Florida Carry logo (courtesy wikipedia.org)
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Earlier today, TTAG published a post by NRA Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, hammering Florida Carry for torpedoing a Sunshine State open carry bill. Florida Carry offers the following defense of their actions, along with a full frontal assault on America’s oldest civil rights group.

This week, an alert was issued by the National Rifle Association that Florida Carry was “cutting off its nose to spite its face“. It claimed that Florida Carry’s unwillingness to compromise its core values was the reason that we do not have open carry in Florida.

NRA is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. They were founded in 1871. Florida Carry has only existed since 2011. Who then is responsible for allowing the 1934 passage of a bill allowing the federal government to register and tax Suppressors and automatic firearms?

– Who is responsible for the GCA 1968 that prohibited us from accepting a firearm from a family member across state lines?

– Who is responsible for allowing a ban on certain firearms manufactured after 1986?

– Who is responsible for allowing the passage of the 1994 Clinton Gun Ban?

– Who is responsible for the creation of a flawed and failed instant background check system?

No organization is perfect, and no organization has worked longer than NRA to protect the right to bear arms. In many of the instances just mentioned, the NRA was backed into a corner by the politicians with whom they had to work, and a media that lied. The NRA compromised to protect what they could.

Florida Carry will not criticize another pro-gun civil rights organization because they believe they have a better way of achieving the common goal we all work for. But Florida Carry will also not stand idly by when attacked for opposing a deeply flawed bill and amendment.

Florida Carry makes no apology for its opposition to bills that did nothing to advance the right to bear arms that is the birthright of all free Americans. Compromise can be a wonderful thing that creates a country, or it can be a horrible thing that ruins one.

A compromise between more and less populous states gave us a Constitution that created a house of representatives and a senate, a model followed by all but one state. Compromise also gave us a constitution that allowed slavery to continue in this country for another seventy-five years, and a horrible war to keep the America unified.

For the past seven years, Florida Carry has worked closely and in good faith with the NRA in Tallahassee. We have not always agreed but have recognized that we had a common goal. That is as true today as it was before December 5, and on that day when Florida Carry had to take a stand that it would not compromise and allow its name to be heard in support of a bill that in our analysis, did more harm than good.

It is our hope that after these grievances are addressed we will be able to continue our good working relationship with the NRA.

Not only would the bill have had little practical effect on how inadvertent open carry by concealed carry licensees is treated, it would have resulted in over sixteen thousand Floridians being investigated for even erroneously denied purchases of firearms.

Based on the FBI’s statistics for denied purchases, only a fraction of such denials are cases of known prohibited persons illegally attempting to buy guns through legally licensed dealers. The bill would have caused flawed arrests and launched harmful investigations of sixteen thousand citizens to catch sixteen criminal purchase attempts.

For seven years Florida Carry has offered a compromise– ‘give us licensed open carry’. In reality, the Second Amendment has been understood throughout its entire history to protect the right to unlicensed open carry.

Of all the courts of this country to ever consider the question of unlicensed open carry, only one has ever held that the Second Amendment does not protect unlicensed open carry… the Florida Supreme Court. Florida Carry did not lose the Norman case. A group of liberal activist judges, with a preordained conclusion in mind, changed 226 years of understanding and court precedent that they did not like, and continued Florida’s ban on open carry by ruling that the Florida Constitution does not apply to the Legislature.

On December 5, 2017, another compromise was offered, for Florida Carry to support a bill that did little to restore the right to bear arms, other than to possibly prevent the arrest of law abiding citizens whose handguns became exposed.

The past six years have shown that no matter what laws are passed to prevent arrests for inadvertent exposure of a concealed firearm, anti-gun law enforcement and judges will subvert a law’s intent in order to advance a personal political agenda. Florida Carry chose not to be a part of this failed compromise. It is important to note that while Florida Carry’s opposition to the bill may be claimed as cover by anti-gun politicians, their votes were never going to go to support the right to bear arms.

Florida Carry acted out of a genuine concern for our members and all law-abiding gun owners.

One of the core principles of Florida Carry, and a reason for its founding, is that CWFLs represent allowing the government to turn a right into a licensed privilege. Florida Carry supports the right of all law-abiding citizens to bear arms, not just those who have obtained government permission.

