The Potentially Fatal Flaws in Florida’s Firearms Laws

Potentially Fatal Flaws in Florida's Firearms Laws

Form 4473, ATF.gov

By Geoffrey P. Golub

Whichever side a person may fall on Florida’s Firearm Laws, all sides can agree that the law as written should be followed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. That’s because a person’s juvenile criminal record is most likely not part of the criminal background check conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) or by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDAC).

The forms that must be filled out to purchase a firearm and to obtain a Concealed Firearm License are devoid of any questions regarding a person’s Juvenile criminal record.(1) The forms are most likely devoid of those questions because the Florida Statutes that apply to criminal background checks conducted by FDLE and FDAC never mention the words “juvenile” or “delinquent,” or even the word, “minor.”(2)

And it is usually only when statutes specifically refer to Juvenile Criminal Records that they are used in the same manner as Adult criminal records.(3)

Florida Statute 790.23, sections (1)(b) and (d), states that it is unlawful and a second-degree felony punishable by fifteen (15) years in prison for any person under the age of 24 to possess a firearm, if they have been found in the courts of this state or any other state, territory or country to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult.(4)

A person does not have to be convicted of the delinquent act to violate this section.(5) A person commits a delinquent act if they are found guilty of committing the act after a non-jury trial, or if they plead guilty or no contest to committing the act, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld.

This would logically mean that a person under the age of 24 who has committed a qualifying delinquent act, should not be able to purchase a firearm at a gun store and certainly should not be able to obtain a Concealed Firearm License. However, this is not always the case.

When any person purchases a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer, they have to fill out a firearms transaction record, otherwise known as an E-Form 4473.6 This form is issued by ATF and was last revised in October 2016.

The form has a set of questions a person must answer. One of these questions is whether the person has ever been convicted of a felony. A conviction for a felony juvenile delinquent act is not considered a felony conviction under Florida law.(7) Therefore, a person answering, ‘no’ to that question who has only been convicted of committing a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, would not be lying or falsifying the document.

In fact, even if a person were asked if they had ever been arrested for a felony and they had only been taken into custody for committing a delinquent felony act, they could truthfully answer, “no,” because when a juvenile is taken into custody by the police it is not usually considered an arrest.(8) In fact, for the most part committing a juvenile felony or misdemeanor delinquent act doesn’t even make a person a criminal.(9)

But that’s not the problem. The problem is nowhere in the E-Form 4473 is the person asked:

Are you under the age of 24, and if the answer is ‘yes,’ have you ever in the State of Florida or any other State, Country or Territory, pled guilty, or no contest or been found guilty by a Judge, of committing a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld.

Once the form is completed, a phone call is placed by the dealer to FDLE. The Department runs a criminal record background check pursuant to Florida Statute, 790.065 Sale and Delivery of Firearms, and either approves the deal or rejects it.(10) As of October 2018, a person cannot purchase a firearm until three days have passed or the background check is completed, whichever is later.(11)

Florida Statute 790.65(2)(a) states in part that,

Upon receipt of a request for a criminal history record check, the Department of Law Enforcement shall, during the licensee’s call or by return call, forthwith: (a) Review any records available to determine if the potential buyer or transferee: 1. Has been convicted of a felony and is prohibited from receipt or possession of a firearm pursuant to s. 790.23.

Florida Statute, 790.065(2)(a) only refers to the sections of Florida Statute, 790.23 that prohibit a convicted felon from purchasing or possessing a firearm. It makes no mention of the sections of Florida statute, 790.23 that prohibit a person under the age of 24 from possessing a firearm if they have committed a qualifying delinquent act. And this is why FDLE most likely does not review a person’s juvenile record prior to approving the sale.

Without that review, a person under the age of 24 who is otherwise not allowed to possess a firearm has just bought one, and no one is the wiser. In fact, the person under the age of 24 may not even know they have done anything wrong, since nowhere on the form were they ever asked if they had committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult.

