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BIG Day for Gun Owners in Florida – Four Victories

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Article first appeared at Ammoland.com

Ammoland – IN THE HOUSE: HB-163, Open Carry by Rep. Matt Gaetz was heard in the House Judiciary Committee and PASSED by a Vote of 12-4.

All Republicans and one Democrat voted in favor of the bill. It was a 2 1/2 hour hearing during which opponents of the bill, primarily the Florida Sheriffs Association, tried unsuccessfully to gut the bill.

HB-163 is a bill to allow persons with a Concealed Weapons & Firearms License to carry firearms concealed or openly which 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.

The amendment — to gut the bill — proposed by the Florida Sheriffs Association was defeated soundly defeated.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a skilled Second Amendment leader, carried the day on open carry and the bill now moves to the floor of the Florida House.


Final Passage of three important bills today on the Senate Floor. All three bills now go to the House.

HB-344 Stand Your Ground/Burden of Proof by Sen. Rob Bradley PASSED THE SENATE 24-12

SB-344 restores the Stand Your Ground law to the original intent of the Legislature by putting the burden of proof BACK ON THE STATE where it belongs.

Through court action, prosecutors and courts have reversed the self-defense law that gives immunity from arrest, detaining in custody, charging and prosecuting until and unless an investigation reveals there is probable cause to believe the act was not lawful self-defense. They created a special “Stand Your Ground” that forces the victim to prove innocence rather than the state prove guilt. This bill stops that.

SB-130 Unlawful Discharge by Sen. Garrett Richter PASSED THE SENATE 37-0.

SB-130 is clarifying language that adds a subsection (4) to existing law to prohibit the recreational discharge of firearms in residential neighborhoods that have a density of one or more dwellings per acre.

It specifically exempts recreational discharge if “under the circumstances, the discharge does not pose a reasonably foreseeable risk to life, safety, or property.”

SB-228 Mandatory Minimum Sentences by Sen. Aaron Bean PASSED THE SENATE 38-0

This bill removes aggravated assault from the 10-20-Life Mandatory Minimum Sentences.

Prosecutors have been wrongfully using 10-20-Life to prosecute people who are exercising self-defense. This bill stops prosecutors from trying to put people in prison for 10 years if they show a gun to scare off an attacker or 20 years for firing a warning shot.


About Unified Sportsmen of Florida (USF):

Unified Sportsmen of Florida is a 501(c)(4) Nonprofit Organization dedicated to protecting Second Amendment rights but under IRS Rules, contributions to USF are not deductible for tax purposes.

For more information, visit: www.scgaa.org/usf.pdf.

Marion P. Hammer is a past president of the National Rifle Association and current executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida.

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