Monday, December 30, 2019

White Settlement Texas Church Shooting © 2019 Phillip Evans

On Sunday, December 29th, 2019, two brave souls lost their lives to a murderous gunman. One other church member, Jack Wilson, took out the killer with a quick head shot from about 25 feet away within 6 seconds of the start of the attack. If you can get the police to you within 6 minutes, you better hope the bad guy runs out of ammo before he gets to you, if you had failed to prepare to defend your own life in the moment that you needed to.

"Moms Demand Action" founder Shannon Watts blamed the shooting on gun laws that allow citizens to carry firearms for protection. She doesn't view the ability to be armed in public as freedom, but rather as a cost. A cost?! 

Shannon Watts photo by Gage Skidmore

Watts tweeted, "Armed parishioners and 'security teams' in places of worship aren't freedom, they're the cost of gun lobbyists to write our gun laws".

Many folks in that church will be thankful the rest of their lives that free citizens carried their guns that day and for the law that allowed them to. Otherwise, the real cost would have been more lives lost. 

What a vile ogre Ms. Watts must be to want to deny them that liberty!

She must be under the delusion that with hundred of millions of firearms in existence, if you outlaw citizens from carrying guns, criminals will not be able to carry one either! 

Here's a newsflash Ms. Watts, the murderer in the church broke more that just gun carry laws. Murderers would love for victims to be disarmed, so they can do their raping, robbing, and killing with impunity.

Of course, Ms. Watts' world has to be upside down for that viewpoint to make sense to her. Her and her organization are opposed to we mere citizens carrying firearms in public. Their position is that only law-enforcement should carry in public places. If it were up to them, not only churches, but restaurants, theaters, grocery stores, parks, and other public places would be illegal for citizens to carry guns at.

They want you in jail just for wanting to carry a self-defense tool that can save your life and that of your loved ones!

The facts here don't lie. A non-badged citizen took out an armed killer within seconds of him starting his shooting. Other armed citizens came running to help, with none of the good guys shooting each other or anyone else, as we are told would happen if we let people without badges carry firearms in public.


If you're in Georgia, write to your lawmakers to ask for their support of SB224, which would completely decriminalize carry in places of worship and treat them the same as other private property. 

Places of worships' ability to decide who can and can't carry a firearm should never have an automatic weapons penalty for law-abiding citizens (which can cause you to lose your license). The only penalty should be trespass if you don't leave when asked.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Florida Carry - Open Carry Fishing Full Steam Ahead © 2019 Phillip Evans

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:

Keep up the pressure you men and women who desire LIBERTY!

If you want to support the effort to pass pro-gun rights laws in Florida, you can become a paying member by signing up on their website:

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Georgia - Guns in Publicly Owned Stadiums is the Law © 2019 Phillip Evans

Will they allow a state law they passed (thanks to Georgia Carry) in 2014 to stand, or will they take it back? Will they allow liberty to continue to bloom, or will they pour some weed killer on it? That is the big question.

Here's a little seven-point help for some of our Representative and Senator friends that may be weak in the knees on this:

1. Licensed citizen firearm carriers are 6-times more law-abiding than law-enforcement according to 20 years of recorded crimes:

"Florida revoked 11,189 concealed carry permits for violations such as misdemeanors or felonies between 1987 -2017. This works out an annual rate of 10.4 permits revoked per 100,000.
Texas had 148 concealed carry permit holders convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in 2016. This works out to a conviction rate of 12.3 percent per 100,000. When the Texas and Florida data is combined it shows that CCW permit holders are convicted of felonies and misdemeanors at a rate of 2.4 per 100,000. While among police the rate is 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Texas and Florida have some of the highest rates of CCW permit holders but the figures are similar in other states with less permit holders."

In summary CCW permit holders are convicted of crimes at less than a sixth of that for police officers.

2. Most police officers are law-abiding, and so off-duty officers and deputies should be allowed to carry at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Currently, the Atlanta Falcons does not allow them to be armed at games or any other events held there.

There's never enough police around when you need one in an emergency, and this will help to bridge that gap.

4. None of the predicted "blood in the streets" or "wild, wild west" came true when being able to drink alcoholic beverages and carry guns in restaurants and bars became legal years ago.

And no drunken shootouts by licensed carriers has happened in other crowded venues we currently carry at, like at Stone Mountain Park during their large events such as their July 4th Fireworks Celebration.