Florida Statute 790.065(2)(a)(1) should be amended to read:

upon receipt of a request for a criminal history record check, the Department of Law Enforcement shall, during the licensee’s call or by return call, forthwith: (a) Review any records available to determine if the potential buyer or transferee: 1.Has been convicted of a felony or is under the age of 24 and has committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, and is prohibited from receipt or possession of a firearm pursuant to s. 790.23.

What’s even scarier is that same person in the example above can also obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm because nowhere on Florida’s application for a Concealed Weapon or Firearm License, provided by FDAC as revised in 7/16, is a person asked the question about being under the age of 24 and having committed a delinquent act. (12)

In fact, Florida Statute, 790.06 section (2)(d) license to carry concealed weapon or firearm, the very statute that the application is based upon, states that an applicant

(d) Is not eligible to possess a firearm pursuant to s. 790.23 by virtue of having been convicted of a felony.

Florida Statute 790.23(1) sections (a)(c)and (e) refer to a person not being able to possess a firearm if they are a convicted felon. However, Florida Statute, 790.06 mentions nothing about a person being ineligible to obtain a license for committing a delinquent act pursuant to Florida Statute, 790.23 sections (1)(b) and (d). And this is why, when a criminal background check is conducted by FDAC, a person’s juvenile criminal record is most likely not included in that check.

Florida Statute 790.06 section (2)(d) should be amended to read that an applicant,

(d) Is not eligible to possess a firearm pursuant to s. 790.23 by virtue of having been convicted of a felony or by virtue of being under the age of 24 and having committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult.

The application for a Concealed Firearm License does require a person to swear that they have been furnished a copy of chapter 720, Florida Statutes relating to firearms and weapons, and that they are knowledgeable of the provisions therein. But the percentage of people who actually read all of those provisions is probably about the same percentage of people who actually read the “terms and conditions” for something they are buying or applying for prior to clicking that they have read them all in the allotted box.

The people who have read all of the provisions and actually understood them all, would be familiar with Florida Statute, 790.23 regarding people under the age of 24 who have committed a qualifying delinquent act not being allowed to possess a firearm.

But why should anyone have to be familiar with those provisions, when it is obvious that the people who work for ATF, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are most likely not familiar with those provisions, and the very statute that governs who is not eligible to receive a license makes no mention of Florida Statute, 790.23 sections (1)(b) and (d)?(13)

The irony in all of this, is that a person could be prosecuted by the State of Florida for violating Florida statutes, 720.23 sections (1)(b) or (d) even though the same state of Florida allowed them to not only purchase a firearm, but even gave them a license to conceal it. The sadder irony is a young person not otherwise qualified to possess a firearm could commit a mass shooting with a firearm that he is licensed to carry concealed.

If the two applications were revised to add the question,

Are you under the age of 24, and if the answer is ‘yes,’ have you ever in the State of Florida or any other State, Country or Territory, pled guilty, or no contest or been found guilty by a Judge, of committing a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld,

and if Florida Statutes, 790.06 and 790.065 were amended as previously stated, then juvenile background checks would hopefully be conducted, and this problem would be solved.

Of course for this statute to be properly enforced, a background check would also have to include every state’s juvenile records and every territory and every country’s juvenile records. But perhaps that is asking too much.

Geoffrey P. Golub is a sole practitioner in Melbourne, Florida. He was admitted to the practice in November, 1993 after earning his A.B. at Washington University in St. Louis. and a J.D. from University of Miami School of Law. He spent two-and-a-half years as an Assistant Public Defender with the 18th Judicial Circuit in Brevard County. He is a Florida Board certified criminal trial lawyer. 

This article originally appeared in Florida Defender, the magazine of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is reprinted with permission. 

