(FL) Concealed gun law is mum on liquid lunch


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Drizzt
September 13, 2007, 01:16 AM
Tom Lyons

Concealed gun law is mum on liquid lunch

There are some gun rights advocates I hear from whenever they read about a citizen using a gun to thwart a criminal.

They love those stories. Some especially love it when the good guy has a concealed firearm permit. Such accounts prove that just about everyone who isn't a criminal should carry a gun, they tell me.

But none have contacted me about the arrest of concealed weapons permit holder Albert H. Rudolph III, who police say pulled a .45-caliber semi-automatic out of his shirt at Patrick's, a downtown Sarasota restaurant.

Witnesses said Rudolph cocked or "racked" the gun before setting it on the plastic tray his bill had arrived on. Employees later found a bullet that fell to the floor.

This is a case I would submit as evidence that some people who now carry firearms legally in Florida most certainly should not. It also shows a problem with Florida's concealed weapons law.

Rudolph, 75, wasn't trying to thwart a crime when he pulled his gun. He later told police he was just trying to get his gun out of the way so he could reach his wallet.

I don't doubt it, but Sarasota police Capt. Stan Duncan says the man's actions led a lot of people to put down their club sandwiches and wish they were somewhere else.

Police said Rudolph had downed four alcoholic drinks with his lunch. Though he says he didn't mean to frighten anybody, anyone drunk or stupid enough not to realize the effect such a gun display would have lacks a grasp of responsible handling of a firearm.

Rudolph may lose his permit to carry a concealed weapon, because it was illegal to turn his gun into an unconcealed firearm in that public place. Some alcohol-related counseling seems like a fine idea, too.

But when Capt. Duncan told a Herald-Tribune reporter last week it was illegal for the man and his gun to even be in that restaurant because alcohol is served there, he was overstating the case.

Florida's concealed firearm statute bans permit holders from carrying weapons into schools and courthouses and quite a few other places, including bars. But it is legal to have a concealed gun in a restaurant that serves alcohol, except in the area primarily devoted to alcohol.

And nothing in the statute clearly bans drinking in a public place while carrying a gun.

The man seems to have crossed a clear legal line only when he flashed that gun. But being armed while downing the liquid lunch that enables such bad judgment?

That's not mentioned in the statute.



Tom Lyons can be contacted at tom.lyons@heraldtribune.com or (941) 361-4964.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20070911/COLUMNIST36/709110582

Is this really the case?

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Agouti
September 13, 2007, 01:29 AM
Good heavens, a citizen displayed a firearm. In public too. In other local news, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rises drastically in the area due to uncoordinated drunk men emptying out their pockets while looking for their wallets.

I suppose it's good I read this now. If I ever carried my pocket pistol, I'd want to keep it in my pocket... right above my wallet. If I was drunk, I probably would have dropped and scratched it too. I would not want to repeat this fellow's mistake of fumbling through one's personal belongings, in the sight of a hoplophobic crowd.

.cheese.
September 13, 2007, 01:40 AM
Modified version by .cheese.
------------------------
Not by Tom Lyons

Mum always did make an excellent lunch

There are some gun control advocates I hear from whenever they read about a citizen using a gun illegally and becoming a criminal.

They love those stories. Some especially love it when the guy has a concealed firearm permit. Such accounts prove that just about everyone is a criminal and therefore nobody should own a gun, or so they tell me.

Of course, all have contacted me about the arrest of concealed weapons permit holder Albert H. Rudolph III, who police say pulled a .45-caliber semi-automatic out of his shirt at Patrick's, a downtown Sarasota restaurant.

Witnesses said Rudolph cocked or "racked" the gun before setting it on the plastic tray his bill had arrived on. Employees later found a bullet that fell to the floor.

This is a case I would submit as evidence that there is no method of predicting the future. Those who issue permits have no crystal ball. In order to maximize the ability of citizens to protect themselves, they must use the information available and render a prompt decision as to whether or not the criteria is met. It however does not show a problem with Florida's concealed weapons law.

Rudolph, 75, technically committed a crime when he pulled his gun. He later told police he was just trying to get his gun out of the way so he could reach his wallet. This for all is known may be true. Sarasota police Capt. Stan Duncan says the man's actions led a lot of people to put down their club sandwiches and wish they were somewhere else. Why it is that the existence of an object is more important than the actions of its owner are a mystery of the universe. What is known however, is that concealed carry laws allow citizens to protect themselves had the situation escalated.

Police said Rudolph had downed four alcoholic drinks with his lunch. Though he says he didn't mean to frighten anybody, anyone drunk or stupid enough not to realize the effect such a gun display would have lacks common sense.