5. Guns left in cars can be stolen and used to hurt innocent people.

6. Guns left at home leave people open to dangers from criminals while traveling to and from stadium games and events, not to mention leaving them defenseless in downtown Atlanta where crime is high, and while walking to and from their vehicles in the parking lot.

7. Multiple "rowdy fans" have been known to gang up on innocent husbands and dads and proceeded to beat and kick their heads into  a bloody pulp. Had those victims been armed, they might have saved themselves from the trouble of some permanent brain damage.

In short, guns in stadiums carried by law-abiding, licensed citizens and off-duty law-enforcement will make for a much more polite and civil environment.

Terrorists will also think twice about hitting a target that might not be as victim-rich as it once was.

See Part 1:

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Atlanta Falcons Response to Gun Ban Challenge © 2019 Phillip Evans

Doug Richards with 11Alive ran a story on Georgia Carry's challenge to the Atlanta Falcons gun ban at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Photo by Munkaslany, used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The response of the Falcons was:

“Mercedes-Benz Stadium will continue to operate in compliance with the laws of the State of Georgia and ban weapons from entering the premises,” a spokeswoman told 11Alive news.  

Apparently billionaire Falcons owner Arthur Blank believes himself to be above following state law. Let's see how long he can keep up his defiance until he loses as badly as the Falcons have been.

The 11Alive News reporter said:

"The Georgia Supreme Court sent the Botanical Garden case back to a lower court for clarification. If Georgia Carry prevails again – the Falcons may need to lawyer up."

Folks, that's not quite correct, but I understand how he could have gotten mixed up a bit. This is a story with a lot of moving parts. Allow me to detangle:

The lower court case he mentioned is merely to rule on what type of lease the Atlanta Botanical Garden has.

We ALREADY know what type of lease the Atlanta Falcons has, it's a "usufruct" (actually that's clearly spelled out in the lease itself), and the Georgia Supreme Court has made a FINAL decision binding to ALL other courts that a lessee with a usufruct type lease of publicly owned property may NOT exclude lawful carriers of weapons.

It's a done deal, it's now settled and established law. 

The Georgia World Center Authority which owns the stadium now knows that Falcons owner Arthur Blank is recalcitrant regarding state law.

Here's what 11Alive should be asking:

Will the GWCCA compel the Falcons to follow state law?

Will Attorney General Chris Carr publicly weigh in on this?

How much longer do Georgia citizens need to wait before their lawful right of self-defense on public property under state law is finally recognized? 

Isn't a Georgia Supreme Court ruling enough to settle this matter?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Georgia Carry Challenges Atlanta Falcons Gun Ban © 2019 Phillip Evans

They've actually been violating state law since July 1st, 2014. (Edit: Since 2017 when they started playing games there) That's when the law was clarified to ensure that only PRIVATE property may ban firearms in addition to the spelled out off-limits location under state law. Those are the only two categories where licensed carry can be banned. Citizens are authorized to carry everywhere else under our State Constitution and Statue 16-11-127 of the OCGA.

The clarification I referred to above was the addition (in House Bill 60) of the word "private" placed four times into the weapons law right before "property".

However, lower courts were not able to read and comprehend this significant clarification of the law. Words mean things, okay judges? The Georgia Supreme Court had the last word and got it right Oct. 7th this year in case number S18G1149, "Georgia Carry, Inc. v. Atlanta Botanical Garden, Inc." That was also my case, by the way, and I am honored to be part of Georgia's judicial history.

The Court ruled that public property leased as a license only ("usufruct") is still public property. Guess what kind of lease the Falcons has? Yep, a usufruct.

So if it's public property, and if it's not considered to be a "government building" (government buildings can ban weapons when screening is in place, with a few exceptions such as courthouses which are off-limits even without screening), licensed carriers cannot be banned per Georgia's highest Court.

Guns in stadiums? There are people that will tell you guns don't belong in parks since you shouldn't fear any wayward squirrel hijacking you, or that guns don't belong in grocery stores because no one has ever been attacked by a head of cabbage, not counting the time one might have rolled off the pile and slammed into your foot. 

Tell those same people bad things can happen anywhere at any time and they will just roll their eyes at you and call you a "gun nut". Put them in a dangerous situation with unpredictable armed thugs, and those same people will be doing two things: 1. wishing they were armed and 2. telling themselves if they survive, next time they will be.