 

1 SEE ATF Form 4473 at: https://www.atf.gov ; AND SEE FDAC Concealed Weapon for Firearm License Application Form at:
https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Licensing/Concealed-Weapon-License
2 Florida Statute, 790.065, Sale and Delivery of Firearms; Florida Statute, 790.06, License to carry concealed weapon or firearm
3 State v. J.M., 824 So.2d 105(Fla. 2002)(“We also note that in other instances when the Legislature intended adjudications of delinquency to operate in the same manner as a criminal conviction it has expressly stated so. Id. at 111); M.B. v. State, 159 So.3d 960 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015)(A juvenile adjudication of delinquency will not give rise to same consequences as adult conviction unless Legislature has expressly stated otherwise).
4 Florida Statute, 790.23 Felons and delinquents; possession of firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons or devices unlawful.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been:
(a) Convicted of a felony in the courts of this state;
(b) Found, in the courts of this state, to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age;
(c) Convicted of or found to have committed a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony;
(d) Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year and such person is under 24 years of age; or
(e) Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.
(2) This section shall not apply to a person:
(a) Convicted of a felony whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored.
(b) Whose criminal history record has been expunged pursuant to s. 943.0515(1)(b).
(3) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (4), any person who violates this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 874.04, if the offense described in subsection (1) has been committed by a person who has previously qualified or currently qualifies for the penalty enhancements provided for in s. 874.04, the offense is a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 29766, 1955; s. 1, ch. 63-31; s. 9, ch. 69-306; s. 754, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 71-318; s. 169, ch. 71-355; s. 2, ch. 76-165; s. 6, ch. 93-416; s. 51, ch. 98-280; s. 39, ch. 99-284; s. 2, ch. 2004-286; s. 2, ch. 2008-238; s. 1, ch. 2016-42.
5 State v. Menutu, 912 So.2d 603(Fla. 2nd DCA 2005)(Explaining why a conviction is not necessary.); On the FDLE website’s “Frequently asked questions: Requirements to purchase a firearm,” it mistakenly states that only an adjudication or conviction of delinquency will prevent a person from purchasing a firearm:
“In addition to federal law, Florida law prohibits persons [from purchasing a firearm]             who:
Are adjudicated delinquent of a crime that would have been a felony if                                     committed by an adult until the age of 24 or until record is expunged.
Receive “Adjudication Withheld” on any felony or on a misdemeanor crime of                                     domestic violence and three years has not yet lapsed since the completion of                                     sentencing provisions.
were recently arrested for a potentially disqualifying crime which has not been                                     dismissed or disposed of in court.”
SEE: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FPP/FAQs2.aspx
6 Id. at endnote 1.
7 Snyder v. State, 650 So.2d 1024(Fla. 2nd DCA 1995)(“…an adjudication in a juvenile delinquency proceeding cannot be used to support a charge of felon in possession of a firearm.” Id. at 225); Florida Rule of evidence, 90.610(1)(b)(A Felony Juvenile Conviction of Delinquency cannot be used for impeachment purposes to attack a person’s credibility.); Rivera v. State, 792 So.2d 564(Fla. 1st DCA 2001)(Agreeing with Florida Statute, 90.610(1)(b); State v. J.M., supra (A good summary of when a Felony or Misdemeanor Juvenile Conviction of Delinquency can and cannot be used as or considered the same as a Felony Criminal conviction or considered for other purposes. )
8 Florida Statute, 985.101(4): Taking a child into custody is not an arrest except for the purpose of determining whether the taking into custody or the obtaining of any evidence in conjunction therewith is lawful.
9 State v. J.M., supra (“As this Court has recognized, the juvenile and criminal justice systems are separate and distinct and serve different purposes: A child offender, even after being adjudicated delinquent, is never held to be a criminal, even if the act would be considered a crime if committed by an adult. The key difference in approach lies in the juvenile justice system’s ultimate aims. Juveniles are considered to be rehabilitatable. They do not need punishment. Their need lies in the area of treatment.” Id. at 114.)
10 How do I purchase a firearm in the State of Florida?
(http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FPP/Frequently-Asked-Questions)
Choose a firearm for purchase at a licensed gun dealer.
Fill out the BATF form 4473 provided by the dealer for a background check. (For more information about this form, please visit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)).
You will be required to provide a valid form of government issued identification as well as any non-resident forms of identification. (Example: Driver License/Passport and/or Green Card)
The dealer will then contact the Firearm Purchase Program at FDLE.
An operator from the Firearm Purchase Program will query your identifiers (name, race/sex, date of birth, etc.) as written on the BATF form 4473 and determines your eligibility to purchase a firearm in the State of Florida.
The dealer is then provided with a transaction identification number (Control Number) and a decision on the transaction.
11 Florida Statute, 790.0655(1)(a)
12 Id. at Endnote 1
13 As noted in endnote 5 above, the FDLE website does at least acknowledge that a person under 24 who has been adjudicated of a delinquent act that would be a felony if charged as an adult would disqualify that person from purchasing a firearm. However, the website mistakenly states that only an adjudication of a delinquent act would disqualify a person from purchasing a firearm, when in fact as previously mentioned above a withhold would have the same effect.

