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Earlier today we ran a post from a reader regarding the legislative bottleneck holding up Florida Senate Bill 140 which would legalize open carry in the Sunshine state. That reader has since gotten some more details on the situation, none of it good:

Sen. Greg Steube’s office has told me that the good Senator is still on board with open carry, but the problem he is now facing is the other committee members. There are nine total (counting Sen. Steube) and of the eight other members, four are Republican. And we know that the three Democrat members won’t vote in favor of the open carry bill.

Chair: Senator Greg Steube (R)
Vice Chair: Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R)
Senator Anitere Flores (R)
Senator Rene Garcia (R)
Senator Debbie Mayfield (R)
Senator Bobby Powell (D)
Senator Perry E. Thurston, Jr. (D)
Senator Audrey Gibson (D)
Senator Randolph Bracy (D)

That’s a 5/4 split in favor of open carry. Theoretically. This should be a cake walk. Five Republicans members means the Democrats aren’t even an issue. But here we have four Republicans that aren’t currently in favor of strengthening and further securing the 2nd Amendment in Florida.

Here is the contact information for the four Republicans who are selling our constitutional rights down river:

Vice Chair of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee: Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R)

District Office
2310 First Street Unit 305
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 338-2570

Tallahassee Office
400 Senate Office Building 404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5027

Senator Anitere Flores (R)

District Office
10691 North Kendall Dr. Suite 309
Miami, FL 33176
(305) 270-6550

Tallahassee Office
404 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5039

Senator Rene Garcia (R)

District Office
1490 West 68th Street Suite 201
Hialeah, FL 33014
(305) 364-3100
FAX (305) 364-3110.

Tallahassee Office
310 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5036

Senator Debbie Mayfield (R)

District Office
900 E. Strawbridge Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 409-2025

Satellite Office
1801 27th Street
Vero Beach, FL 32960
(772) 226-1970

Tallahassee Office
324 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5017

So in plain English, we have four Republican State Senators and Senator Steube (author of the open carry bill) who are standing between 1.69 million citizens and the restoration of their rights. Politically speaking this is a win for the anti-2nd Amendment forces without having to fire a shot. If the Republicans won’t touch back it, SB-140 will be stuck in committee and effectively dead.

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  1. I think some of the opposition to the open carry bill is due to the fact that the open carry case is on appeal to the Florida Supreme Court (Norman v State). I am not sure I would vote for this bill while the case was pending. Having the Florida Supreme Court rule for open carry is actually better, and a legislative solution would moot the case.

    I am not sure this issue is as simple as it sounds. Republicans can revive the bill and pass it if they get an unfavorable ruling in Norman v State. Also, an unfavorable ruling means that something stronger than a legislative solution (like a constitutional amendment) would be needed long term.

    • Please forgive me for butting in at the top of the post but not to reply directly to you dwb. My bad. I just wanted to offer all readers from Fla the ability to cut n paste the following which I sent to all four senators. Just trying to make our combined support easier. If you live in Florida, show your character and spend 10 minutes to follow through with emailing them. Thanks in advance for your help!

      “Thank you for taking the time to review this email.
      I believe in what you state that you stand for. And I am hoping that now, when there are difficult choices to be made, that you will “walk the walk”. I hope that you will not bow to political pressure and cheapen who you are and what you stand for. Please, at this very timely moment in our nation’s growth, join with Sen. Greg Steube, and support SB-140. Display the courage to enable our Florida citizenry to ensure their personal safety, and the safety of their families and loved ones. Add the true strength of your character to the foundation of the millions that live in and support our great state, and the constitution of the United States.
      Thank you again for your time and consideration.”

      Just 10 minutes or less to send this to all four.
      PLEASE “walk the walk” yourself.

      BTW here is link for Sen. Rene Garcia (R)

      And, BTW- I will be leaving a voice mail message for all four also.
      Belly up ‘n try to do the same…

      Thanks again folks.

  2. Does this bill require a concealed carry license in your pocket in order to open carry like the Texas open carry bill passed last year?

    • Yes, you had to have your permit on you – or at least last year’s bill did, at the behest of the Sheriff’s Association. They also wanted a holster requirement added, and it was.

      Infringement? Yes – but the whole permitting process is an infringement. This would be another step in the right direction, so I was okay with it.

