Restoration of the Right to Openly Carry Firearms in Florida
the Honorable Senators and Representatives of the Florida Legislature and the Governer of the State of Florida
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1. The Constitution of the United States guarantees the right of individuals to keep and bear arms.
2. The Florida Constitution Section 8(a) states "The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law."
3. On October 1, 1987 the Jack Hagler Self Defense Act became Florida law. This act, after months of deliberation by the Legislature, properly allowed citizens to openly carry firearms in public.
4. On October 8, 1987, under intense pressure from the national media, the Florida Legislature enrolled an Act creating Florida Statute 790.053 making it illegal for citizens to openly carry firearms. This Act was signed by the Governer on October 9, 1987 and immediately became effective.
5. Forty Two (42) States permit their citizens to openly carry firearms in public. Twenty Six (26) of these states require no license for their citizens to exercise this right.
6. In these states open carry is very common and does not alarm law enforcement or other citizens.
7. Every individual has the right and responsibility to defend their self against unjustified threats of death or serious bodily injury.
8. Criminals are not deterred by rules, regulations, and laws forbidding the possession of weapons.
9. A criminal will not openly carry a weapon because he does not want to draw attention to himself. We believe that a citizen legally carrying a firearm openly will be a deterrent for crime.
10. The requirement to conceal a firearm for the purpose of protecting self, friends, and family can be difficult. This is especially true in Florida with our extreme heat and humidity since a person will usually have to wear a excessive outer clothing to properly conceal a firearm and to avoid "printing".
11. The requirement to conceal a firearm can make it difficult to draw the weapon should the life of the carrier or the life of someone else be in danger. It is an indisputable fact, in these instances, seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
For the foregoing reasons, we residents of the State of Florida affirm and assert to the following:
1. The immediate repeal of Florida Statute 790.053 and the creation of a new Florida Statute providing that all citizens who may lawfully purchase a firearm be allowed to carry openly in public within the State of Florida, without licensure, except for those places prohibited by law.
2. Additionally, it should also provide that all citizens may openly carry their legal firearms within the confines of their vehicles.
3. We also call for the continued preemption of all firearms regulations by the State, and specifically all regulations regarding the open carrying of weapons
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