The Gainesville Police Department responded to a call of a physical altercation at about 2:00am on March 27. Adam Benjamin Cameron of Ocala and his girlfriend were walking with some friends when they were accosted and physically attacked by Antwan Jerome Downs who was with another group.
Downs allegedly struck his girlfriend in the face and pushed her to the ground, after which Cameron was also hit in the face with a closed fist. He was reportedly “bleeding profusely from his nose.” That’s when he got a gun from his car.
The Alachua Chronicle describes what happened next . . .
The officer who arrested Cameron wrote that he observed the two groups in a verbal altercation and then saw Cameron produce a gun and pull the slide back to chamber a round. Post Miranda, Cameron, who does not have a concealed carry permit, reportedly said that after he and his girlfriend were attacked, he went to get the gun out of his truck “to defend them.” He said he had chambered a round in the hope that the other group would leave.
In the end, Downs was arrested and charged him with simply battery, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Cameron is facing a misdemeanor charge of carrying a firearm (apparently from his vehicle) without a carry permit.
As a former law enforcement officer, I never would have arrested Mr. Cameron. Especially since he was the victim of a crime and was exercising his Second Amendment rights in an attempt to protect himself and his girlfriend from a violent attacker.
This is precisely why Florida needs constitutional carry.
Right now a Foridian’s Second Amendment rights, let alone their right to self-defense stops at the front door of their residence or the passenger cabin of their vehicle if they don’t have a government permission slip. So much for Florida being the “freest state in America” as Governor DeSantis declared in January.
The Republican-led legislature killed Constitutional Carry for the third year in a row during the regular session. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. The Governor has called a special session for later this month.
The special session starts on April 19. DeSantis called for constitutional carry to be on the legislature’s agenda. It’s clear the Governor understands what’s at stake, but does the Republican led legislature? Will Florida join the constitutional carry club that will soon have 25 states as members?
Watch this space.
Luis Valdes is the State Director of Florida and Director of Outreach for Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands for Gun Owners of America.