Attention Florida Permit Holders...Send an email!
** ROUND 6 **
HELP Restore Rights to Concealed Weapons License Holders in Florida
Includes Concealed Weapons License Open-Carry, Campus-Carry, Guns-In-Vehicles and Purchase of Long Guns in other states
DATE: March 6, 2011
TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
Senate Bill 234, introduced by state Senator Greg Evers (R-2), has been scheduled to be heard in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday March 9 at 3:15pm.
SB 234 would make three much-needed changes to the Florida "Right-to-Carry" law -- also known as the Concealed Weapons Licensing law and it would also conform Florida’s firearms purchase law with federal law.
This bill basically does the four following things:
1. Provides that concealed weapons license holders may also carry openly -- to prevent license holders from being charged with the crime of violating the "Open Carry" law because a concealed firearm accidentally or inadvertently became visible.
2. Removes the prohibition against concealed weapons license holders carrying firearms on college and university campuses for lawful self-defense.
3. Provides that concealed weapons license holders may store a firearm in a private vehicle anywhere the vehicle is lawfully parked except those places that are exempted under s. 790.251(7) -- the parking lot law.
4. Removes the obsolete law restricting firearms purchases to contiguous states, previously required by federal law for out of state purchases of long guns, and replaces it with language to conform to current federal requirements that allows purchase of long guns in other states.
You must act quickly. URGENT! This Committee Must Hear From You!
PLEASE IMMEDIATELY EMAIL members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee -- They NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU NOW!
In the subject line put:
SUPPORT SB 234 -- RESTORE Rights to CW License Holders
(Block and Copy All email addresses into the "Send To" box)
# 1. The open carry provision addresses the problem of an accidental or unintentional exposure of a firearm being carried by a concealed weapons license holder. As silly as it may sound, if a license holder is carrying a concealed firearm and the wind blows a jacket or shirt open exposing the firearm, the person can be charged with a crime for violating the open carry law. Anytime a license holder accidentally or unintentionally exposes the firearm whether reaching for something on a top shelf or bending over to pick up something, he/she can be charged with a crime. This bill fixes that problem.
The cries of anti-gunners with predictions of horrible things resulting from "open carry" are pure nonsense. Adding the provision of open carry for concealed weapons license holders will NOT present problems. While some gun haters may not want to remove this needless restriction, there have been no problems in other states.
According to the anti-gun Brady Campaign, 46 states allow open carry. Of those, 34 states allow open carry without a permit or license while 12 states require a permit to carry openly. (FLORIDA TODAY 1/7/2011, Change Would Relax Handgun Law - Byline: Kaustuv Basu)
What the spokesperson (Brian Malte, State Legislative Director) for the Brady Campaign -- the national gun ban group -- said is that open carry COULD BE TROUBLESOME. He said "Open carrying of loaded guns is problematic for public safety and for law enforcement. It is frightening to see people carrying loaded weapons in urban and suburban environments."
What the Brady Campaign fails to report is that open carry is not now, nor has it ever been a problem. Only four states, including Florida, prohibit open carry. It's time to remove this unnecessary government restriction in Florida.
Adding "open carry" for concealed weapons license holders to the law to avoid the "open carry" glitch doesn't mean they will carry openly.
There is also a provision that allows persons to carry firearms on college and university campuses if they are licensed by the state to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. Remember, only persons over 21 years old can obtain a license. A license holder's right to self-defense should not stop when they drive or walk onto a college or university campus. College and university campuses that arrogantly ban adults having guns are dangerous for students, faculty and administrator -- Gun Free Zones are safe havens for rapists, murders and other criminals.
When the University of Florida's current president, Bernie Machen, was president of the University of Utah, he sued the state claiming the University had the right to ban guns on campus. He used University funds and tax dollars and he lost that fight when the Utah Supreme Court ruled against him.
It has since been reported in the Ft. Myers Examiner:
"Since the fall semester of 2006, Utah state law has allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of Utah’s nine degree-offering public colleges (20 campuses) and one public technical college (10 campuses).
Concealed carry has been allowed on the two campuses of Colorado State University (Fort Collins and Pueblo) since 2003 and at Blue Ridge Community College (Weyers Cave, VA) since 1995.
After allowing concealed carry on campus for a combined total of 124 semesters (as of June 2010), an average of over five years per school, none of these twelve schools has seen a single resulting incident of gun violence (including threats and suicides), a single gun accident, or a single gun theft."CARRY ON COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY CAMPUS:
To read the article click here.
FIREARMS CARRY IN A VEHICLE:
#3. This bill simply says that if a person has a concealed weapons license, nothing shall prohibit the carry or storage of a firearm in a vehicle -- except the exemptions in the Florida parking lot law.
For example, many of you will remember the case last summer of a cemetery that arbitrarily banned guns on cemetery property.
And you'll remember the distraught father, who had already buried his son (who had been killed in auto crash) in that cemetery. The father has a concealed weapons license and always carries a firearm in his truck and frequently visits his son's grave.
Advised of the new gun ban by the cemetery, the father was given three choices: (1) stop carrying a firearm in his vehicle, (2) face arrest for trespassing with a firearm (a felony) or (3) move his son's body to another cemetery (which might later ban guns as well). Those choices are outrageous. This bill fixes that outrageous denial of Second Amendment rights.
REPEAL OF CONTIGUOUS STATE LANGUAGE:
#4. This bill repeals the obsolete language in s. 790.28, which limits purchase of rifles and shotguns to contiguous states and replaces it with language that will make it possible for Florida residents to purchase rifles and shotguns in non-contiguous states.
In 1979, s. 790.28 was passed to conform to federal law. At the time, federal law required the contiguous state language to be passed in order for residents to be able to exercise their right to purchase long guns in adjoining states.
Federal law has since changed to allow the purchase of long guns in any state through a licensed federal firearms dealer. However, in order for Florida residents to be able to exercise those rights, s. 790.28 must be repealed and conforming language must be added to Florida’s statutes. This bill does that.
Please contact the members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and urge them to support SB 234.