comments

  1. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way…states that want to obstruct, impose special or create specific circumstances will ALWAYS find a way…IF FL has ANY kind of pre-emption law(s) on the books, this particular situation would be nullified by that or those pre-emption law(s)…

  2. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Nice move guys, you have once again proven the stupidity of restrictive gun laws that fail to do what you claim they will. Why do you think we don’t trust you and think you really don’t know what you’re trying let alone actually knowing what you are doing.

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Or, instead of “fixing” Florida’s firearm laws, we could simply honor our unalienable right to keep and bear arms and throw out most/all of Florida’s firearm laws — along with most/all firearm laws of every other state and the federal government.

    As countless people have stated countless times, if we do not trust a free person among us with firearms, then neither do we trust them with their fists and feet, matches and gasoline, knives, clubs, chemicals, poisons, and vehicles.

    The solution to dangerous people is to lock them up after they have demonstrated through concrete actions that they are dangerous.

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    I fear attempting to ‘correct’ this oversight will end up making the problem *worse*.

    Because we know Ag. commish Fried will worm her way into the process somehow and fvck us up the ass with zero lube…

  5. avatar Texican says:

    Abolish all laws concerning guns except the 2nd Amendment. Everyone can carry then and bad guys will be sorted out. There’s way more good guys!

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Yup. If government stopped infringing upon the exercise of the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms AND the unalienable individual natural right to defense of self, property, and others; most criminal shit shows would resolve themselves without all the tyrannical government interference. Instead, we get the ever increasing nanny state and the nanny is apparently a full time drunk.

      1. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

        I agree with both statements. As another comment stated if there is clear evidence of a violent crime being committed regardless if it is personal attack or property, it should be case closed both criminal and civil charges. All that is left to do is bag up the bad guy tell the family they should have taught the bad guy better. Is that cold and without feeling? That would most likely depend on how much you value yours and your family’s life and property. I value mine enough that my opinion is no it’s not cold and without feeling for me and my family and if the shit bag criminal lead a civil acceptable life he wouldn’t be dead and their family wouldn’t be less a family member. The law should only protect those that obey it and their should be no protection for those that seek to break it. I figure enough criminals get stacked up like firewood a lot more of them would probably think long and before committing crimes against another person. At that point they never know that next crime could be their last.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I agree.

          “Is that cold and without feeling?”

          I am probably one of the more empathetic people on the planet and, for many of the same reasons you stated, I don’t find it cold and without feeling. It’s survival; nothing more, nothing less.

    2. avatar Just Sayin says:

      I agree, Texican.

      “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” Robert A. Heinlein
      Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/robert_a_heinlein_100989

  6. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

    Just my unprofessional opinion but Florida should remove that provision from their statutes. Juvenile records are suppose to be sealed after reaching adult age for a reason. A crime as a child unless that crime dictates being charged as an adult would carry a great stigma into adulthood. We are also suppose to reach an age of reason that encompasses our morals and values and our sense of right and wrong. I would like to say things that are socially acceptable but the times we live in now that’s far too liberal for me to utter. As for the crime being heinous enough to be charged as an adult that would make all this moot anyway. The charge would be an adult record even as a child and would carry over, or should. Common sense isn’t so common and I think is lost a lot of time in our laws both new and old.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Nice idea, but the first rule of government is, once a record is created, it can never be destroyed. If anything, more copies of it will be made and archived somewhere.

