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A primary obstacle to Florida open carry has been removed. The legislator who blocked open carry in Florida (as well as campus carry) was Senator Diaz de la Portilla (R) of Miami Dade. The senator refused to let an open carry bill out of committee in 2015.  Then he repeated the performance in 2016. The bill had passed the Florida House by an overwhelming margin, and had a large majority support in the Senate. From

And yet he singlehandedly has killed in the Legislature this year bills that would allow concealed carry permit holders to openly carry firearms, to carry them on college campuses, and to carry them in airport terminals.

As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Diaz de la Portilla decides what bills get a hearing there. All the gun bills were assigned to his committee, and he refused to hear them all, effectively killing them.

As a result, many Second Amendment supporters vowed to work against Portilla’s reelection. Last week he lost by 6,000 votes out of 179,000 cast.

More good news: Senator Dwight Bullard, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democrat party, lost his seat to a Republican, allowing Republicans to maintain their advantage in the Senate. The numbers are the same as last term, 25 Republicans to 15 Democrats.

Florida Carry analyzed Portilla’s blockage of the pro-rights bills. In their estimation, the Senate leadership orchestrated the defeat of the bills to give themselves political cover.

Through his resistance to calendar SB 176, Sen. Diaz de la Portilla is ignoring the success of the House companion bill for his own personal reasons, and denying the bill its deserved consideration by the remaining Senate committees. This is an intentional attempt at running out the clock, so fellow Senators are not put in the position of having to vote yea or nay on the right to bear arms on campus.

In this way, they can claim support for self defense by honestly saying they’ve never voted against a pro-gun bill.

With Senator  Portilla gone, Frank Artiles is added as a new senator. While he won’t be the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, he’s expected to be another pro-gun vote. As a member of the Florida House, Artiles voted for the open carry bill, HB 4001, last year.

Only five states generally forbid the open carry of holstered handguns. It appears that Florida will be the next domino to fall. That would leave only New York, Illinois, California, and South Carolina. The restoration of Second Amendment rights, increment by increment, continues apace.

When President Trump nominates Supreme Court justices who will uphold the Constitution as written, we’re likely to see cases that strike down more infringements on the exercise of the Second Amendment. Those cases may take years to work their way through the system, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

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  1. With over a 65% democrat majority, cold day in hell California will ever see gun rights restored. This state has systematically removed citizens gun rights with no regard to lawful self defense.

    • Restoration of Second Amendment rights will have to come by the federal government, just like the restoration of civil rights for blacks did. Expecting the government of California to do the right thing is like expecting the thieves to stop stealing.

      • 1. Technically speaking, California does allow open carry in most of the state–just not in any incorporated areas (i.e., places where you find other people).
        2. The federal government does not have the authority to mandate any state law. The federal courts can find that a state law is unconstitutional, and that’s about it. However, that is very unlikely to happen in the Ninth Circuit, thus leaving a single court that can reverse the course of California’s jihad against guns and gun rights.

    • Restoration of Second Amendment rights will have to come by the federal government

      This, exactly. Illinois’ House is 60% Democrat, and the Senate is 66% Democrat. We have concealed carry now, because a federal court ruled our laws banning the carry of handguns unconstitutional.

    • I’m hoping President-Elect Trump fixes the immigration problem. That has trickle-down effects everywhere – jobs, taxes, elections – and gun rights.

    • Yes, a carry permit in Maryland allows you to open carry (good luck getting one).

      It is also legal to open carry a long gun. Yea, that’s right. In Maryland you can open carry a rifle or shotgun without a permit. Ex-governor O’Malley used that excuse as to why he was against Shall-issue CCW laws because you could do that (and of course a hardcore anti).

      Of course good luck doing that in any place in Maryland not out in the sticks. Your average urban hoplophobe would call the police immediately and a SWAT team would descind on you with a boot on your neck. That is what O’Malley and the general assembly of Maryland wanted.

      • I’m sure the Florida legislature will find some other way of blocking these bills. With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the University Presidents and Sheriff’s of Florida, passing these bills will not be a slam dunk.

        • We did it in Texas, even with similar objections from university presidents and law enforcement officials of urban areas. Florida can do it too.

        • I am a gun rights activist working on the campus carry bill here in Florida and i can say from being on the ground and active in the fight that both these bills have a higher likelihood of passing then in previous years. I would say they will definitely pass but I don’t want to set myself up for that kind of disappointment.

          Due to Senate Leadership changes, the bills will go through all the committees. Only thing that would stop them from passing is nay votes, but because actual pro gun Republicans hold a majority in Florida’s congress, and with Gov. Rick Scott not seeking reelection we know he will sign the bills into law.

          I am very excited for these bills to pass into law! We are so much closer now!

  2. My hope is that the FL Supreme Court rules that the Open Carry ban is unconstitutional in Norman v. State. Even though that outcome is unlikely with 5 libs and 2 cons, despite the peruta ruling supporting Florida Carry’s assertion that CCWs are permissions and not rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. Getting that ruling, Hillary losing, and De Portilla getting boot would make my 2016 as one helluva exceptional year.

