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Open carry gun bill hits the mark in House

by John Kennedy | March 15th, 2011

Legislation allowing concealed weapons holders to openly carry their firearms sailed through a House panel Tuesday — nudged along by its sponsor, House Speaker-in-waiting, Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary.

The 10-3 vote in the Criminal Justice subcommittee came despite opposition from law enforcement, which also has been urging the Senate to shelve a similar measure, a favorite of the National Rifle Association and its state affiliate, Unified Sportsmen of Florida.

Hillsborough County sheriff’s officials Tuesday warned that allowing Floridians to openly wear a holstered sidearm would add a new level of uncertainty to many crime scenes. They said it might be tough for officers to separate the bad guys from a gun-toting civilian.

“In our business, the difference between living and dying on the job often is one moment of hesitation,” said Major Thomas Feeney.

Florida retailers and car dealers also are arguing against the legislation, saying they fear pistol-packing clients coming into their businesses.

Dorworth and supporters, though, say the legislation (HB 517) merely cuts some slack for permit-holders. It’s now possible, backers say, for those authorized to carry a weapon to be cited if the wind blows a jacket or shirt aside to expose their firearm.

Dorworth, like Senate sponsor, Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, has stripped from the bill a provision that would’ve allowed open-carry on college campuses. Supporters backed off following pleas from many campus police departments and the emotional testimony of the father of an Florida State University student accidently shot dead in January by another student.

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29 Responses to “Open carry gun bill hits the mark in House”

  1. Jim Says:

    ccw permit holders can already walk into a car dealership or retail store with a firearm concealed. So wouldn’t you feel safer knowing he has a gun than not knowing?

  2. OBIWAN Says:

    Which part of Concealed Carry Weapon permits don’t you understand?

    Try everything after ‘concealed’…

    Florida is one of the few states that got caught w/o ‘open carry’ as LIBERAL LEO’s arrested CCW permit holders for an exposed weapon with shirt flapping in the wind!!

    Florida should join Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont as allowing any adult permitted to purchase a weapon to carry it anyway they please!

    You do the same background check to purchase as you do for CCW? You don’t need the honest, law-abiding citizens fingerprints in database unless their employment requires it!!

    SO, it isn’t just the 780,000 CCW that carry… maybe another million or so that don’t want to be profiled as a criminal?

    Same anti-gun rants will now appear as with the Castle Doctrine years back… only the criminals have fear of gun toting citizens… that produce crime stats 100 times better than average!

  3. Gun-toting Wackos Says:

    Do you really think I should feel safer with you gun-toting freaks open carrying? I see all of you anti-social deviants at the gun shows. To think you should carry in the open is beyond stupidity. Why don’t you try to get some balls and confidence and maybe you won’t feel the need to open carry to feel safer.

    And the guy who said it will help in the event a breeze blows and lifts your shirt–exposing your firearm–what a crock. What he really means is that they won’t get in trouble when they feel the need to ‘flash’ their piece at someone when they aren’t getting their way. Bunch of cowards–all of you NRA retards.

    And before you hang me in effigy–I have a CWP and I carry. I don’t want them to be allowed on college campus–are you crazy. I don’t want them allowed in bars, sporting events, schools, etc. What they really need to do is charge those that get ther guns ‘stolen’ or charge those that can’t produce their firearm when requested. Time to grow up if you want grown up responsibilities.

    All it’s going to do is make the bad guys shoot YOU first. I’m OK with that.

  4. Granny Goobers Says:

    Can this state get any crazier? We should be doing everything possible to limit the number of people carrying guns, not encouraging wild west behavior. Screw it. I’m moving North.

  5. jimE Says:

    WTF? Why does anyone need a weapon, concealed or otherwise? I’m 57 years old and haven’t needed one yet. The bigger the gun, the smaller the man I guess. What a waste of taxpayer money even considering bills like this.

  6. Wyatt Earp Says:

    @gun toting wacko, you’ve quite a condescending attitude. Please be advised there are others with CWP’s with intellects far superior to yours. I carry and don’t want to be arrested or worse if my weapon is briefly exposed and your mama freaks out and calls law enforcement.