      • JP- that’s what I figured. If NRA has their snout in this bill with the police unions, watch out. Here in Illinois it was the NRA state lobbyist Todd Vandermyde who loaded up our 2013 concealed carry bill with everything the police unions wanted:

        criminal penalties of SIX MONTHS or ONE YEAR in jail for hundreds of gun-free zones, the new “crime” of Duty to Inform, also arrestable so cops have an excuse to blow you away, and an unelected Star Chamber “Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board” that hears anonymous objections from any cop in the state.

        Right now their are over 2,000 people in Illinois waiting for board review to get their licenses, and NRA hasn’t lifted a finger to help them. If anyone tells you “we’ll improve it later” don’t believe them.

        I can’t find a shred of evidence to indicate that Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham at NRA/ ILA have a clue what Vandermyde is doing in Illinois, and they continue to pay him by 1099. NRA HQ needs to be fumigated for rats.

        Cops and the NRA are a dangerous combination. Don’t let them backstab you like what they did here.

        • Agreed. On top of that these police unions are also involved at the legislative level in state government. They indorse unconstitutional gun control bills as long as they get an exemption even after retirement. Nothing good happens in the long run when only government slackies are armed. This isn’t against all officers just the ones with influence and or political aspirations that are willing to sellout the constitution for personal gain.

        • Yeah, the NRA has proven itself pretty much useless, except for relentlessly begging the POTG for money. I gave up on them after the sandy hook walkback.

      • NorincoJay- you get it. Until Illinois’ “NRA backed” concealed carry bill first came up in 2011, I had no idea how many police unions existed. Then add in prison screws, sheriffs, state legislators who have been cops, and prosecutors.

        As one state Rep. told me, when it comes to these type of bills, “they all link arms.” There are dozens if not hundreds of these public employee unions, every one has a lobbyist, and like all parasites, their existence is a hazard to your life and well being.

        The Supreme Court gave us a knockout blow in Otis McDonald v. Chicago in 2010. The first NRA carry bill was put up by state Rep. Brandon Phelps and failed (luckily) in May 2011. I say luckily because NRA contract lobbyist for Illinois Todd Vandermyde wrote the first version of Phelps carry bill with immediate Duty to Inform like Ohio, also with criminal penalties, so if the cop claims you didn’t inform (quickly enough) he can use force to arrest and/or kill you on the spot.

        Illinois’ DTI forces you to inform the “officer” but nothing states that the cop must be in uniform, on duty, or within the jurisdiction where he is employed. This subjects women especially to abduction, rape, and murder from police impersonators. Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy had a Cook County sheriffs’ badge that he used to lure victims.

        As you observed, cops and retired cops have no Duty to Inform, the law is silent on the issue under LEOSA. The Illinois Chiefs of Police were the point group pushing for DTI in Illinois carry bill, and Vandermyde bent over backwards to hand it to them on a platter, before the bill came to a vote in 2013. Your life is in mortal danger when the NRA practices preemptive capitulation.

      • Ed- when NRA state lobbyist for Illinois Todd Vandermyde first cut the deal with the anti-gun IL Chiefs of Police in 2011 before the carry bill failed, Tim McCarthy of Orland Park was president of the IL Chiefs. That’s the same Tim McCarthy who was a Secret Service agent when President Reagan was shot, and the same Tim McCarthy who promotes gun control with Jim & Sarah Brady!

        NRA, Inc. is beyond useless, they are actively engaged in a pattern of behavior that is deliberately designed to betray their own members to anti-gun police unions. The fact that Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham continue to pay people like Vandermyde after he sets up their own membership to be abducted, raped, and killed with Duty to Inform is evidence of criminal conspiracy. NRA systematically advances the legal infrastructure for a criminal police state.

        • Agreed 1000%. I wish more people of the gun would wake up and stop funding these money grubbing corrupt losers. I mean really, how hard is it for them to push “Shall not be infringed”? It’s a pretty simple statement to understand…NO background check, NO permission slip for your rights, NO gun free zones, and NO NFA restrictions. That’s NOT infringed.

        • Ed- I’ve met attorney Alan Gura and spoken with him several times over the years. From what I know, NRA had no interest in the Otis McDonald v. Chicago case and tried to sabotage it in the beginning. After NRA hired insider former Solicitor General Paul Clement to barge into McDonald at the last minute in 2010 and steal ten minutes of Gura’s thirty minute argument time in front of SCOTUS, NRA lawyers were later rewarded with $1.3 MILLION in legal fees from the city of Chicago.

