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Legislative Alert – House Bill 163 – Open Carry and Strict Scrutiny

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Article first appeared at Ammoland.com

Ammoland.com – On Wednesday, Nov. 18th, at 1pm the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will hear the Licensed Open Carry bill. Committee members need to hear from you now.

It does not matter if you ever intend to carry unconcealed, this is one of the most important bills filed for the protection of the right to bear arms in Florida since Shall Issue Concealed Carry was passed in 1987.

Open Carry is legal in most of the country. Most often open carry is practiced in very innocuous ways. For example, a concealed carrier who leaves their coat off while pumping gas or the hiker who openly carries in the field. Florida’s Open Carry ban is so strict that it would be illegal for a concealed carry licensee to take off a jacket at a friend’s house if doing so exposed a holstered handgun.

There are other times when a law-abiding gun owner may choose to carry openly rather than concealed. Late at night while getting cash at a ATM, while working outdoors on someone’s property during the summer, or even just running an errand without needing to re-dress to fully conceal a handgun. Regardless of motivation, or even in cases of accidental exposure, Florida’s Licensees have proven that they use good judgement when they carry and should not face criminal prosecution for not hiding their firearms.

Subject (use exact text below):

SUPPORT HB-163 – Protect the Right to Bear Arms

Copy and Paste the following email addresses

To:

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Here’s the breakdown of how the bill protects the rights of gun owners.

  • Section 1 – Strict Scrutiny of all statutes implicating the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Self-Defense
    The judiciary shall employ strict scrutiny in reviewing any statute that implicates the right to bear arms or defend one’s self pursuant to this chapter. The right to bear arms is a fundamental and individual right that exists in any place that a person has the right to be, subject only to exceptionally and narrowly tailored restrictions that employ the least possible restriction on the right in order to achieve a compelling government interest.
  • Section 2 – Arrest only for Unlicensed Concealed Carry (Technical Amendment)
    The unlicensed carrying of a concealed weapon will continue to be declared a breach of peace, and any officer authorized to make arrests under the laws of this state may make arrests without warrant. This section makes is clear that people who have carry licenses are not breaching the peace.
  • Section 3 – Licensed Open Carry & Prohibition on Infringing Gun Owner Rights
    A person licensed to carry a concealed firearm or weapon may also openly carry such firearm…
  • Unless probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed by an individual, any person or entity infringing upon the rights conferred on that individual by (Florida Law), the State Constitution, or the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is liable pursuant to s. 790.33(3)(c), (d), (e), and (f). Notwithstanding any other law, no immunity shall apply to persons infringing on such rights in violation of this subsection.
  • Section 4 – Legislative Findings that Lawful Carry Enhances Public Safety and Strict Scrutiny of 790.25
    The Legislature finds as a matter of public policy and fact that the possession and carrying of weapons and firearms by law-abiding individuals for lawful purposes, including self-defense, enhances public safety…
  • The judiciary shall construe this act in conjunction with the right to bear arms or defend one’s self as provided in chapter 776. The right to bear arms and defend one’s self is a fundamental and individual right that exists in any place that a person has the right to be, subject only to exceptionally and narrowly tailored restrictions that employ the least possible restriction on the right in order to achieve a compelling government interest.
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About Florida Carry, Inc.:

Florida Carry, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental rights of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self-defense as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Sections 2 and 8 of the Florida Constitution. Florida Carry stands to represent our supporters, members, and millions of defensive arms owners of Florida. We are not beholden to any national organization’s agenda that may compromise that mission. Florida Carry works tirelessly toward striking down ill-conceived gun and weapons control laws that have been proven to provide safe havens to criminals and be deadly to law-abiding citizens.

For more information, please visit www.FloridaCarry.org.
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