Georgia Carry and the law should prevail. If it does, that means off-duty police officers, heretofore forbidden by the Falcons to be armed in the stadium, will be allowed to have their duty weapons with them, which will make for an even safer environment. Adding licensed carriers certainly won't hurt, either. We are not the problem in society, the criminals are.

The Falcons are not without options!

1. They can offer to buy Mercedes-Benz Stadium and own it outright, making it truly private property.

2. They can build their own private stadium.

3. They can make arrangements with a government council or board to use the existing stadium as the place where it meets in its official capacity, turning it into a "government building".

The option they don't have is not following the law. The law applies equally to all, no matter how rich or powerful.

Coolray Field, Infinite Energy Center, Chastain Park Amphitheater, and Gun Show Promoters who hold shows in public parks are among the venues that will also have to obey state law.

Part 2:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Atlanta Botanical Garden Gun Rights Lawsuit - Victory! © 2019 Phillip Evans

Finally, after a long five year fight in the courts, and I won a highly satisfying victory from the Georgia Supreme Court, published Monday, Oct. 7th, 2019.

Atlanta Botanical Garden photo by David Berkowitz used under Creative Commons 2.0 License

For the Atlanta Botanical Garden in particular, one small detail needs to be taken care of by a lower court. Their lease with the City of Atlanta must be ruled on to determine if it is a "usufruct" (to possess and enjoy the fruits thereof), or an "estate for years" (as if one owns the property).

However, the main issue was settled (in a sense). If a private entity leases public property, and if that lease is not an "estate for years", then that private entity cannot ban lawfully carried weapons onto the property.

I stated, "in a sense", because there are an awful lot of leases of public property out there, and I'm wondering if each one must be litigated. I suppose so it would seem. 

But this is not all thorns and weeds. Consider this scenario: A person who is licensed to carry, carries into a public park for an event to which the public is invited, but the event is hosted by a private entity which leases the park for the event. Event security along with local police throw the person out.

That person can sue, and if the lease is found to not grant ownership rights (hint: probably about zero leases of public property which is used for the benefit of the public are "estate for years" type leases), then the event host, their private security, the police, and the local government can be sued and lose big time, with at least the local government being responsible for the legal fees of the plaintiff. Will they risk it?

Where does this public vs. private property argument come from? Back in 2014, the Georgia General Assembly passed HB 60 which was signed into law by then Gov. Deal. 

Four times the word, "private" was inserted before "property" in the weapons law (OCGA 16-11-127), in order to ensure that local governments could not do an end-run around state preemption by leasing public property to a private entity. Looks pretty clear, right?

Apparently neither Judge Gail Tusan of Fulton County Superior Court nor the GA Court of Appeals could grok a clear understanding of this law, but thankfully the highest court in Georgia did. Sad that it took five long years to get here.

But coming back to the Garden. I have read their lease contract, obtained via an open records request with the City of Atlanta. To me, the way it reads (and I'm not a lawyer), is that it is merely a usufruct. 

Too many stipulations by the City make it hard to believe that the Garden holds 30 acres of Atlanta's Piedmont Park as if it were the owner, notwithstanding the 50-year long term of the lease.

One mildly humorous argument made by the Garden's attorneys was that if Georgia Carry and I win, publicly owned stadiums would be awash with guns and no one could do anything about it.

To those who have and who will continue to hand-wring about this, folks, this is a nothing burger. There is already a law in place that takes care of this.

Most large publicly owned stadiums are considered to be "government buildings", and if weapons screening is in place, they may indeed lawfully ban firearms. 

If a public building does not qualify as a "government building", it can become one by being the place where a government entity meets in its official capacity.  

Some supposed gun-rights supporters have said I should have kept my firearm concealed and then there would have been no issue.

Well, what if my cover garment got blown by the wind, or I reached up to point at a tree and my gun became visible? There's nothing wrong with lawful concealed carry, but hiding your firearm doesn't solve everything. Frankly, neither does open carry. 

But you know what? True liberty means not being forced to conceal.

What if I want to openly, honestly, and honorably wear my holstered pistol? If the law allows me to, it is then a public exercise of my rights if I so choose to do so. Don't knock my manner of carry and I won't knock yours. Live and let live, right? This isn't about debating open vs. concealed carry. It's about public and private entities following state law.

