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**ALERT ROUND 4 ** HELP Restore Rights to Concealed Weapons License Holders in Florida

Friday, February 18, 2011

Includes Concealed Weapons License Open-Carry, Campus-Carry, Guns-In-Vehicles and Purchase of Long Guns in other states

DATE:       February 18, 2011
TO:            USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:      Marion P. Hammer
                  USF Executive Director 
                  NRA Past President

Senate Bill 234, introduced by Senator Greg Evers (R-2) has been scheduled to be heard in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, February 22 at 9:00 a.m. 

SB 234 is a bill that 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.

The 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 firearms purchase in contiguous state law, 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!  The Senate Criminal Justice Committee Must Hear From You!

PLEASE IMMEDIATELY E-MAIL the 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)

evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov,
dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov,
dockery.paula.web@flsenate.gov,
margolis.gwen.web@flsenate.gov,
smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov

BACKGROUND

OPEN CARRY:

# 1. The open carry provision addresses the problem of an accidental or unintentional exposure of a firearm being carried by a 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 control/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 4 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.

CARRY ON COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY CAMPUS:

#2.
This bill will would remove another needless restriction on Second Amendment rights. It will allow persons with concealed weapons licenses to carry on campus for self-defense and other lawful purposes. In order to qualify for a license, a person must be 21 years of age or older. We're not talking about teenage freshmen or underclassmen so don't let anti-gun college and university administrators put that false image in your head.

This nation asks 18 year olds to go to war and die for this county but when they come home, as veterans, we don't let them carry a concealed firearm until they are 21 years old.  When we do let them get a license to carry concealed, we deny that right if they decide to go to college and get a better education to make a better life. 

FIREARMS CARRY IN A VEHICLE:

#3.
The 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) Quit 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.
The 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 now 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.

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