  7. Even Steven Says:

    I like an open carry policy. I’m of the opinion that any law abiding citizen should be given every privilege and consideration as a law enforcement officer when it comes to armament. This is as it should be with a constitutionally armed population.

  8. James Says:

    I like it. I want criminals to know there are plenty of people ready to stop them and I think it will deter a lot of would be criminals

  9. Six Gun Ray Says:

    Since Florida is turning into the wild west anyway, I think its only proper that gun-slingers walk the sidewalks…It would be kinda interesting to watch the Saturday night gun-fights in the middle of the street. YIPPY-YAHOO!!! Besides, after Scott and the Tea Party destroy the tax base and all the newly unemployed workers hit the street, we all will probably need to carry.

  10. ozmo Says:

    You are seeing the results of right wing insanity and extremism at the core. Paranoid, low esteem social misfits gone wild.

  11. Louie Says:

    Open carry ?
    Read what happened in a Police “friendly fire” shooting death, over the weekend in Nassau County, Long Island NY.
    Unless you’re an on-duty LEO, it might be tactically advantageous to carry legally concealed.

  12. Truth Seeker Says:

    Please” Please,”Try and understand,
    This bill is not about Right to bear Arms”,..
    Its about,…. simply, “Clothing”!

    “Concealed Carry” with a Florida licence or CCW for short, is already Completely
    Legal,in Florida,.

    What is completely “illegal” is the accidental,
    “REVEALING” of your Holster”!
    This is wrong!

    I was wrongly accused of wearing a unhidden concealment holster
    when i forgot to put my cover sweater back on in 98% Humidity in June
    and had to endure 4 Young cops in my driveway trying to figure out if
    I was a criminal for having a CCW licence and A Holster on my belt
    that my paranoid neighbor saw me wearing in my driveway.
    I am not a criminal,
    “My shirt choice
    should not be what makes my CCW licence legal”.
    Florida is the Sunshine State, That means it’s Hot here most of the year,..

    Asking Legal CCW licence’s to ware Jackets and sweaters all the time to be “Legally Concealed”
    is galacticly wrong,…
    This Bill is simply to remove the “wrong Clothing” aspect of Legal carry.

  13. Bobby 2 times Says:

    I find it interesting that many will not make their point or their “opinion” in their belief that open carry is a “bad thing” without insulting or being plain childish. Keep in mind most of the states already allow this in a way or another. The only time some people think they’ll see a gun it’s when a police officer has it or a criminal points at them. Maybe there is room for people who follow the law also.

  14. James Says:

    Hey a criminal walks into a bank and there are 3 visibly armed people, 2 armed guards, and some old lady that may be packing in her purse. I think the criminal is going to believe that he is in the wrong line of work,and quit or that working so hard is going to kill him.

  15. SAMCRO Says:

    I find gun toting wacko’s comments humerous.. I’m curious what makes the NRA freaks at the Gun Show any different than you… afterall.. you carry and you’re at the show as Have a nice trip Granny, 1 less Yankee the rest of us have to deal with..

    Everyone can argue about this all day long, it comes down to this. Call me a freak, a wacko, whatever you want, I don’t care. The police cannot protect us, and it’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. Stop punishing those of us who abide by the law and spend your time and energy capturing and prosecuting those who do not.

    I guess ignorance is bliss to retailers, as long as you don’t KNOW I’m carrying my .45 into your store the less likely your chances are I’m going to rob you, that’s great logic.

  16. pop Says:

    is this true has the law passed if so thank god something for the good guy, for you whiners,to get a concealed weapons permit means you are a super law abiding citizen!

  17. Shar Says:

    I think people are losing their minds. I would not feel safe seeing someone carrying a gun openly. How do I know if they are a criminal or not? How come this doesn’t have to be voted on by the public?
    It figures these people are Republicans, they are in the NRA’S pocket, and nuttier than a fruit cake.

  18. Better safe than sorry Says:

    After you’ve been robbed a few times your perspective on guns might change.
    Mine changed big time after we were cleaned out. You might also want to be aware that many robbers arrested in PBC never go to trail. The State Attorney is too busy to prosecute them.
    Most are out there just looking for their next victim. Be Safe!

