Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert! Sheriffs Continuing to Speak Out in Support of Open Carry

Monday, October 26, 2015

Florida Alert!  Sheriffs Continuing to Speak Out in Support of Open Carry

 

DATE:  October 26, 2015
TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President


Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith spoke passionately about the Open Carry bill (SB-300 by Sen. Don Gaetz) in Senate Criminal Justice Committee on 10/20/15.  Watch his testimony here:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1_JDmhPZmzs

Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel was represented at a press conference in support of the bill that was held in the Capitol 10/06/15.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been very outspoken and testified in support of the Open Carry bill in the House Criminal Justice Committee on 10/06/15.  Watch his testimony here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eawTvgsRLxM

Additionally, Sheriff Ivey has recently written an OpEd article in support of Open Carry.  Read it below.

As more Sheriffs continue to speak out in support of the constitutional right to carry and the right of self-defense of their constituents, we will continue to make you aware of where your Sheriff stands.

You may thank these sheriffs for their support by email.  They are supporting you and your rights -- and they deserve your support and your thanks.

[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected]

http://www.guns.com/2015/10/22/florida-sheriff-my-support-of-open-carry-goes-even-deeper/

Florida Sheriff: “My support of Open Carry goes even deeper”
October 22, 2015
Opinion by Sheriff Wayne Ivey

As each of us watches with astonishment at what is currently taking place across our country, we struggle to find solutions to reduce the potential for the next active shooter or violent crime that could take place in our own communities.  Shootings and mass killings at churches, movie theaters, schools, malls, military bases, and even colleges have forever changed the game and have left Law Enforcement and law abiding citizens scrambling for an answer to prevent the next critical incident.

While there are many opposing opinions, personal views and empirical data reflecting respective positions, there is only one undisputed fact: the best law enforcement agencies in the country have response times in minutes and bad people with evil intentions act in seconds.

Like each of you, I strongly support our Constitution and have unwavering support for the 2nd Amendment.  There is no doubt that historians and legal minds often disagree on the intentions and interpretations of the 2nd Amendment, however, most will agree that the true essence of the 2nd Amendment was to allow people the right to bear arms to protect themselves.

While the Constitution lays the foundation for “the right to bear arms,” my support of Open Carry goes even deeper.  Our jobs as Law Enforcement Officers is to prevent, investigate, and solve crimes while doing everything we can to legally protect our citizens.  We stress to our citizens every day the importance of making themselves, their homes, and their businesses “hard” targets so that criminals will not target them or their families.  Violent criminals are opportunists, who look for an easy or “soft” target to victimize.

For decades Law Enforcement agencies have instructed citizens to put alarm signs out front of their homes and businesses to deter criminals. In fact, most agencies will even instruct citizens to prominently place an alarm sign at their location even if they don't have an alarm.  Why? Because we are trying to make their homes and businesses hard targets and not soft targets.

The same theory applies to open carry when we are trying to protect our citizens.

I don't want our citizens to have to defend an attack that could have easily been avoided had they been able to clearly demonstrate to a waiting criminal that they are a hard target and not a soft target.  To emphasize this point, I ask you to consider that each and every day across our country we investigate robberies at restaurants, banks, drug stores, gas stations, convenience stores and homes, but what we don't see are armed robberies at pawn shops and gun stores.  The reason why is very simple—because criminals know what awaits them on the other side of the counter!

A historical survey performed by the University of Massachusetts and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice  gives great credibility to the above philosophy and concept.  The survey involved the interviews of over 1,800 violent inmates from 10 different states including Florida who were asked questions concerning target selection and how they picked their victims.  To this day it is still considered to be one of the most comprehensive studies conducted with criminals who gave firsthand accounts of what criminals consider when committing crimes.  The study revealed the following: 

  • 81% of interviewees agreed that a “smart criminal” will try to determine if a potential victim is armed. 
  • 74% indicated that burglars avoided occupied dwellings because of fear of being shot. 
  • 57% said that most criminals feared armed citizens more than the police. 
  • 40% of the felons said that they have been deterred from committing a particular crime, because they believed that the potential victim was armed. 
  • 57% of the felons who had used guns themselves said that they had encountered potential victims who were armed. 
  • 34% of the criminal respondents said that they had been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed citizen.