          The Borg Cube at NRA HQ has now morphed into the realization that lawsuits can be profitable. Here in Illinois they use blacks like Otis as plaintiffs, then sell them out in their bills. Duty to Inform was specifically designed to be a Stop and Frisk control mechanism for blacks in poor Chicago neighborhoods.

          Above all NRA members in Illinois are what you said: LOSERS. Not only do they not know how to win, they don’t want to win. The worse the bills NRA passes with police unions, the more people can be arrested and killed, then NRA, Inc. can make a hue and cry and put out a fundraising campaign to bring in more money. We may have to wait until the baby boomers die off. NRA is a self-propelled bureaucracy run by staff, not the elected board anyway.

    • How do you know he wasn’t the problem?

      Because he said so?

      Again, a simple question: what’s in this for Republican politicians??

  3. We’ve had open carry forever here in Missouri.
    Most folks are glad they can, but don’t.
    Concentrate on Campus Carry and K12 schools.

      • Missouri does allow municipal restriction on open carry. The legislature passed law for CCW permit to trump that two years ago. Biggest anti open carry city was Branson. They tough it would scare the geezers getting off the bus going to see the Andy Williams show. Go figure.

  4. I sent the good Senator another email to apologize for my first one, since I had assumed it was his decision to abandon the bill.

  5. None of those are my district. Folks who are in position to re-elect (or un-elect) these folks should put on the pressure!

  6. This is B.S., no one wants to get this done, too many are saying yes, yes until it comes time to get off their butts and do something about getting this legal, enough pathetic excuses.

  7. How is it that these states “known” for gun rights, like Texas and “The Gunshine State” are actually worse than most states in the union when it comes to gun rights?

    Even Colorado has OC (except Denver but that place has been in need of a good burning to the ground for awhile). New Mexico, run from one of the most liberal cities in the country has OC including in Santa Fe and including in the State Capitol building. 30 states with permitless OC yet these “bastions of freedom” are still decades behind.

    • How is it that? It isn’t. The idea that it’s a myth that certain states are gun paradises but actually are woefully antigun or lagging “most states”, is itself a myth. There’s actually a term for something being ignorantly and erroneously regarded as a myth. It’s called a countermyth.

      Lots of people watch 1950s and 1960s T.V. westerns and think Texas today basically sells AR-15s out of vending machines. When they find out the truth, that we’re subject to the same federal laws as everyone else and we have state laws that are better than most, but not the absolute runaway first and best in the nation, then they’re disappointed, even dejected. Despite being better than most states, Texas doesn’t live up to these people’s childhood, and childish, fantasies of a firearms utopia. So they run around claiming the Texas reputation for firearms mega-super-uber-friendliness is a myth because we’re actually oh so anti-gun. Well.

      That absurd, extreme charactization of Texas as lacking in firearm freedom, however, is itself a myth, a countermyth. People just love to play contrarian, because it makes them feel smarter, wiser, and more in-the-know than others. Too bad the reality isn’t on their side.

      Fact is, on most objective measures that matter day-to-day, and many more intangibles that matter when it counts (like post-DGU), Texas firearms freedom surpasses that of most states. There is room for improvement, to be sure, but the greatest strides in that direction could come from repeal of federal infringements, not as much from tweaking Texas state law.

      • Supply your name and address. I’ll happily get you a Costco/Sam’s Club membership for the 50 gallon drum of butthurt cream you obviously need.

        Look to you East and then look to your West. OC is legal in both places without a license. Has been basically forever and NM is run by Santa Fe. You think Austin is libtarded? HA!

        Texans talking about gun rights make me think the T-shirt that says “Don’t mess with Texas. It’s not nice to pick on retards” is abso-fucking-lutely correct. Shitty weather, big hats, cowboy boots and a piss poor set of gun laws is what Texas has and I can 3/4ths of that in nearly any state in the union without the laws.

        When Texas mimics it’s Eastern neighbors, New Mexico and Arizona on gun rights let me know. Until then don’t bother cause ya got nothing to brag about.

    • Because of an ancient, ingrained legacy of Reconstruction-era laws foisted upon them by Union overseers, then kept on the books decades later because they could be arbitrarily enforced against minorities. What hundred-year-old injustices has your state corrected, lately?

      • None that I know of, but then my state isn’t full of asshats claiming that it’s a bastion of firearms freedom while denying or permitting OC either… so… yeah.