I'm looking forward to starting back my family's visits to the Garden. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Atlanta. They've done a great job there with their large plant sculptures and other displays. Tell them I sent you.

A huge thanks to Georgia Carry, and to Attorney John R. Monroe for his tireless efforts and long hours in litigating this case, with perhaps a little more work ahead if the Garden does not concede that its contract is a usufruct.

Please consider joining Georgia Carry and become part of a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fighting for our rights in Georgia.

New: Click here to listen to Atty. John R. Monroe give an interview on public radio.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Banning Open Carry In Stores Will Stop Massing Shootings - NOT! © 2019 Phillip Evans

Bloomberg Billionaire anti-Second Amendment dollars and Walmart unite! 

I've been a long-time Walmart shopper, having spent many thousands of dollars with them over the years. Will I still shop there? Yes, when my bride wants to shop there. Probably not so much if I'm shopping freely on my own.

It's not strictly because Walmart has stopped selling most pistol and rifle ammo (or will stop when supplies are sold out - I suppose the bullets already in stock are good bullets that won't hurt innocent people, since the announcement to stop selling them has cleansed the remaining stock of any evil vibes), or even because they have "requested" no one carry a firearm openly except law enforcement.

The reason is because Walmart is actively working behind the scenes to further erode our rights:

1 - working with Democrats who want to ban private sales of private property between consenting adults unless a person or company with a Federal Firearms License is paid to run a background check and process an ATF Form 4473

2 -  working with Democrats who want to ban "high-capacity" ammo magazines (to Democrats, any magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds is evil. In NY the limit that qualifies a magazine as evil is 8 rounds or more)

3 -  working with Democrats who want to pass "Red Flag" laws where a mere accusation from one person can ruin another person's life, or get literally get them killed by police when they make surprised forced entry into their home

Who else has eagerly jumped on this bandwagon? Kroger, Publix, Aldi, CVS, Walgreens, and others. Granted not all may be making the same anti-rights effort Walmart is; some may just be banning open carry. Even Walmart at this point says legal concealed (out of sight, out of mind, right?) carry is okay. I believe Walgreens and CVS has stated no carry at all unless you're a police officer. So it's a hodge-podge. 

Even if these store policies (stores can do what they want, they are private businesses) are cast in real gold ten feet wide and hung from the ceiling they won't stop any evil person bent on entering with weapons and killing people.

These are just feel-good, security theater measures designed to do one thing - to score points with their fellow Democrats and to pacify leftist SJW's who are a small minority in our society. Just because they all have big mouths doesn't equate to there being a lot of them compared to the population in total, even if their noise might make it seem that way. 

It's amazing how many useful idiots are on twitter thanking these stores for keeping them safe with these policies. Really?

Bad guys don't follow the law, much less store policy. And good guys who know this and who want to keep themselves and their families safe in public will probably not leave their guns in their vehicles to be stolen from the stores' parking lots when they go inside to shop.

So nothing really has changed, except for the amount of shrill virtue signaling from high-dollar executives who don't have the guts to stand up to the yapping of a small minority of its customer base.

Apparently recent mass shootings, as opposed to other mass shootings back then have caused Kroger to think that peaceful open carriers such as myself are the problem in stores instead of the actual mass murderers.

While store after store bending over is not good news in itself, it does present a great opportunity for other stores to court the business of the real back-bone of our nation, the hard-working, sane people who know rational men don't identify as women and vice-versa, who know that objects (carried openly or concealed) don't commit evil acts, who understand it isn't store policies of disarmament that keeps them safe.

Find those stores who are still run by men and women with common sense and give them your business, and tell everyone about them...often.

So let me know where you all are shopping now.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Rep. Eric Swalwell - Point Blank Tyrant © 2019 Phillip Evans

Rep. Eric Swalwell (U.S. Representative from California's 15th congressional district) has "boldly" or stupidly (some might say) let the cat out of the bag and directly stated what virtually all Democrats feel but mince words about in various degrees. Stupidly, because it means he has practically nil chance of winning any Presidential Primary. Subtlety is the game of winning politics, Eric. But I digress...

