The Second Amendment has always been a source of much controversy in our nation. For those who oppose gun control and those who support it, finding a common ground on which to stand can be extremely difficult. With Florida legislators now considering House Bill 163 – an open carry law for the state – more arguments are sure to stir.
Recently, the Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee passed HB 163 with an eight to four vote, despite the strong opposition and protests coming from certain Democratic members of the committee. In particular, people who do not agree with the bill are worried that home or business owners who do not want firearms on their property will be slammed with legal backlash if they deny an open carrier access to certain places. Proponents of the bill were quick to point out that Florida is one of only five states that have an open carry ban, so regulations that are working in other states could be adopted there.
Additionally, in order to openly carry a firearm in public places, a gun owner would first need to qualify and register for a concealed firearm permit. To obtain such a permit, an individual needs to showcase their ability to responsibly handle a firearm and have a relatively clean criminal record. Democrats counterpointed that being able to use a gun during a test does not necessarily mean it will be safely handled in a moment of danger, and will ultimately put innocent bystanders at risk of being shot.
Weapons Charges in Florida
Regardless of how you feel about the proposed HB 163 and the open carry law it details, it should be interesting to see how the law will affect weapons charges in Florida, should it pass. Currently, if you have been arrested for a weapon-related crime – such as illegally possessing a firearm – the only way to defend your rights is through litigation.
Contact The Law Office of Wyndel G. Darville, PLLC and speak to our Sarasota criminal defense attorney, Mr. Darville. With more than 150 jury trials under our team's belt, we believe we should be your first choice of legal advocacy. Call (941) 564-5319 for your free 30-minute consultation today.