Florida Carry Members are continuing to organize open carry events, where they will wear rifles, shotguns, and pistols openly while fishing, or going to or from.
Photo by Michael Taylor - used with permission
They have been harassed (especially Michael Taylor "Soloyaker") by police several times, contrary to state law.
Florida law allows citizens who do not possess a concealed weapons license, to carry pistols and long guns openly in clear view of the public, but only while those citizens are engaged in fishing, camping, hunting, or recreational shooting, as well as going to or from those activities.
There has never been any unlicensed citizen unlawfully shooting anyone while engaged in those activities, so I'd say those are the type of armed folks you can trust to be around in public.
Now, take a person who DOES have a license to carry a firearm (finger-printed, background checked, photographed, taken a mandatory training course, paid a FEE to exercise a right), who is engaged in merely walking down the street or walking in a park.
If that same person wears their holstered pistol openly, they are now at risk of being body-slammed, cuffed, and taken to jail by the police for violating the law that generally forbids carrying openly.
If unlicensed citizens can be trusted to carry openly in public while minding their own business fishing or doing some other approved excepted activity, why can't licensed carriers also carry openly while minding their own business walking on a park trail or riding their bike on a wooded trail?
If unlicensed open carriers has caused no panic or danger, there is no reason to fear that licensed open carriers will either.
But this is all about APPEARANCES, not safety. Republican lawmakers are skeered to death that open carriers will put a damper on tourism. Open carry has always been legal in my home state of Georgia, and I see plenty of tourists around Atlanta, even as I carry my visibly holstered pistol around them with NO ISSUES, even at crowded public events and festivals.
These public events will continue until the Republican lawmakers in Florida get a stomach for liberty and legalize open carry. It's legal in 45 other states, with 30 of those not requiring a license to do so.
The Florida Senate for years has consistently voted in Senate Presidents that they KNEW would not allow an open carry bill to get a vote on the Senate floor. They pretend to support the Second Amendment, but don't want a public vote on open carry to put actions to their words. Those who are timid are just full of hot air.
Florida Carry Members will now not only carry just pistols openly while fishing, as in the past, but have and will continue to carry long guns as well, in order to increase visibility for the fight to get open carry legalized.
The heat will be turned up further as some Florida Carry members will wear a Freedom Cover (gun-shaped cloth cover over their holstered pistol, making it technically concealed, but still showing an obvious "bump" on one's side) in public and at large events on public property, even while not engaged in an approved exception to the general ban on open carry.
You know that these freedom fighters are hitting a nerve. Local politicians are calling on the Florida Legislature to essentially ban open carry altogether, using this wording:
"The amendment would prohibit anyone from openly carrying their gun while on the way to or from or while hunting, fishing, or camping, if it's within 1500 feet of a school, church, government building, or guarded beach."
Keep up the pressure you men and women who desire LIBERTY!
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