From his own mouth he does want to take your guns away AND put you in jail if you deign to have the gall to keep possession of them. You know, because you want to keep your stuff that you legally bought with your own money. And because you believe it to be your right to be armed with firearms in "common use", and in fact even arms not in "common use" if one takes the Second Amendment (and our God-given right to self-preservation using weapons) to heart.

I'm not talking about blasters that spit out 500 rounds a minute, although if that's what needed to repel tyranny, then yes, I want to have and keep those, too.

I'm not talking about guns that can fire a single round which could send a car fifteen feet in the air like in the movies, either.

What I, and he, are talking about, are semi-automatic rifles, of which the vast majority that are owned in this country are of a small caliber (.22, .223/5.56 for example), that fire a single round per a single pull of the trigger, and which some states have outlawed for deer hunting because... well, because they are NOT POWERFUL enough to humanely take down a 180lb deer.

But in order to make his case, he must greatly exaggerate and say that these are "weapons of war" or "assault weapons". Emotional, pansy blather I say. First of all, if these firearms were weapons of war, our soldiers would be issued them, and they are not. Neither are ANY other modern army in the world issued them. Secondly, "assault" is a verb, not an object. 

Do Democrats call pistols "assault weapons", even though many more people are shot and killed with pistols than all long guns combined?

Folks, this is NOT about safety. It's about CONTROL. The Democrats, and to a lesser extent many Republicans simply do not trust a citizenry to be free enough to own firearms.

We armed citizens are a bulwark against their New World Order which worships Communism, abortion, and all manner of depravity. Mark my words, they will not stop at rifles. They already are going after pistol magazines. 

New York believes you only need 7 rounds in a pistol magazine to keep you and your family safe, even if a crew of armed thugs burst into your home to terrorize you and your children.

To hell with those busy-bodied politicians. How dare they puke out their nonsense about how much protection we need, when they have all the tax-payer funded guns they need at their beck and call?

Former Vice President Joe Biden went the idiots one better and said all you needed was a double-barreled shotgun, and to then fire it twice into the air making you now holding nothing better than a club.

There are MILLIONS of us who own semi-auto rifles. We safely keep and use them for sport shooting, recreational target shooting, home defense, and also keep them as a guard against tyrants like Swalwell who seek to disarm us at the point of his government guns. How many people are killed per year in this country where these rifles are used by murderers?

Look at this FBI statistic: TWICE as many people per year are murdered with fists and feet than ALL long guns combined (that includes single-shot shotguns, single-shot rifles, and other long guns that can hold no more than 5 or 10 rounds at a time).

If Swalwell gets worked up over the number of deaths due to murderers using rifles, he should instead be doing something about fists and feet, or at least hammers and knives, which also surpass the number of deaths over those caused by evil people that use rifles in their crimes.

In my fantasy world Swalwell and all those of his ilk would be put on trial for conspiring to deny us our Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights, and then appropriately punished, with at least deportation to Cuba, Venezuela, or China - after they are given $50.00 and a single suit of clothes to take with them.

They should be happy and thrive there, as those countries are utopias of citizen disarmament and a government monopoly on violence.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

South Carolina - Liberty Denied Again © 2019 Phillip Evans

In the South Carolina Legislature, the wheels of liberty turn slow. In fact, not much progress, if any, has been made in recent years to ease up on the onerous restrictions of carrying a firearm for self-defense in the Palmetto State.

However, along came H.3456 which looked very promising. It would allow citizens to legally carry a handgun openly or concealed without requiring government mandated and approved training, and a permission slip obtained upon sufficient payment of $$$ to the government. 

Basically, the bill would just let the Second Amendment do the job it was intended to do, by removing the hoops we subjects - I mean citizens - have to jump through in order to be able to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the criminals that prey upon us.

But then, just like lightning, a wonderful excuse to stop the liberty wheel from turning altogether popped up when needed... And it was, a Facebook comment!

The comment was made in response to a post by Freedom Action Network that blamed Rep. McCoy for stalling the bill in committee. 

Well, if the bill was already being held up, it surely has zero chance now, to hear the "I support the Second Amendment" Republicans talk about it.

Senator Stephen Goldfinch recently stated that he had canceled a hearing on a similar bill because of the threatening Facebook comment against McCoy. 

Sounds like some lawmakers want to deny liberty to citizens because of one bad actor posting a boneheaded comment on Facebook. Isn't that the same thing the gun-grabbers do when a lunatic shoots up a place? They want to make it illegal for citizens to merely possess a semi-automatic rifle. Punish the many for the one, the saying goes.