      …to miraculously pop up in the future at a politically-convenient time, of course…

      1. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

        Documents not being destroyed is another nice in theory but failing in practice. Bill Clinton signed into law to make sharing of information across a departments of government easier and a must yet even Congress is told to submit a FOIA request for information they are entitled to by law. Loss of or safe keeping of information for the good of the government’s interests has always been a practice. If it’s in the government’s interest to safe harbor information then it is filed in Ft Knox and very easily found it would seem. The flip side of that coin is information conveniently disappears never to be seen again making it right only for the government leaving the other party(ies) out in the cold if you will. The real problem is those that have the knowledge and the ability to fight these injustices do nothing unless there is something to gain personally from it. When in the bigger picture they would gain the same freedoms as everyone else. To that end how much is personal freedom worth to the lawyers and judges that could do something about these injustices? On the other hand maybe they are like politicians and only care if those injustices affect them directly. Setting the rules in opposition doesn’t make those injustices any less wrong. It just makes those that would blatant do such a thing hypocrites that should be trusted no more than a wild predator. Aristocracy should have went by the wayside having won the Revolutionary War. It would seem however that that beast has only been sleeping for a time only to be refreshed when the timing is convenient.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I agree.

      The fact that one who has not reached age of majority is not considered completely competent to make certain decisions for themselves under the law should mean that all juvenile records are sealed (to legally prevent official copies from floating about) and then destroyed. The juvenile could not legally make all decisions during due process (I presume that in most or all states the guardian(s) have a say). The juvenile is biologically not considered to have the capacity to make some of those legal decisions. For the law to then hold legal decisions with potentially lifetime consequences against the former juvenile is hypocritical and tyrannical.

  7. avatar Michael says:

    Your assumption, my friends, that lawyers know the law is just one more example that, as a people, we have not been educated, we have been indoctrinated.-30-

    1. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

      We should know what is said about assuming. Lawyers know the laws that best benefit them and their paying clients. Meaning if you pay enough the law is worked in your favor. If you don’t well good luck with whatever you can afford but don’t be overly disappointed when you are bent over the proverbial barrel and given the dry shaft. Lady Justice is a greedy fickle bitch that sees all with a prejudice eye, her scales are calibrated for whoever can pay the most, and her sword double edged; one side false and the other razor sharp with both being unjust sometimes. Most people are dilusional thinking that government and law will protect them if truly innocent. It’s a sham that revolves around money. Furthermore if gun right advocates would realize it so is the fight for 2A rights. If there was no money in it there would be no need for a fight because there would be nothing to gain. As it is lobbying groups make money, lawyers make money, and politicians make money. We pay to play and then say things like Molon Labe and shall not be infringed. It’s all about power and money. Power and money go hand in hand, those with the most have the most. All more of both does is further the corruption. Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. We have and are continually giving absolute power to our government because we chose to trust the untrustworthy and fell asleep at the wheel.

  8. avatar Echo says:

    So basically what you’re telling us is a 4473 is going to keep us safe? That’s ridiculous so is trying to fix a system that is unconstitutional and delays honest law-abiding citizens from being able to purchase firearms by the millions every year. It’s happened to me many a times just because my name my ethnicity and my height match someone else that is a criminal. Delaying me my purchase even with a concealed weapons permit up to 30 to 40 days. The nics system is a joke and unconstitutional and should be done away with. More gun control AKA people control. After doing an interview I believe it was 60 minutes talking to harden criminals who have committed acts of violence using Firearms they found out that less than 1% actually purchase their guns from a Firearms retailer and fill out a 4473. They either steal them or get them off the black market on the streets. I live in Florida I can’t believe you guys actually covered this crap.

  9. avatar possum says:

    The potential fatal flaws in firegunms laws. The flaw is there should be no firegunms laws. Once you’ve served your time your rights, all of them, should be restored. This never ending infringement of rights only makes it that much more difficult for a person who has been rehabilitated to become a productive member of society. Not all criminals become good guys though, do the time, your free, a gunm if they want one. If he’s going to rob with it he’ll eventually get shooted dead. And another thing;>} When someone gets shooted dead criminaling the Law shouldn’t make such a big deal. Show up, busted door, broken glass, petunia stepped on, anything, No problem. Call the meat wagon and haul the dead guy off.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      The other part of that is that the non-rehabilitated criminal will just get a gun anyway.