        Maybe Texas can have that cannon flag… after they actually respect gun rights the way, oh 30 other states have for decades.

    • strych9,
      LOL, don’t you have some guns to measure for display counter space? ?

      • Nah, I was thinking about moving to Texas and getting fitted for that nice OC permit they have going on.

        That shit takes planning brah.

  8. Typical Rhinos in Floriduh.
    These representatives of nobody have got to go.
    They are afraid to put anything gun related up for a vote because they know the YES votes are there.
    These relatively unpaid folks who work for a few weeks a year are waiting out the court case.
    In a way I cant blame them. But this isnt why I helped to try and vote them in last election cycle.
    Im feeling as though I wasted my time and efforts.
    Just another useless bunch of people.

  9. Hell. Look at where they are from in the state.

    All south FL….I’d say we don’t have a chance.

    Maybe we’ll be the Republic of West Florida again. I can dream.

    • The Republic of West Florida is the territory that comprises modern day Louisiana.

      It was carved out of what was the Spanish province of West Florida, which was basically the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle, but the “Republic” itself was the far, far west portion in today’s Louisiana and not part of modern day Florida.

    • (Hey, voters, I know we had a clear majority but it wasn’t enough to do what we said we would- so elect us more!)

  10. All 4 Senators have received my e mail
    I had to do a search to find the e mail of Senator Garcia
    We will see what happens and who votes against this bill.
    Then we need to get primary challengers to replace any republicans who vote against gun rights

    • If they even vote at all. If it is never brought up on the agenda, there is no vote. Their records are “clean” and they can continue spouting that they’re Pro-2nd Amendment when in fact they aren’t. The greatest fear they have is voting, since that records their stance on issues.

      Simple as that.

      This needs to come to a vote for two reasons.

      1. We the people need to know who sides with us and who sides with the gun grabbers.
      2. It allows us to clean shop. The FL GOP is rife with Established Elites that campaign one way and do another.

      I’d rather it die in committee by vote than just die via being forgotten. I want a record. I want to know who is for and who is against.

  11. It’s a sad fact, but many of this nation’s anti-gun laws come from the Republican Party, not from the Democrats. Even Justice Scalia, supposedly pro-2nd Amendment, compromised with the anti-gun crowd:

    “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” — Justice Scalia, District of Columbia v. Heller

  12. Just spoke to ATI – NFA Item, unfortunately!!!

    NOW may be the best time ever to Work to ban GCA 68. The presidents sons may be our best high speed advocates.

  13. I just sent emails not only to the Republicans, but to ALL members of the committee. Literally have nothing to lose.

    “I am writing you as a concerned citizen of the Great State of Florida. It has come to my attention that the “Open Carry” bill, SB 140, is seemingly stalled in your committee. I want to express my strongest and sincerest hopes that you would give this bill your evaluation and ultimate approval for a vote on the Senate floor. For too long, this bill has been stymied by a particular former Florida senator. The role of the Judiciary Committee should be to evaluate the constitutionality of a bill, not determine if what should be voted on based upon it’s merits (or politics). There are a great many of us that support this bill and want it to move on for a general vote on the Senate floor. We want our option back to openly carry without fear of arrest, like 45 other states allow. For me, the most important part of this bill is the reduction on places that are restricted for carrying a weapon, including into non-secured parts of airport terminals. As we have recently seen in Ft. Lauderdale, we can be victims anywhere, and at anytime. Please allow this bill to be heard and passed on. Thank you.”

  14. Seems to me their tourism dollars are their greatest concern, notwithstanding open carry wouldn’t hurt that in the least. Do tourists never visit the 45 states where open carry is legal?

    I guarantee you that hypocrite Gov. Rick Scott has given orders to make sure those bills do not see his desk, even though he has promised in the past to sign them. That’s the dirty little secret he thinks no one knows.

    It seems as though Senate President Joe Negron is doing the Governor’s dirty work by using Anitere Flores and Rene Garcia as convenient tools. But it’s not going to go under the rug. I am busy informing people that Sen. Negron has the authority to get the bills out of committee and on to the Senate floor for a full and honest vote.

    Republicans and their stupid political games designed to deny us our rights. Their lip service makes me sick. Their A+ ratings by the NRA also nauseate me. I believe the NRA needs foot thick lenses, they are so near-sighted.

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