Based on this government-funded research, it would appear that known armed citizens do represent a direct deterrent effect on crime.  Our citizens deserve the right to demonstrate that they have the ability to protect themselves.  At the very least they deserve the choice to reveal themselves as a hard target and not a soft target.  I challenge you to find a single Law Enforcement Officer or Sheriff in our state that doesn't believe that a criminal is less likely to target a victim whom they know is armed and prepared.  If you know in your heart this is a true statement, then how can we as law enforcement leaders deny a citizen the right to demonstrate that they have the ability to protect themselves?

Lastly, there are 45 other states in our country that have “some” form of open carry.  There is no question that “Open Carry” will eventually occur in Florida.  The overall design and intent of HB 163 and SB 300 is to mandate the same statutory requirements, regulations, qualifications and restrictions that currently apply to the Florida Concealed Carry Permit such as safety training, weapon handling proficiency, background check, permitted areas of carry, and psychological well being. 

I personally believe it is imperative that we as law enforcement leaders express a clear and convincing voice in the design and potential impact of this bill.  By sitting at the table with the various groups that want to discuss this important issue, we can work together to draft legislation that is designed to protect our citizens, our protectors and our Constitutional Rights.

To simply stand idly by and say we either agree or disagree does absolutely no service for our employees and citizens. We as law enforcement leaders should be standing and proudly voicing our desire to ensure that all legislation meets the number one priority of government, to protect its citizens.  By not only having a voice, but exercising that voice in the drafting of this bill, we can make sure we create positive laws that are in the best interest of our citizens and our Law Enforcement members.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida Open Carry
TRENDING NOW
NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

The National Rifle Association (NRA) welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen. The Court affirmed that the right to bear arms does not stop at a person’s front door. This is the most ...

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

Friday, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

On Thursday, SCOTUS released a historic decision in the NYSRPA v. Bruen case when they found the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding Americans to carry a firearm outside of the home. Despite the hysteria from ...

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The So-called “Boyfriend Loophole” is About Undermining the Second Amendment

At present, federal law generally bars anyone who is convicted in any court for a domestic violence felony, or any felony for that matter, from possessing firearms. But federal law also imposes a lifetime firearm possession prohibition on ...

Treachery! White House Moves to Strangle U.S. Ammunition Supply

News  

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Treachery! White House Moves to Strangle U.S. Ammunition Supply

Last night, news broke that the Biden Administration is taking behind-the-scenes steps to further strangle the already constricted market for ammunition in the United States. The move could result in a reduction of the commercial production ...

New Jersey: Chaos Reigns Supreme In Trenton

Friday, June 24, 2022

New Jersey: Chaos Reigns Supreme In Trenton

Trenton Democrats desperately want to pass something, anything. They just are not sure what. So far, their approach has been to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. Make no mistake, Gov. Phil Murphy loaded ...

Gun Control Package Passes U.S. Senate; House Vote Imminent

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Gun Control Package Passes U.S. Senate; House Vote Imminent

On Thursday, the U.S Senate passed a sweeping package of gun control measures. The text of the legislation was only unveiled Tuesday evening. And while much of the 80-page bill did indeed seek to address ...

Juvenile Records for Background Checks: An Issue That Should Provoke Caution, Skepticism

News  

Monday, June 20, 2022

Juvenile Records for Background Checks: An Issue That Should Provoke Caution, Skepticism

As Senate negotiators continue work on fine-tuning concepts for a gun control “framework” announced last week, one issue that has received surprisingly little attention is the potential inclusion of juvenile records in federal firearm background checks.

Senate Gun Control Package Creates De Facto Waiting Periods

News  

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Senate Gun Control Package Creates De Facto Waiting Periods

Most law-abiding Americans over the age of 18 enjoy the right to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL or gun dealer) following an instant background check through the FBI’s National Instant Background ...

Red Flag Orders Enable Political Abuse

News  

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Red Flag Orders Enable Political Abuse

So-called “Red Flag” orders, or Emergency Risk Protection Orders, are designed to empower the government to confiscate Americans’ firearms without due process of law. Aside from allowing run-of-the-mill malicious actors to indulge personal grudges against law-abiding gun owners, ...

New Hampshire: Gov. Sununu Signs ATV Carry

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

New Hampshire: Gov. Sununu Signs ATV Carry

NRA applauds Governor Sununu for signing House Bill 1636 into law. This NRA-backed legislation allows individuals to carry a loaded firearm on an OHRV or snowmobile in the Granite State. NRA would like to thank ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.