Our reader on the ground in the Sunshine State reports:

Like Westley in The Princess Bride, Florida’s open carry bill currently in the Senate judiciary committee, SB-140, is only mostly dead. But it has one hell of a fight ahead of it and could use a prayer or two.

The main obstacles: Senators Rene Garcia (above) and Anitere Flores. That may seem surprising; both of them voted in favor of Sen. Rob Bradley’s SB 128 (self defense burden of proof).

Alex Blair, legislative assistant to Sen. Greg Steube, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, stated that he was getting calls left and right and receiving a deluge of emails about the bill’s fate. He stated that the chairman has four more weeks of committee meetings left to work on SB 140 and that Sen. Steube has two plans of attack.

1. Push the bill through committee as one piece and see if it gets voted on and passes
2. Break the bill into separate items; one for open carry, another for campus carry, and a third for airport carry

But he emphasized that Senators Flores and Garcia are the two holdouts currently standing in the way.

Senator Anitere Flores (R)

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S39

District Office
10691 North Kendall Dr. Suite 309
Miami, FL 33176
(305) 270-6550

Tallahassee Office
404 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5039

Senator Rene Garcia (R)

https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S36

District Office
1490 West 68th Street Suite 201
Hialeah, FL 33014
(305) 364-3100
FAX (305) 364-3110

Tallahassee Office
310 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5036

I went to offices of both Sen. Flores and Sen. Garcia. Staff members in both stated that presently they have no comment on the bill. However the body language of the person I talked to in Sen. Garcia’s office said it all. Sen. Garcia is no fan of open carry. Sen. Flores’ Miami office had already let the cat out of the bag…we know where she stands.

Marion Hammer of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and the unofficial voice of the NRA was there, as was Eric J. Friday of Florida Carry.

Alex Blair, Senator Steube’s legislative aide, told me that under no circumstances does the Senator want to see SB 140 die.

I told him flat out that no matter what, it needs to go to a vote. If it doesn’t, that would be a repeat of the death of a similar bill last year engineered by now former Senator Miguel Díaz de la Portilla.

If it dies, we’ll get to see clearly who the turncoats were and they will face the same electoral fate as Senator Diaz.

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33 Responses to Rumors of Florida Open Carry Law’s Death Have Been (Slightly) Exaggerated

  1. I emailed Elizabeth my Lee County FL representative and thanked her for her “yes” vote putting the burden of proof back on the government where it belongs. I also emailed her in a sympathetic way regarding open carry, understanding that tourism helps drive our economy from people all over the world. People like to travel to new places partly to experience a new culture. Part of the American culture is the individual right to bear arms. I also asked her to look into the impacts open carry has had in other large population states like Texas. Looks like others did the same. Though I don’t ever see myself open carrying people should have that choice.

    • I just want the po-po to stop ignoring the Constitution. There are many times I wish I could open carry in Fla, especially in the summer. Plus NO ONE should have to get government permission to exercise a right.
      Let’s not get distracted by arguments about ‘tactics’ and letting politicians use foreign sheep to dictate the exercise of our fundamental rights.

    • So far as I know, Scott indicated last year that he would sign it if they got it to his desk.

      I don’t know that he’s a big fan of guns, but he’ll sign it.

    • With the political “fixes” that have been happening, Gov. Scott doesn’t want those bills near his desk, and he’s fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way. He has NEVER opened his mouth to support the bills’ passage. He is more concerned about the tourism dollars, same as the RINOs in the Legislature. Notwithstanding, tourism would not be hurt.

    • Deserve? Maybe, maybe not. As a group, what they ask for? Generally, yes.

      Unfortunate but true.

      Really, as much as we complain about politicians (and Lord knows politicians deserve it), they are a reflection of the overall society. [Channeling Carlin] Some winners, a whole lot of losers. Some smart and well informed people and a whole lot of stupid and/or ignorant folks.

      Looking at how bad the public school system was when I was in it all of 15 years ago and how far downhill it’s gone in the intervening decade and a half… I don’t find the ignorant part surprising.

      • “Really, as much as we complain about politicians (and Lord knows politicians deserve it), they are a reflection of the overall society.”

        One of the things that gives me hope is the fact that we’ve proved that someone who isn’t a career politician actually can win a US presidential election.

        Previously, those who were potentially excellent presidents would have never bothered to run, believing it just couldn’t be done.

        Trump shattered that glass ceiling with a proverbial Dillon Aero Mini-gun. Now, there are some truly gifted ‘leaders’, people out there who can conduct the symphony that is America and start digging us out of the hole we are in now for the past 50+years.

        The November political earthquake just may have been more monumental than we realize. This may end up being the close of America v1.0 and the rebirth of America as America v2.0.

        If we don’t blow it.

        “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

        “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

        B. Franklin – The Constitutional Convention of 1787

    • The Venezuelans that voted for Hugo Chavez got the government they deserved. But the Venezuelans that knew better were forced to pay the same heavy price.