As for the accusation that Florida Carry is responsible for the risk that 1.8 million license holders face if their firearm becomes exposed, the NRA’s email is clear that Florida Carry did not exists when the law was passed in 1987.

How is Florida Carry responsible for a 30-year old law that was passed when one of its founders was only thirteen years old and the other was stationed overseas? Who is responsible for the continued existence of the open carry ban in the twenty-four years prior to 2011 when Florida Carry was formed?

Florida Carry is blamed because its ‘folks’ ” . . . made a barrage of threatening and bullying phone calls to Senators.” There is no evidence to support such an accusation. To suggest that Florida Carry is responsible when a person is rude to a legislator using its name, is directly contrary to the NRA’s own position when a person claims that should be listened to on “common sense gun laws” because they are a NRA member.

As the NRA is quick to point out anyone can claim to be a NRA member and membership does not mean they speak for the organization. Since NRA’s email against Florida Carry we have received a number of such emails, it seems that Florida Carry does not have an exclusive on self proclaimed supporters who lack decorum.

To blame Florida Carry for opposing a bad bill that was not going anywhere to begin with was uncalled for. In truth, the bill that the National Rifle Association is criticizing Florida Carry for opposing, did nothing to get rid of Florida’s current ban on the open carry of Rifles or any other firearm.

As we approach the 226th anniversary of the Second Amendment on December 15 2017, ask yourself what the right to bear arms means. Ask if a refusal to accept half measures is the mark of an organization, or an organization with a true core of beliefs.

A core of beliefs it will not compromise on as it continues to fight for the rights of its members.

About Florida Carry

Florida Carry, Inc, is a nonprofit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental civil right of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self defense. Their website is www.FloridaCarry.org.

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  1. Funny but I sent in ANOTHER free NRA membership courtesy Taurus today.Coulda’ done it 6 months ago. I was profoundly ambivalent after the bump stock BS. What the heck I get a free deadtree magazine and insurance. And they helped defeat the Hildebeast…

    • I would suggest that you maintain your membership, especially when you can do it for free. If you have been a member for 5 consecutive years, you are a voting member. Vote for change. Lobby your local members for change. Check out http://www.adamkraut.com.

      Action by NRA voting members is the only way to improve the NRA.

  2. I’d like to maintain an open mind about this dispute between Florida Carry and the NRA. Unfortunately, based on what has been published here on TTAG, it’s impossible for an observer to reach a conclusion based on his own sentiments.

    What, exactly, are the points of contention in the bill? Skip the BS on both sides. What I want is a citation of a provision of the bill, an illustrative scenario, Florida Carry’s claim as to how the example will be worse than the status quo, and, NRA’s explanation as to why Florida Carry’s claim is invalid.

    I see no point dwelling on NRA’s failure to protect our rights in the NFA’34 or GCA’68. That was a different NRA then the one reincarnated after the Cincinnati revolt.

    Of late, I’m beginning to sense that the gun-rights advocates are capable of BS rhetoric as ill-conceived as that that coming from the Antis. What’s the rationale here? Are some gun-rights advocates taking the tactic that: If you tell a big-enough lie, long-enough and loudly-enough then . . . ?

    My preference is to stick to the cold hard facts. These are strong enough to support our cause. There is no reason to stoop to Progressive tactics; these tactics do nothing but undermine our own credibility.

    • Same take here. I read FC’s response in its entirety and found it just one long finger pointing, obfuscating, spin session, with no facts relevant to this issue.

      I don’t live there, but I do occasionally support organizations in other states whose interests I share. I don’t follow Florida closely enough to know what these Florida Carry people are up to, so this incident alone is enough for me to stay away from them and send money elsewhere. I don’t need internecine conflict and drama.

  3. The Progressive anti-gun Dems are laughing at this head-cracking between the premier national gun-rights organization and the state one. Although I am not a Floridian, I hope this rift can be patched up and we can all be united against the gun-grabbers and their legal henchmen.

    • Let them laugh. Its not like they can go on the offensive with any kind of antigun legislation in florida. the problem down there seems to be RINOs and cryptoRINOS who keep killing carry legislation because they are in someone’s (disney maybe) pocket.

