The Florida House of Representative is in the process of putting forward an open-carry law that would give Florida citizens the right to carry a gun in public without a license. The law would not affect Florida’s current concealed weapon laws, but would change the law regarding openly carrying a weapon in public.
Currently, Florida is only one of five states in the Union that bans its people from openly carrying firearms. That ban, found in Florida Statutes 790.053, bans all forms of open-carry except when a person is carrying for purposes of lawful self-defense. The introduction of this bill came soon after the mass shooting in Oregon that tragically resulted in the loss of so many lives.
This bill has met with both support and criticism from across the country. Those supporting the bill regard it as a triumph for Second Amendment rights, while detractors see it as problematic of a culture obsessed with guns.
Opposition for the Bill
Some agencies and groups representing Florida Law Enforcement have come out in opposition of the bill. Most notably, the Florida Sheriffs Association reports that 87 percent of sheriffs polled about the law oppose it. The reasons they cite are:
An open-carry law would inhibit police officers’ ability to ensure public safety;
The law does not restrict where a person can carry;
There are no holster or permit provisions written into the law.
These and other reasons have some law enforcement officials worried that an open-carry law would actually hurt public safety, not help it.
Support for the Bill
On the other side of the argument are the bill’s supporters. At least one legislator cites data from the Department of Justice that indicates that states with open-carry laws have 23% less violent crime. Even that study is contradicted by a Stanford Study that links right-to-carry laws with more violent crime. The overall conclusion of that study was that more guns does not equal less violence. In fact, the study concludes, the opposite is true.
Regardless of who is right, both sides will continue to fight about it until the bill either passes and is signed into law, or does not pass. As of right now the bill is moving forward through the necessary committee, and it looks like the full House and Senate will get a chance to vote on it soon.
Personal Injury and Safety
At The Pittman Firm we are personal injury attorney who work hard to ensure that victims recover for their injuries. Our primary concern as an accident and injury law firm in the Panama City area is to make a safer place for everyone. A big part of that is shown in our line of work. As personal injury attorneys we are there as a reminder to people who would otherwise act negligently and cause injury that if they do, they will have to pay.