      By definition the truly reformed criminal will follow the law and not procure a firearm. That person isn’t one for us to worry about and should have their rights fully restored. Reformed with rights gets a gun and is no threat. Unreformed just gets the gun illegally and uses it in another crime. Ergo there is little to no danger in giving gun rights back to those who have served their time.

      As is so often the case the law targets exactly the wrong people.

      1. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

        I agree from a logical standpoint to a fault I think. The reformed will follow the law and don’t pose a threat regardless and the unreformed will continue to break the law no matter what, those points are logical and I agree. The fault is giving the reformed and unreformed back their 2A rights blindly. Is there any other way but take the chance and see? Unfortunately I don’t think there is. That means chancing more lives with a somewhat known quantity. Pouring gas on an otherwise potentially dangerous fire doesn’t sit well with me for some reason. This subject has always sounded like a no win situation for those that don’t break the law. Is that any different than laws that violate the rights of the law abiding? Nope still a rock and a hard place situation where the criminal has the advantage.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Yeah, I don’t really think there is a “good” answer on this one. There’s just bad and not-so-great-let’s-hope-this-works.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “Pouring gas on an otherwise potentially dangerous fire doesn’t sit well with me for some reason.”

          The only other solution is to allow government to infringe on the expression of the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms. The founders saw where that would go. We see today where that goes. It ends in tyranny. There is no little bit of gun control with tyrants. The nature of government makes it an all or nothing proposal in the end. I prefer dangerous freedom to the perceived safety of slavery.

          Once government gets away with infringing on the RKBA, it doesn’t stop. That is the whole reason for the Second Amendment. While I can understand why you view it as pouring gas on a fire, government tyranny has murdered so many more people than all of the domestic “fires”. Government tyranny is an artificial, known danger. The process of dealing with dangerous individuals is a known natural risk that has existed since the beginning of humanity. I’d rather defend against the NGC (non-government criminals) than fight the might of any tyrannical government. Put another way, it is the individual responsibility to keep themselves as safe as they can and desire. It is NOT something that can be outsourced to government. It doesn’t work in the long term. Tyranny is the ultimate result. Besides, the individual still ends up defending, as best they can, against criminals. But, by this point, they have to also defend against their artificially created danger; government.

        3. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

          Agreed. That’s why I said it the way I did. However it’s a double edged sword. Don’t kill the bad guy and die or kill the bad guy and go broke in legal fees or worse prison because some liberal prosecutor has an ax to grind. Neither sound appealing to me. I agree with Strych9, there is no good answer here. One option really sucks and the other only sucks a little bit less.

        4. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I didn’t mean to imply that we were at complete odds in comment. However, I hope you will agree with me that fighting any tyrannical government (as an individual or unorganized militia) sucks far more than fighting street criminals. I don’t at all agree that one sucks a little bit less. IMHO, they are miles apart in suck.

        5. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

          Yes agreed fighting one’s own government is indeed worse than fight a criminal. Criminals are wrong and admit it or not know they are. Government thinks they are right whether they are are not. Knowing where you stand for both says government is and always will be the worst enemy when it comes to keeping any rights not just bearing arms. Bearing arms just helps to further guarantee the others. Lose the ability to bear arms and the others just as well be forfeit because they are sure to be infringed at will. The sad thing is so many that claim to be pro freedom not just pro 2A want to say that some regulation is a good thing. I personally don’t think any regulation of a freedom of a right is ok. Although as I stated giving the unknown quantity of known criminals that were in prison for the crime committed guns without knowing true rehabilitation is disconcerting to me. I don’t have all the right answers but I do know that those that don’t break the law shouldn’t be punished because of those that do. Quite honestly I don’t believe that is why the government wants to abolish or seriously infringe on the 2A. I think that is just the scapegoat they are using. Honestly I think it is about money and control. We don’t have to look back very far to see examples elsewhere in history. Most recently Venezuela comes to mind. How about Nazi Germany, North Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, China, and so many others. We have all of these examples of what happens to an disarmed society yet it doesn’t seem to register. It’s almost like people truly think it can’t happen here. Only it did happen here before I believe which sparked the Revolutionary War. Granted that wasn’t the only reason and should something so tragic ever happen again I don’t believe being disarmed will be the only reason either.

