy state wide! These cops probably never had any training on the laws. I have tried to have this changed, but it still is the case.

    The officers have no legal standing for their actions. The citizens never presented any kind of signs of being a threat to the officers. They were not breaking any laws, they were following the laws of the State of Florida. Funny thing is the City of Ocala Florida had more than 175 people carrying firearms openly (both rifles and pistols) and not one single cop had any issues with it, and were actually talking with the people before and during the fishing event. Funny how one agency draws guns on and treats citizens who are not breaking any laws or doing anything threatening like criminals , and another treats them like the law abiding citizens they are.

    The LEO’s involved should be charged with Aggravated Assualt with a Firearm, a felony. The citizens should take their case to the State Attorney, and if they refuse it, they shoudl contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement criminal division.

  42. avatar TomC says:

    There are no Republicans in Florida.

    Just some politicians who are only slightly left of center who found that they have to call themselves “Republican” in order to run for office against the far left politicians who revel in being called “Democrats” because it reminds them of the Democratic Peoples Republics that they want to emulate.

    1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

      The last politician that even resembled a conservative from Florida was Col. Allen West, who they had to destroy because he represented an existential threat to their filthy ideology.

      1. avatar Marty says:

        Don’t know much about Florida, but I do agree Col West was/is a true conservative. I always like him and conservative mindset. It was a shame on how he got taken down.

  43. avatar Capt. Tom says:

    Just since Memorial Day we have seen how both good and bad officers and departments have handled open carry fishing events. Miami Beach was the poster child for how NOT to do it. They were either ignorant of the law or knew the law and purposely violated the rights of the law abiding citizens.
    Fort Pierce and Ormond Beach sent representatives down to support the events. Completely different attitude with completely different results. Miami Beach got itself a lawsuit and the others got cudos.

  44. avatar Theodore says:

    Yes it’s a nice article but in no way an excuse for their actions. Not only because they were notified prior to the date of incident but because the way they handled it. Even if the officers were unaware of the law you DON’T walk up and draw on people who are not a threat, even with holstered weapons. Had there been an argument, fighting or it was the nature of the 911 call, then I can see a possibility of drawing your service weapon. Belly up on the pier rail while peacefully fishing is furthest thing from a threat. I went through the police academy in the 80’s and we were trained to keep situations calm and handle it peacefully. Either these officers were poorly trained or they were told by superiors to make an example so they don’t come back. That’s called enforcing opinion and not the law.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      Theodore, I don’t think the author was in any way excusing the police misconduct. I believe he was exposing it and giving a reason, but not an excuse. The reason was perhaps lack of training and lack of training is certainly no excuse.

  45. avatar Alan says:

    Arresting Officers acting in violation of existing law should be hauled into the law courts to justify their actions, actions that are violative of afore mentioned existing law, ignorance of the law not serving as excuse. Their employing agencies should be sued into the ground, and the leadership of these agencies should be held personally responsible for the misdeeds of their employees, especially when these “misdeeds” are attributable to training inadequacies. If ignorance of the law does not protect John Q. Public, then neither should it protect those sworn to uphold the law, aka those Trained Professionals.

  46. avatar borg says:

    The person that was falsely arrested 2012 appeared to have black skin so it appears to me that he was wrongfully arrested for carrying while black. This is a good example of mindsets regarding minorities that exercising their rights.

  47. avatar borg says:

    How many armed hunters are at risk of being gunned down or imprisoned by cops despite hunting with firearms being legal.

  48. avatar borg says:

    At the minimum they’re going to be thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them or worse.” – Sheriff Gualtieri

    Or worse implies that this Sheriff trains his deputies to knock citizens down and point guns at their heads and to do whatever they want with them including murder.

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