|DATE:||November 16, 2015|
|TO:||USF & NRA Members and Friends|
|FROM:||Marion P. Hammer|
|USF Executive Director|
|NRA Past President|
URGENT: CS/HB-163 Open Carry by Rep. Matt Gaetz is on the agenda for the House Justice Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, November 18 at 1:00pm.
HB-163 is a bill to allow persons with a Concealed Weapons & Firearms License to carry firearms concealed or openly.
It will prevent CW license holders from being charged with the crime of violating the "Open Carry" law because a concealed firearm, being legally carried, accidentally or inadvertently becomes visible to the sight of another person.
ANYTIME YOU CARRY CONCEALED, YOU ARE IN DANGER OF BEING ARRESTED, CHARGED AND PROSECUTED LIKE A CRIMINAL for violating the ban on open carry of firearms, if your gun is accidentally, unintentionally, briefly exposed to the sight of another person.
Our attorneys tell us that the ONLY WAY to completely stop this abuse is to legally allow license holders to carry openly -- then they cannot be charged with violation of the open carry ban no matter how brief the accidental and unintentional exposure.
We need you to contact committee members immediately and urge them to pass this bill.
PLEASE IMMEDIATELY EMAIL Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee and URGE THEM TO SUPPORT HB-163 By Rep. Matt Gaetz
In the subject line put: SUPPORT HB-163 -- Stop Abuse of License Holders
(Block and Copy All email addresses into the "Send To" box)
It is imperative that you email these Committee members right away.
FACTS ABOUT FLORIDA'S OPEN CARRY BILL
Despite the misinformation peddled to the press, these are the facts:
- This bill only applies to handguns. Nothing in this bill would authorize the open carry of long guns – rifles or shotguns.
- Nothing in this bill in any way impacts the private property rights of others – not of businesses and not of private individuals.
- Only a person with a license to carry concealed may choose to carry openly.
- The same restrictions that apply to carrying concealed will also apply to open carry. [ s.790.06 ]
- No person may carry a firearm around in the hand or exhibit it in a rude careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense. To do so violates existing law. [ s.790.10 ]
- A license holder is required -- by existing law -- to show the license to any law enforcement officer who wants to see it -- that's in the original law passed in 1987. [ s.790.06 (1) ]
- Businesses have the right to deny entry, refuse service, and/or evict anyone they wish -- unless it's done on the basis of race, gender, or religion. It is common to see signs that say, "No shoes, no shirt, no service." Businesses should not be reluctant to post signs saying , "No open carrying of firearms." It's THEIR right.
- Seventy percent (70%) of the American public live in open carry states from all regions of the country. Many of the 45 open carry states have large and diverse cities just like Florida. No matter where you live geographically, whether it's Trilby, Fla. or Fanning Springs, Fla., you have the same constitutional rights as citizens who live in Miami, Tampa, or Orlando.
- Forty-five (45) states allow open carry of firearms.
- 15 of 45 open carry states require a license to carry concealed or openly.
- 30 of 45 open carry states DO NOT require any license to carry openly.
- 0 of 15 carry license states require additional training to carry openly.
- 0 of 45 states offer a separate "open carry" license.
- 2 of 45 states require a holster to open carry.
- 0 of 45 states require a special retention holster.
- 5 of 15 are "may-issue" states where law enforcement issues licenses.
- 15 of 15 states require the license holder to produce the license on lawful demand by a law enforcement officer.
10. Florida is 1 of 5 states that DO NOT allow Open Carry. The others are California, Illinois, New York and South Carolina. It's time for Florida to be in better company.
Allowing concealed carry license holders to also carry openly is THE ONLY WAY to stop abuse by law enforcement officers. License holders continue to be arrested and prosecuted for violation of the law banning open carry when their concealed firearms are accidentally, unintentionally and briefly exposed to the ordinary sign of another person.
Despite efforts in 2011 to stop this abuse continues and it has to stop.
ANYTIME a concealed carry license holder is carrying concealed he/she is in danger of being maliciously and spitefully arrested, charged with a crime and prosecuted like a criminal, if the gun is accidentally seen by another person.
EMAIL COMMITTEE MEMBERS TODAY: Tell them to support HB-163