        6. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Spot on, Iraqvet2003.

          Carry on.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Aye, possum.

      We ought to also roll back government infringements on the natural right to defend self, property, and others. It would restore the balance rather quickly. I live in a bad neighborhood and currently am at more risk from government than I am from the local criminals. Should government successfully disarm me, I would face greater substantial risk on two fronts.

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    I bet there are plenty of police officers in Florida and elsewhere who got into trouble as teens. And I’m sure they are carrying weapons right now. In fact there are military members in this situation armed too.

    Sounds like quite a knot they tied themselves into.

  11. avatar Nanashi says:

    “Whichever side a person may fall on Florida’s Firearm Laws, all sides can agree that the law as written should be followed.”

    No they don’t. One side is absolutely against the supreme laws of the United States and Florida being followed as written.

  12. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Just because some jackass politician or bureaucrat dumps a load of manure on your front lawn, doesn’t mean you have to wade around in it.

  13. avatar Made in America says:

    Echo says:
    March 25, 2019 at 11:55
    “..….1% actually purchase their guns from a Firearms retailer and fill out a 4473. They either steal them or get them off the black market on the streets. I live in Florida I can’t believe you guys actually covered this crap.”

    Sounds awful familiar. HHmmmmmm. Change Constitutional Law and take away Civil Rights from criminals committing street violence???????
    MiA

  14. avatar strych9 says:

    I for one would like Michael Avenatti’s legal take on this but from the news it seems like he’s a bit busy.

  15. Whichever side a person may fall on Florida’s Firearm Laws, all sides can agree that the law as written should be followed.

    That is not a fact in evidence.

  16. avatar John in Ohio says:

    “Whichever side a person may fall on Florida’s Firearm Laws, all sides can agree that the law as written should be followed.”

    Speak for yourself, counselor. Shall not be infringed. “Law abiding” is virtue signaling by POTG. If you truly love liberty, one day you will not be “law abiding.”

    “The sadder irony is a young person not otherwise qualified to possess a firearm could commit a mass shooting with a firearm that he is licensed to carry concealed.”

    There are at least two sad things in this statement. The first is that someone commits mass murder. The second is that you support government infringement upon expression of the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms. Would a mass shooting be any better if the person didn’t have government’s permission slip? Do you really believe that a person couldn’t acquire a firearm or otherwise commit murder without that permission slip?

    So, you support gun control. Here’s your goat.

  17. avatar Truckman says:

    everybody should be able to own and carry a firearm I can understand them not being allowed in courthouses and banks and especially bars to many people become idiots when they have a few to many Thank God I don,t drink been where I am 23 years and there’s a bar less than a mile from house and never been in it and I have save a lot of money scene I quit smoking almost 40 years ago and then quit drinking can afford more bullets now

    1. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

      Why wouldn’t it be ok to carry inside of courthouses, banks, post offices, or any other city, state, or federal government building, except for prisons of course for obvious reasons? As long as you are not there to break the law with the firearm you are carrying then you pose no threat making the prohibition not withstanding. Bars I agree with but restaurants that serve alcohol I carry into all the time I just don’t drink when I do. On the other hand it is ok to take prescription pain killers and still be in possession of a firearm. Is alcohol really that much different? For me personally it’s not. Pain medication makes me feel lupier and sick to my stomach more than a drink or two does. What it all boils down to is responsiblity. Carrying a firearm is a serious and great responsibility that should require knowing yourself enough to know what you should and shouldn’t do while carrying a firearm.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Why not in bars? Granted, alcohol lowers inhibition but the idiocy and poor judgement comes from within. Better that they go stupid while they are drunk and less able to shoot straight and nature run its course in an armed society than artificially keep him alive or running around free in society.

        For most of my adult life I carried while drinking and I got pretty drunk in those days. My friends did the same. People who exercised very poor judgement while armed, drinking or not, used to find their own way into a casket or a prison soon enough.

        I firmly support the unalienable right of any individual, who is not in the legitimate custody of another, to keep and bear arms. It’s that whole dangerous freedom over perceived safety of slavery idea.

