Florida’s had concealed carry for almost a quarter century. A less well-known part of the law states that gun owners can open carry while hunting, fishing or camping. An even less well-known clause states that they can open carry while “going to or returning from a fishing, camping or lawful hunting expedition.” As a result, a group of Sunshine State open carry advocates will be strapping on their heaters this morning, grabbing their tackle boxes and marching through Venice…
The activists in Venice say they want to educate uninformed gun owners about their Second Amendment rights in Florida, one of only seven U.S. states to ban “open carry” of weapons. A bill to repeal that ban stalled in the last legislative session, but the founder of the Southwest Chapter of the Armed Citizen League says current regulations provide all the cover they need.
“I suppose most people will fish for about 15 minutes and leave,” said Von Bender (above), 50, an Army veteran who also runs the Young Americans Marksmanship and Safety Association, as well as the Suncoast Gun Club for vintage-weapon shooters. “If we do this right, nobody should even know we’re there. We’ll only be carrying sidearms and they’ll be holstered. We intend to pass without notice.”
Which would seem to conflict with the goal of educating Floridians. The group plans more carry/fishing marches around the state.
“It’s like watching a scary movie. By the third or fourth time you see it, it’s not as scary. And fortunately, the Venice Police Department is very knowledgeable about this law now.”