    • My repeating question, along the lines of “the government you deserve”, is how have we evolved a system where one person in a committee can prevent the rest of the elected legislators from even getting to vote on the bill? We see this time and again on both State and federal levels. For some reason there always seems to be one partisan hold-out in a position to prevent a bill from seeing the light of day and getting to a full vote. And if that weren’t bad enough when a law is passed the vote of a single judge can stymie its intent and tie it up in appeals forever. Then, on the off chance it makes its way to SCOTUS it takes only one rogue justice to put a stake through its heart!

      What is the point of a legislature of democratically elected representatives if the system doesn’t give them a chance to vote on the things their constituents want?

      • “…how have we evolved a system where one person in a committee can prevent the rest of the elected legislators from even getting to vote on the bill?”

        There are books devoted to this topic. Procedure has evolved along the same lines but independently in the various states and at the federal level. Generally speaking procedure can be used for good or for ill and those that understand it the best get their way much more often than those who do not. This is what made Harry Reid so damnably effective at his job.

        Long story short: It’s imperative to keep in mind that the whole system, at both the state and the federal level, is and was originally, designed to impede the passage of laws. This is, in part, why Congress has delegated so much of it’s own authority to agencies like the ATF, DEA, FDA etc.

        The concept, like it or not, is not that the people should always get their way but rather that public policy should be well reasoned, Constitutional and sensible. The idea is that it’s difficult to pass new laws, which is supposed to prevent lawmaking in a fit of passion spurred by the shifting opinions of the public and thereby add some stability to our legal system. The hope here is that, with so many possible ways to block legislation, laws are not passed unless they’ve been well thought out and enjoy long lasting and enthusiastic public support. Even those that enjoy the latter but are repugnant to civil rights, the rule of law or simply haven’t been thought out will be stopped by those employing reason and legal understanding.

        To put this in gun terms, every time there is a major mass shooting the public support for various gun control schemes spikes. However that support rapidly wanes. The system is designed to prevent the legislature from looking at that fit of pique and rapidly responding to it with knee jerk legislation. One person can stand up in many situations and say “Whoa, hold on here, we don’t need to go banning an entire class of firearms because one asshole misused one” and thereby prevent the passage of a new AWB.

        Unfortunately, over time we’ve built up an enormous pile of laws that are repugnant to the Constitution(s), not well thought out and often don’t enjoy great public support. However, repealing them requires the same process as passing them originally which means it’s very difficult to do. It’s not that the system has really evolved that much, but rather than over the course of 200+ years the number of laws on the books has grown.

        Also remember, just because you’re not getting what you want right now is not a reason to change the system. If you do, at some point in the future you will seriously regret having done so. Just ask the Democrats about how they feel about the “nuclear option” these days.

  2. “I went to offices of both Sen. Flores and Sen. Garcia. Staff members in both stated that presently they have no comment on the bill.”

    Thank you for putting in the legwork to show up in their offices in person.

    That throws more weight than e-mails or calls…

  3. why don’t they put it to a public vote and see what the people have to say. who are to say what is right for us they need to listen to there constituants who gave them the job

    • Be careful on that – initiatives and referendums are the playground of folks like Bloomberg – paid petitioners, ballot box stuffers, saturation campaigning. In Washington, our UBC bill probably wouldn’t have stood a chance in the legislature, but once you turn it over to the low-information voters, it barely squeaked by in a popular vote. You might expect the same thing with open carry.

      • It truly didn’t stand a chance in the legislature — it was voted down twice by the legislature before the progtards convinced the plutocrats to bankroll a referendum initiative.

    • Society would be in such bad shape; If we did things that way, the country would have an illegal emigration problem instead of an illegal immigration problem.

      The huge number of naive people that do not vote is a blessing. The only reason we have any freedoms left at all is because swathes of the population are thankfully too stupid to be interested in voting.

      We need to go back to having just the land owners vote, or better yet, just the veterans and tax-payers.

      • “We need to go back to having just the land owners vote, or better yet, just the veterans and tax-payers.”

        I would tend to agree with your statement!

    • We have that in Ca, they are called propositions. Big money get people to sign petitions, some of these guys carry around 7 or 8. They get paid by the signature about $9 apiece + they get paid to sign people up to vote. They sit outside of supermarkets/malls/post office/banks and sometimes will have petitions that seem to contradict the other ones.
      These never go through the legal process(because they would never get out of committee at the legalislature) and are written to look good, but you only have to follow the money to see who makes out.
      The most famous was prop 13, designed to save grandma’s home from taxes(they could have given seniors a break, or allowed them to offset until they left the home). It helped those that had thier property the longest and turned back to 1976 assesments. The fact is, that most people buy and sell every 6 years, so they get taxed at higher rates and older people did not want to move and lose their tax situation. Then you have one widow living in a 4 bedroom home in every other house in the city. The schools do not get funded, neither does anything else. In poor areas with lots of kids, the schools don’t even have books.
      It was the owners of rental units, commercial properties and the farms and railroads that got the break. They just incorporated each large property and then sold the corporation. So, places with a lot of rentals do not fund the schools.
      Then, they want to send these kids to “charter schools” or just inter-district to the “better” schools, which we paid a large premium on our property for our own children. In my book, that is stealing.
      That is what that system could do. So open carry could end up taxing holsters, every round of ammo you buy or force a yearly fee on you. It could even set up programs against firearms at mandatory classes at the schools. That is how these things work.