        1. avatar Iraqvet2003 says:

          Agreed but but like I said knowing what you can and can’t do while carrying a firearm should be paramount. You have and was able to do so responsibly. I have had a drink or three while in possession or having direct access to a firearm and I’m still alive and not in prison. As you stated those that do and can’t act responsible find there way to prison or death. I think of two drunks eventually in a shooting match with all others present in the crossfire. All for what being drunk while stupid? Sounds pointless to me. It’s guaranteed more than one person loses and it’s not guaranteed to be the two idiots doing the shooting. Good thing for me I don’t frequent bars. I don’t drink much either though.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Fair enough. I think that the dangers of allowing government that power is far greater than some drunks doing stupid, criminal stuff. At least when a drunk starts shooting, those around him can put him down. Grave or prison awaits him. Sometimes, innocent people might get hurt. But, that’s part of the dangerous freedom aspect. I calculate my perceived risks and choose where to go and not to go. That is the same for all of us. If I choose to go to a bar and remain where some loud mouth drunk may be armed, I am accepting a certain amount of risk. Of course, in real life, I would choose to leave then and there but I respect that others may make a different choice.

          I believe that we pretty much agree and just express it a little differently. It’s all good.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Unless someone is in the legitimate custody of another, they retain their ability to exercise their unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms. When in the legitimate custody of another, that guardian is responsible for the reasonable safety of those in their custody.

      Some examples:
      Those under the age of majority; their parents or legal guardians.
      Those truly incompetent; their parents, legal guardians, the staff of a mental hospital, or the State.
      Those under arrest; the governmental agency. (That means no more dangerous prisons are acceptable.)
      Those undergoing surgery or other treatment that puts them in an altered state and unable to make competent choices; the surgeon and healthcare team.

      Anything less in an infringement on the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms.

  18. avatar retmsgt says:

    How many times in cowboy movies did the so-called bad guys get their guns back when released from prison? They had served their punishment and were now considered law-abiding citizens until they proved otherwise. Nowadays ex-convicts might as well have a brand or tattoo on their forehead, because by our “improved” laws they’ll never, ever be permitted to be full citizens again.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I believe that branding is a feature and not a bug. The more people that government can disenfranchise from the exercise of their unalienable individual rights, the more power flows towards tyranny.

  19. avatar TRob ARob says:

    The guy who wrote this article needs to give his law license back.
    Form 4476 is a FEDERAL for not a state form. Under FEDERAL law if your state allows you to respond “No” to any question on the form then your state complies with FEDERAL law. FEDERAL law does NOT hold youthful indiscretions against those seeking to assert their Amendment Rights. Most states don’t either. That is why most states allow those under 24 to respond in the negative WITHOUT fear of prosecution. Think about it, the state can’t say it’s ok to respond to the question by checking “No” and then say “Hey we’re going to prosecute you because you lied and checked “No””. It’s similar to a person with an expungement. That person can legally respond “No” to having been arrested for a felony, because they were, but there no longer exists a record of the arrest. Same thing with a juvenile arrested and convicted before the age of majority, 21.

  20. avatar Toni says:

    IHMO ALL laws should before being able to be enacted pass a just and fair test (still with jury nullification in play though) and must also be thoroughly debated about their constitutionality or lack thereof. If that process has not been gone through with the focus being on is it just and fair for the law abiding (the criminals matter not as they dont care of the harm to others or their property) then it should not be able to become law. I would also put in place a law that places politicians, bureaucrats on notice that write more than say three laws with their name to them that dont pass muster or end nullified by jury trial be permanently removed from any govt position (even as a mail room clerk in a govt building) and potentially serve 10 years in jail along with removal of all assets accrued while in office.
    I would also make it so any politican pushing for his people to go to war in another country or simply voting for it Must serve in the front lines, not even somewhere in the rear. This i would also apply to all family members of said politicians who are of serving age. This i feel would quickly bring to an end politicians sending the troops to wars that are only for profit and not for just cause of which there have been many over the last 6 decades.
    These few things would make it a completely undesirable station for any of corrupt inclination

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