    • I doubt that the statist judges will do it. But this is the best chance we’ve had in the legislature I believe. I’ve been following this since 2011 and there are only a few anti gun republican senators. The senate president also is very pro right to bear arms. It will come down to the wire to get a clean bill passed but I think it can be done.

        • Hey, it always seems impossible (because that’s how our opposition wants it to look) until suddenly it doesn’t. Here in TX, I didn’t realize anything was afoot, then suddenly we had open carry, campus carry, and car carry all at once, I think the same day! If you have recently fired a few legislators, now is the time to challenge the rest.

    • What stops you from doing that now?

      Florida law does not provide penalties for printing (your handgun’s outline being obvious under your shirt), right?

      You might need to purchase some shirts that are the next size up to cover it but who cares?

      • Florida law may not “prohibit” that. But some officers and States Attorneys may find exception to it. Remember that Florida law also doesn’t prohibit accidental exposures either, yet people are still getting arrested for it if it is exposed longer than .001 seconds.

      • Florida’s laws are pretty backward in regards to exposing a firearm in public. An NFL player who has a FL CCW was arrested because an officer said she saw the handle of a pistol inside a vehicle. The player says it was under a T-shirt and all she saw was the outline. The charges were ultimately dropped but he did have to go to jail and post bond. It reminds us in “Free States” what life is like for people on the other side of the wall.

    • Worse than that. You now need a BBQ gun, you know, engraved, maybe some inlay, expensive grips, and a holster which is made of several colors of leather yet shows off your fancy gun well.

    • I will finally get to wear a full sized gun again.. Carrying mouse guns never made me happy IWB not even my Officers 45. Now the full sized 1911 and Hi-Powers come out of the safe. Heck might even carry my Canik SA.
      A belt holster and a t-shirt that prints. Who could ask for more???

  3. It’s not the soon to be ex-senator’s fault, it’s all Trump’s fault: (yeah, keep telling yourself that, RINOs)
    “Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, the incoming Senate president, blamed Diaz de la Portilla’s defeat on the unpopularity of Donald Trump and surge of voters in that district.

    “Donald Trump helped in most parts of the state, but his poor showing in Miami-Dade County hurt Sen. Diaz de la Portilla,” Negron said in an interview. “It really is a compliment that the race was as close as it is.”

    • just a show of circling the wagons because Negron wants to take Marco Rubio’s or Bill Nelson’s (preferably Nelson’s) Senate seat.

    • Let’s see, we’re in a heavily Dem area, I bet the way to victory is to insult and alienate Republicans! Yeah! That must be the ticket. So long, loser!

  4. Shocking (as last few elections) the marxist mediatards have yet to report of the success of Conservativesand the Gun Lobby in State races. Apparently BIG wins again

    Here in Iowa IGO won big. My 12yr Demtard school teacher senator lost big 60/40. His history was lockstep voting with the demtard senate majority leader who blocked gun legislation. At same time the dem house rep covering the same area but who voted right on firearms won handily. Notable is that the hell froze over and the demtard senate majority leader (“Governor” Gronstal) also LOST as well as a couple other targeted Senators. The GOP took control of the Iowa Senate for 1st time since 2007. Hats off to the IGO.

  5. Committee chairmanships are usually granted by seniority among the majority party, but not always. The party leadership can make exceptions.

    I’m wondering who is next in GOP seniority on that committee and would likely become the next chairman? If this jackwagon’s role as chairman was to protect many RINO gun haters from having to reveal themselves in an up or down an open carry bill, and thus endure the consequences, then that is an institional imperative of the RINO leadership. They’re unlikely to install a pro-open carry guy in that same position.

  6. Tack on Constitutional Carry along in that Florida open carry bill and I think it’s likely to pass, no? Republicans hold a majority in the senate and house and have a Republican governor.

    • I’ll be very surprised to see Constitutional carry here in Florida.

      I’d really like to see it, but I just don’t see it happening…

      • I know what you mean, I think the city folk will get nervous and run to a safe space at the thought of permitless carry, but there are more R’s than D’s and that’s got to count for something.

  7. Funny how in the late 80’s, FL was saying OC was better than CC. A couple decades with shall-issue and no doom/gloom happened like they claimed, so now they OC is worse than CC.

    • That was the compromise to get “shall Issue” not so much to get a CCW. We had open carry and only good in your home county CCWs In county only blew goats.. It was the shall issue that was the sticking point back in 87. A well worth it trade off to get things going nationally. Id say.

  8. if states can’t enforce immigration laws not a Constitutionally protected right how can they make gun / knife laws? supremacy clause the Constitution Trumps all federal statutes and state laws involving arms.

  9. Thank you people of South Florida.
    You have removed the biggest obstacle to Open Carry and Guns in Universities, here in Florida.
    Excellent chance of going through this coming year.

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