18 February 2011

HELP Restore Rights to Concealed Weapons License Holders in Florida!

As you may know, from being such an avid gun collector, law abiding citizen, and concealed weapons holder since 2003 at age 21, I have fought long and hard to keep the rights our forefathers bestowed upon us in the Second Amendment.  I believe that every American has the right to keep and bear arms, defending themselves whenever necessary from those who will violate the law in any setting.  While others may believe that we need something ridiculous they incorrectly term "gun control," I believe should be spending all the time, energy, and most importantly, MONEY, on stopping those who do not care one bit about the law, no matter what new laws we right in order to take away rights from those who will abide by the laws our congressmen and women so create.  

In this alert from the NRA -- well, here, just read it for yourself:

HELP Restore Rights to Concealed Weapons License Holders in Florida
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 onTuesday, 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)


# 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.

 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.  

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.

 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.
###END QUOTE###  
Please contact that members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and urge them to support SB 234.

You may be asking - if you are even still reading this and not "so disgusted that students or other teachers would be allowed to carry on campus or even openly carry firearms in the state of Florida" - why are these things important?  Why should anyone be allowed to openly carry their firearms?  Why should law abiding, concealed weapons permit holders be allowed to carry firearms on college and university property?  Well, let's think logically.  The students who shot up Virginia Tech and University of Texas, among dozens of others,  were not there to defend themselves, they went on rampages to take innocent lives.  They didn't care about the laws that govern man, they wanted to kill men and women.  So why prevent those from the God given right to protect themselves from bodily harm or possible (and very likely) death?  

And what's this about OPEN carry?  It isn't as scary as you may think.  Concealed weapons permits are just that, for concealed use only.  You are not allowed to show it even for a split second.  If the wind blows, as the NRA Alert states, and someone accidentally sees your firearm, you violated the law and are now a criminal.  There are times where I carry my firearm inside my waistband and bend over at a store, constantly covering up my firearm with my shirt with one hand and trying to pick up a magazine or other item with the other - let me tell you, it gets old real quick.  And all in the sake of defending myself from others in the Number THREE most deadly city in the United States (tied).  Having Florida become an open carry state, just like half of the states in the union already allow with or without permits (see link), would prevent myself and others from committing a crime in the event someone would accidentally see my firearm.  This isn't the Wild West, I'm not a "gunslinger," and carrying the firearm outside my clothes would not only be highly distracting in nearly every situation I can think of, but also quite dangerous considering the chance that I might run into someone one day who thinks they want my gun more than I do and wouldn't mind using it on me.  So I'm not promoting becoming a Black Panther and marching on the capitol with loaded weapons, I'm talking about the option to NOT go to jail for someone accidentally seeing my firearm.  Yeehaw!

The other points of this bill are important, don't get me wrong, but seeing those two in an email I receive from being a member of the NRA jumped out at me to the point that I needed to make this blog ASAP.  If you believe as strongly about these points as a current or future concealed weapons permit holder in the state of Florida, please make sure to do the following (copied again from above because of how important this is!):

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)


Then copy the BACKGROUND information in the quoted email above all the way down to the end of the quote clearly listed.  

God bless the USA!

UPDATE - I just received the following email from Charlie Dean, a Republican representing Florida Senate, District 3:


Thank you for voicing your support of Senator Evers’ Senate Bill 234. As a lifelong member of the NRA and a former Sheriff, I know firsthand how important the issues are surrounding our second amendment rights. Senate Bill 234 would allow people in compliance with the concealed carry license to carry a concealed weapon into more areas than originally allowed. Senate Bill 234 is scheduled to be heard in the Criminal Justice Committee, a committee I serve on, on February 22, 2011. When Senate Bill 234 is brought before me, I will remember your e-mail. You can follow Senate Bill 234 by logging on to www.flsenate.gov. Please continue to write to me on issues important to you or whenever I may be of any assistance.


Very cool!

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