By Lee Williams
On Sept. 15 at around 10:15 p.m., Olaf Brurberg Andersen IV, was drinking Coors Light inside Pete’s Bar in Neptune Beach, Florida, when a police officer approached him.
The Neptune Beach Police officer told Andersen someone had seen a handgun in his waistband. A Florida statute still on the books prohibits carrying a concealed firearm inside a tavern. The officer escorted the 24-year-old outside the bar, read him the Miranda Warning and began a field interrogation.
According to his arrest report, Andersen told the officer he was “unaware he was not allowed to carry a firearm inside establishments licensed to dispense alcohol.” He was arrested without incident. His Springfield XD and Blackhawk holster were seized and placed into property. “It should be noted the firearm was loaded with a round in the chamber,” the arrest report states.
Andersen was taken to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and charged with violating Florida state statute 790.06(12): Carry concealed weapon or firearm in portion of establishment licensed to dispense alcohol for consumption on premises.
One week earlier, at around 10:47 p.m., Shane Wilson Adcox was drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon in Pete’s Bar. According to his arrest report, he struck up a conversation with another patron about a recent shoulder surgery he underwent and raised his shirt to show the surgery scar.
“Upon raising his shirt, Witness #1 noticed a firearm inside the suspect’s waistband. When the suspect noticed Witness #1 observing the firearm, he pointed to it and stated he was ‘in Blackwater,’ and referred to the firearm as his ‘side piece,’” his arrest report states.
Another Neptune Beach Police officer was summoned. Adcox, a 55-year-old retired Navy veteran, was escorted outside and detained. His arrest report states, “Post Miranda, the suspect stated that he was unaware he was not allowed to carry inside establishments licensed to dispense alcohol.”
Adcox’s 9mm GLOCK 45 was seized and he was also taken to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office jail. He was charged with violating three Florida state statutes: 790.06(12) Carry concealed weapon or firearm in portion of establishment licensed to dispense alcohol for consumption on premises, 790.10 Improper exhibition of a firearm or dangerous weapon and 790.151(3) Possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.
According to police reports Adcox never exhibited his handgun or even removed it from the holster, and at no time did police conduct sobriety testing to determine whether he was under the influence of alcohol.
Andersen pleaded no-contest to the charge and was sentenced to two days in jail, but was given credit for the two days he served following his arrest. Andersen did not respond to calls or emails seeking his comments for this story.
Adcox has a court date next month, but an assistant state attorney recently dismissed two of the three charges he faced: 790.10 Improper exhibition of a firearm or dangerous weapon and 790.151(3) Possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.
Adcox is still recovering from the weekend he spent in the county jail.
“They threw me into the petri dish, man. I got out late Sunday night with a burning throat, sneezing and fever,” he said. “I tested positive for COVID and Strep. I’m still feverish.”
Prosecutors offered him a deal, in which he would have to take several online courses and pay fines and court costs. His GLOCK, however, would be forfeited.
“They just suspended my CCW permit,” he said. “There’s no way I’m taking that deal.”
Friday said Florida’s statute that prohibits carrying a concealed firearm inside an establishment licensed to dispense alcohol is unconstitutional based on the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which states that “history and tradition” should determine whether a law regulating firearms is constitutional under the Second Amendment.
“If you understand Bruen, you have to look at the text, history and tradition and then find an analogous statute,” Friday said. “This statute is unconstitutional as to certain places, because you cannot find a founding-era statute that prohibits possession of firearms inside a bar, or one that prohibits possessing intoxicating liquor while possessing a firearm.”
Therefore, Friday said, both Andersen and Adcox should never have been charged.
“Prosecutors should have removed the charge. The public defender should have asked for the charge to be removed. The judge should have been told this by both attorneys, but he too should have known this was not a crime,” he said. “We’ve got checks and balances within the legal system. The problem is when police officers, public defenders, prosecutors and the judge fail to catch these errors, the system has indicted itself at that point.”
Adcox said neither the prosecutor nor his public defender have told him that the charge he still faces may be unconstitutional.
“My public defender said he was ‘looking into some things,’” he said.
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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.