Florida County Court Judge off target on the right to bear arms.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ft. Pierce, FL - Today, St. Lucie County Judge Cliff Barnes denied all constitutional arguments to dismiss the case against Dale Norman, without written order.
Norman v. State is the case of a law abiding concealed carry licensee who was arrested and prosecuted in Fort Pierce, FL for violating Florida's nearly complete ban on Open Carry after his otherwise lawfully carried handgun unknowingly became unconcealed while walking.
The denials were based, in part, on the court's findings that the statute is facially overbroad and is facially vague, but was not necessarily improper “as applied” in this case. This turns the standard of statutory review on its head by applying it in reverse.
The judge also did not fully consider the Second Amendment or FL Art.1 Sec. 8 question; denying the motion to dismiss because the question of the right to bear arms "is for someone above the level of this court."
The prosecution, having already been notified of our intent to appeal, then took the unusual tactic of stipulating to the court that withholding adjudication and just imposing a fine would suit the State’s interest after the Judge explained his grounds for dismissal of the constitutional challenges.
The Second Amendment question is fairly straightforward; Florida courts have clearly acknowledged that the carrying of a concealed firearm is a privilege subject to even being banned completely, not a right protected by the constitution. Florida appellate courts have found that the “Retroactive application of [new Florida Statutes], is not unconstitutional because a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm is a privilege and not a vested right.” Crane v. Department of State, 547 So. 2d 266 (Fla. 1989).
The “privilege of a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm” recognized In Crane cannot replace, or substitute for, the fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. and Florida Constitutions. Florida courts have long held that there is a right to bear arms outside of the home.
The written order for Dale Norman's case is pending. We are asking the judge to certify the constitutional questions directly to the Florida 4th District Court of Appeals as matters of great public importance.
Florida Carry is providing for the continued defense of Dale Norman and seeks to clarify what the right to bear arms is in Florida.
Florida Carry is making a constitutional challenge to Florida’s overly broad, vague, and facially unconstitutional ban on unconcealed carry, the right to bear arms outside the home, and the current status that a concealed carry license is only a privilege rather than a right.
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