Don't politicians love freedom enough to not punish their innocent voters, who merely want to exercise their rights without being put in jail for it? Guess not.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Florida - Open Carry Legalized This Year? © 2019 Phillip Evans

For the last several years the Florida Legislature and Governor's office has enjoyed strong Republican representation. One might then rightly wonder why the general prohibition of the open carry of firearms, which was orchestrated by Clintonite Democrat Janet Reno back in 1987, has not yet been overturned by Republicans professing to "support the Second Amendment". 

There certainly has been time to do it. The how of it is clearly known. The Florida State Senate has consistently selected Senate Presidents who have orchestrated the defeat of bills that would legalize open carry by packing the Senate Judiciary Committee with enough members who would ensure such defeats, all while the NRA gives them a wink and a nod along with their A+ ratings year after year.

Could it be that Republican lawmakers in Florida simply view legalized open carry of pistols holstered on one's hip as too much liberty (except for the specially government authorized - the police)? Sorry Florida, but forty-five other states have legalized open carry of handguns. The majority of those, about 30, do not even require a license to carry in public when wearing a holstered and visible sidearm. 

Could it be because Florida is a state that depends on tourism? If open carry becomes legalized would tourists avoid the state in droves, even though much of those same tourists come from the other 45 states where open carry is legal? And what about foreign tourists? Will they cross Florida off their list? If tourists wish to visit states where open carry is banned they have only a precious few where their tender eyes can be shielded from the sight of a holstered pistol not carried by persons in a uniform with a badge. 

In my home state of Georgia where the open carry of pistols and even rifles and shotguns has never been illegal there doesn't seem to be a shortage of tourists from other states or other countries. So what gives? It could be that Florida lawmakers simply do not have the stomach for the public exercise of the right of self-defense. 

As a result, not only is the citizens' right to keep and bear arms infringed, but their First Amendment right to express support for the Second Amendment by allowing their lawfully carried firearm to be visible is also infringed.

The vast majority of criminals who know that you are armed will avoid you and choose an easier target. Criminals are lazy and do not want to work hard. They want an easy score and don't want to risk a gunfight. Lawfully armed citizens who are forced by law to conceal must therefore risk appearing to be an unarmed target, increasing the chance of a confrontation leading to a shootout that neither most criminals nor lawful carriers would want to have happen. 

ANY self-defense shooting in public puts innocent bystanders at risk of injury or death. Therefore, legalized open carry is a safety measure that helps to avoid confrontation with criminals and helps protect innocent lives, even the lives of criminals who have at least some sense of self-preservation (so their mamas don't show up on TV asking why their good boy turning his life around had to get shot by his robbery victim). 

Criminals that want to continue breathing wisely know that targeting a person known to be armed is not a good idea. However, there are firearms experts and instructors as well as law enforcement officers who disagree among themselves as to whether open carry is a good idea or not. That's perfectly fine. 

The bottom line is we should not criminalize a citizen's choice to peacefully carry their weapon of self-defense without a layer clothing hiding it. What is all this talk of liberty and freedom of choice in this country if we don't have the basic choice to publicly exercise our constitutional right to bear arms? 

Are there any other constitutional rights that must be hidden in public when exercised, under threat of fines and jail? 

Will new Florida Governor Ron DeSantis be like former Gov. Rick Scott regarding Florida's ban on open carry?

Gov. Scott said he would sign a bill legalizing open carry if it landed on his desk, then sat back and watched the State Senate torpedo every such bill without making even the sound of a whimper. I suppose that way he could keep his NRA A+ rating without rocking the boat. 

Let's hope Governor DeSantis is a genuine champion of our Second Amendment rights and not the typical Florida Republican kind. 

Folks, if you want to have any hope of further restoring your Second Amendment Rights in Florida then join Florida Carry for only $25 per year. This Georgia boy typing these words here is a paying member of Florida Carry. It is the best investment you can make to honor and forward ahead freedom in your state. 

When you join, buy a gift membership for a friend or family member. Tell others that you have joined Florida Carry and why. And then write or call Governor DeSantis and tell him that you've joined Florida Carry because you want to see open carry legalized in Florida. To stay abreast of Florida Carry events join their Facebook group for free at this link.