  4. I haven’t been following this open carry/no open carry struggle in probably a year or two but what piece of porky pig politics, or rider was going to get attached, and passed along on this bill which would have opened an investigation on 16,000 Floridians?

    Bringing up slavery just seemed like an SJW tactic to me but as I said, I haven’t been following this to closely as of late

  5. Whenever I see the Psych Mommies or the Space Cadet or any other Bloomberg astroturf complaining about the “evil gun lobby,” I never hear them mentioning Florida Carry, only the NRA.

    There must be a reason why they are so psyched up specifically against the NRA.

    • Easy. Because they are the largest, easiest-to-hit target.
      If they succeed in invalidating the NRA at the national level then only the state orgs will be left to oppose the deep-pocketed gun bigots – and they won’t have the financial strength to stand long against Bloomberg and Soros.

  6. “Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.” – Patrick Henry

    Or to put it another way – Now you know why we can’t have nice things.

  7. I’m sure the next Floridian shoved face down and cuffed because his shirt rode up will understand Florida Carry’s adherence to their ideals in opposing this bill.

    • Learn the facts..Florida Carry DID NOT STOP THIS BILL.

      The bill was dead on arrival from the get go. REPUBLICAN Senate leadership put it in a committee where THEY named two anti-gun Republicans. They sent it there to die knowing full well the two anti-gun Republicans THEY put there would vote against it and kill it. Florida Carry supporting or not supporting had absolutely ZERO to do with the bill passing or not.

      Logically ask yourself….IF The Republicans were so pro-gun in terms of this bill do you think they’d listen to the NRA..with it’s millions of members and deep pockets…or to Florida Carry with a few thousand members and barely any money? Do you honestly think they’d go AGAINST the NRA to get on the good side of the barely blip on the radar Florida carry?

      Also….why didn’t the Senate President..a Republican..just choose to bypass the committee and bring the bills to the floor for a vote? It’s well within his power to do so.

      The FACT is that this is all on the Republicans…and pretty much everything Florida Carry says is correct. The NRA should be holding the Senate Leaderships feet to the fire…Marion Hammer should be blasting them and threatening some Florida Senate Republicans with F ratings, etc. Not sending out childish angry emails ripping apart fellow gun rights organizations.

  8. From what I can tell from reading TTAG, it is all the fault of Trump, Obama, and probably the tooth fairy.

    Quote Florida Carry
    “Who then is responsible for allowing the 1934 passage of a bill allowing the federal government to register and tax Suppressors and automatic firearms?

    – Who is responsible for the GCA 1968 that prohibited us from accepting a firearm from a family member across state lines?

    – Who is responsible for allowing a ban on certain firearms manufactured after 1986?

    – Who is responsible for allowing the passage of the 1994 Clinton Gun Ban?

    – Who is responsible for the creation of a flawed and failed instant background check system?”

  9. What has Florida Carry done to remove their lawless judges from the bench. Pass a judicial recall statute?

  10. Who controls the British crown? Who keeps the metric system down?

    Who leaves Atlantis off the maps? Who keeps the Martians under wraps?

    Who holds back the electric car? Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?

    Who robs cavefish of their sight? Who rigs every Oscar night?

    The NRA does! The NRA does!

  11. Florida Carry: Screwing over gun owners & passing the buck every chance they get!

    They must be part of the DNC…

  12. I dunno. Seems like Florida will never get open carry. Very divided state with a GOP majority, but, a huge swath are RINOs, and even the non RINOs are at each others throats.

  13. On one hand I have someone who has already leaked their hatred of the second amendment and has been selling me out since before I was alive. On the other I have a local group calling them out on their BS.

    I’m going to send Florida Carry a donation.

  14. Time for Floridians to start open carrying with little mini collapsible fishing poles on their belts I guess, #alwaysbefishingandcarrying… Just make sure that fishing license is up to date!

  15. I read carefully Florida Carry’s statement as well the comments so far. They’re all just rhetoric devoid of facts. MarkPA was right out the outset. What are the specific contentions between FC and the NRA? What exact provisions did they disagree over? What are the precise issues here?

  16. I put Florida Carry into the same category of NAGA and Dudley. More bloviation and no progress or solutions.

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