  19. Shar is a moron Says:

    Shar, if you consider someone who has served time for a felony, their right to possess any firearm. So you can be sure that if a criminal is carrying openly he is a very stupid criminal and will soon be back in prison.

  20. Granny Go Home Says:

    Granny, please go home so we can have our nice little State back. The Constitution clearly states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Bearing arms means its on my person.

  21. Granny Go Home Says:

    Don’t Tread on Me!

  22. Guy Says:

    I would rather have the criminals know that I have mine. I am trained and prepaired. Are they? Doubt it, drugs fog the brain. As long as you conduct yourself in a mature and safe manner there should be nothing to worry about. Do all of you anti gun persons carry a pocket knife or nail file? Which both of these items are considered deadly weapons. I don’t hear any of you ranting about people that carry them. Be thankfull that there are LAW abiding citizens that do carry a firearm, we just may save YOUR backside one day. Or maybe not.

  23. FL cracker Says:

    Pocket knives vs gun. who is going to win that battle. I grew up in what these pathetic dread wearing and baggy clothing fakes refer to the Raw. Riviera Beach, FL. I currently live in another non safe part of South FL. At least, I the non criminal will stand a better chance if one of these losers with a stolen gun, more and likely from trading drugs for such. Its everybody for themselves. Wake up America. It was said. The police aren’t going to protect you. By the time, you dial 911, they take an hour or longer to respond. You will be dead. So many of you are afraid of the truth. Be smart. Go buy a gun.

    Nail clippers and switchblades aren’t going to save your life nor your family.

    Be smart. Go to Gander Mountain as soon as your able.

    Im currently saving for a Smith and Wesson G22 and a handgun.

    Good luck.

    I am saving up to purchase the 25 round smith and wess. G22. It will be loaded and ready, bedside. I will also be

  24. ArPee Says:

    When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

  25. Texas 2 steps Says:

    We all have our choice, I hope you pick the right one, cause then, it will be too late.

  26. FL Cracker Says:

    Nobody is talking now. Maybe they saw the light and came to making a wise decision and went to Gander Mountain as I insisted.

  27. Ron Says:

    Funny, “Gun-toting Wackos” says he’ll move if this bill passes because I’ll be moving if it doesn’t. I left NY because of it’s failure to recognize my right to defend my life while shaking me upside down for every dollar and I’ll leave here too. 43 states have open carry, leaving only 7 (unless you went to the same Ivy league school as Obama, then that number is seven higher)that don’t and Texas currently has a bill going through the legislature for OC as well. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna stay in a minority state that doesn’t recognize constitutional rights. Anyone want to discuss the constitutionality of CCW permits in the first place? It’s the equivalent of a poll tax. You get a permit for the right to free speech? No? That’s because it’s a right…oh wait…so is bearing arms and it’s BEARING arms not HIDING arms for the sake of making LE’s life easier or not offending some wuss. I really don’t care what anyone else thinks about it. Just like what I’m saying here is my right whether you, your aunt Tilly or your uncle Mike likes it…so it is my right to keep and BEAR arms. Being told I MUST hide it or risk losing a right has to be one of the most ludicrous things ever to come down the pike. It would be the equivalent of being told I have to shut up or risk losing the right to free speech. How it has been allowed to stand this long is only testimony to how far people’s heads are up their as***. Sheep and useful idiots all over this country.

  28. FL Cracker Says:

    @ Ron. AMEN! ;)

  29. Rick Andrade Says:

    Wow… people are resorting to name calling… and much worse. The fact is… like it or not… MY 2nd Amendment Rights are guaranteed by the Constitution! If you don’t like… and many of you have said so… it really boils down to … “oh well… nothing you can do about it.”

    For the person that suggested this is a cloak for CW permit holders to flash their Concealed Weapon… I would like to submit to you… that willfully doing that…flashing your fire arm… is a FELONY in this state already! That is… expressly revealing your weapon. CW permit holders have been arrested and charged with a felony when the wind has blow your shirt or something else like that happens. This is unintentional… and I ask… if it occurs without the knowledge of the person wearing a concealed weapon, should that be a felony as well?

    Again… you may call those who decide to exercise their Constitutional Right, crazy… but you cannot do anything to interfere with it. You have your opinion, and I have mine.

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