  4. This doesn’t really surprise me.

    I don’t know much about the geographic/demographic breakup of Florida and it’s districts but I do know that the state has gotten a lot of people moving to it from the New York and New Jersey area. The exodus from where my extended family lives in NJ is nearly ALL anti-gun folks headed to the Sunshine State. So many new Floridians are vehemently anti-gun and if you get enough of them in someone’s district the person representing that district are not going to vote for pro-gun bills.

    As much as that sucks, it is kind of the way things are supposed to work. Whether the individual representative of the people believes in a bill or not doesn’t matter much. What’s supposed to matter is how their constituents feel about it. Yes, yes, public opinion is not supposed to affect civil rights, well that’s not reality and never has been.

    Florida may simply be in a position where there are enough anti-gun folks placed around the state that OC is effectively dead going forward. If that’s the case then that sucks for gun folks but, barring a court case in those people’s favor, it’s not going to change.

    The silver lining: at least James Yeager won’t give a sermon about how concealed carry is the only way anyone should ever carry gun with no exceptions. Oh, wait… he’ll do that anyway that anyway and his fanboys will parrot it ad nauseam. Never mind, there isn’t a silver lining.

    • The good thing here is that the New Yorkers who were anti-gun in their neighborhoods with thier kids and gangs are usually seniors that feel vulnerable to crime. They see how CCW works in Fla and many seniors will do a 180 in thier views and at least have a firearm at home for protection. If good samaritan shootings get on the news, they will get won over to be pro-firearms.
      It happens in Az, all the time.

      • No offense but I don’t buy it. Maybe, at best 3/10ths of them change their mind, at best.

        All those assholes from Cali come to Colorado. They complain about how expensive, overtaxed and over regulated California is. They complain about the lack of freedom too.

        Then they vote the same way here that they did in Cali and Colorado slowly slides down the shitter. Those opinions rarely change.

        The 2013 laws are nearly never enforced here. They’re widely ignored by police and civvies alike. In the next few years I expect that to change as more and more anti-gun assholes come here for the views and the legal weed. They’ll pressure the state to enforce those laws and the state will. The same way the state was pressured to pave a bunch of previously unpaved roads out to wilderness areas. Cause you know, people with a Prius shouldn’t be limited in their access to the wilderness. So the state does pave roads out into those areas. Now those areas are trashed.

        Liberals are like locusts. They don’t change. They just ruin a place and move on to the next.

  5. I would drop oppen carry from bill so long the corrupted queen anitere flores is not replaced and make an big more legal place bill.

    1.) Campus
    2.) K12
    3.) Bar
    4.) Seaport
    5.) Polling Place
    6.) Wildlife
    7.) Professionel Events
    8.) Career Center
    9.) Savannas Preserve State Park
    10.) Government Meeting

    thats a lot of places where criminals are supported

  6. I’m really curious as to the Lack of anti open carry comments coming from the pi$$ ignorant fudds that just couldn’t wait to show their asses, I mean express their opinions on this site in regards to the Texas open carry legislation being debated in 2015? Where are all those Operators now? All the blood running like a river, Wild West, first to get shot blah, blah, bullshite!

    We here in Texas sincerely hope you folks in Florida can get er done this year. Open carry is truly a blessing when you’re living in a state with summers like ours have, not to mention not having to worry about printing and accidental exposure.

    Best of luck Florida…keep up the good fight! 🇨🇱

  7. “SB-140, is only mostly dead. But it has one hell of a fight ahead of it and could use a prayer or two.”

    Please don’t pray in lieu of taking action.

  8. Problem is that The Florida Constitution holds that
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.

    That needs to change,
    if the the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.
    then in reality there is no
    right of the people to … bear arms

  9. Could it be that the NRA is whispering in Senators Garcia’s and Flores’ ears here? Their agenda of the last thirty years has been pushing bills prescribing concealed carry with government-issued permission slips in lieu of constitutional permitless open carry, after all.

  10. Supposed supporter of our rights, Senate President Joe Negron, could solve this right now. He has the authority to put the bills on the Senate floor regardless of Flores and Garcia. Will he? Or will he agree with them that the bills should not get an honest vote? Call and email him to ask what he will do. The clock is ticking.

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