Rudolph may lose his permit to carry a concealed weapon, because it is illegal to open-carry in Florida anywhere other than your home or place of work (assuming you either own the establishment, or are acting on behalf of the owner). Some alcohol-related counseling seems like a fine idea, too.

But when Capt. Duncan told a Herald-Tribune reporter last week it was illegal for the man and his gun to even be in that restaurant because alcohol is served there, he was overstating the case.

Florida's concealed firearm statute bans permit holders from carrying weapons into schools and courthouses and quite a few other places, including bars. But it is legal to have a concealed gun in a restaurant that serves alcohol, except in the area primarily devoted to alcohol.

And nothing in the statute clearly bans drinking in a public place while carrying a gun, nor should it. To ban all alcoholic consumption while carrying a firearm, such as a glass of wine with a gourmet meal, is essentially throwing the baby out with the bath water.

The man seems to have crossed a clear legal line only when he flashed that gun. But being armed while downing the liquid lunch that enables such bad judgment? - That's not mentioned in the statute. It's good to see our laws don't go too far. If we work, we can keep it that way.

The incredibly stupid actions of one individual should never be used to judge an entire population.

Tom Lyons can be contacted at tom.lyons@heraldtribune.com or (941) 361-4964. However, this is not his original article. This is:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article...ST36/709110582

Article NOT modified with permission.
--------------------------------------

Andrewsky
September 13, 2007, 01:54 AM
The guy who pulled his gun is an idiot.

Of course that shouldn't have any effect on my rights.

Soybomb
September 13, 2007, 01:56 AM
Subject : Re: Concealed gun law is mum on liquid lunch
----- Message Text -----
Mr. Lyons I'd like to be the first gun rights advocate to contact you
regarding Albert Rudolph. I certainly don't condone his actions and
imagine law enforcement will take appropriate actions regarding his
license to carry. I don't see 1 example as evidence that Florida's
concealed carry laws are flawed though. If you wish to prove that I think
you need to present some statistically significant numbers.

Past that though I'm curious what your current thoughts on DUI laws are.
Most adult men could probably go out today and have a beer or two with
dinner and still not be considered under the influence of alcohol and
legal to drive home. You seem to imply that people should not be allowed
to drink at all when carrying a weapon. Shouldn't the absolutely no
drinking rule then also apply to driving?

Finally looking at Florida state law Chapter 790.151 it appears to me as
though it may already be illegal to be intoxicated and in posession of a
concealed firearm.

790.151 Using firearm while under the influence of alcoholic beverages,
chemical substances, or controlled substances; penalties.--

(1) As used in ss. 790.151-790.157, to "use a firearm" means to discharge
a firearm or to have a firearm readily accessible for immediate discharge.

(2) For the purposes of this section, "readily accessible for immediate
discharge" means loaded and in a person's hand.

(3) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in subsection (4) for any
person who is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical
substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under
chapter 893, when affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties
are impaired, to use a firearm in this state.

(4) Any person who violates subsection (3) commits a misdemeanor of the
second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) This section does not apply to persons exercising lawful self-defense
or defense of one's property.

iiibdsiil
September 13, 2007, 02:48 AM
Possession in those terms, yes. He would still be allowed to have it concealed and be drunk, as long as it isn't in his hand and loaded.

I actually feel this is one of the better laws we have. Yeah, it's stupid to allow some drunks to have a gun on them, but for those that can get drunk and not feel the need to handle their guns, it is great. I feel like it's one of the closest laws we have to guns and gun owners not being crazy, since it is essentially the same as DUI. You can ride in your car (carry the gun), but if you drive it (pull the gun loaded), you will be charged. That seems fair and gives us the chance to prove ourselves instead of the government making some law so we don't even have a chance.

Cacique500
September 13, 2007, 10:39 AM
The guy should lose his permit.

Under no circumstance should he have "racked" the firearm if he was going for his wallet...that's just plain stupid. If your wallet is THAT inaccessable go back to the bathroom and take your wallet out there.

I'm not going to get into the drinking part, but drinking while carrying is a bad idea in general. *IF* something goes down you can be assured your blood-alcohol will be tested and that's gonna get the highlights in the news story and make the rest of us look bad.

strat81
September 13, 2007, 10:48 AM
I'm on the fence with this. On one hand, I think a beer or two with dinner while carrying should NOT be a crime (not that I would do it). On the other, I feel that, generally, firearms and alcohol don't mix. I also feel that drinking and driving don't mix either. Part of the problem is the weak punishment for DUI/DWI. Guns and cars should share the same laws with regards to alcohol and punishment for violating should be much steeper. In my eyes, driving with a BAC of .15 is attempted murder or at least assault with a deadly weapon and should be punished as such.

One of the biggest problems I have with Nebraska (compared to my hometown of NYC) is the nonchalant attitude about drunk driving.

Sharps-shooter
September 13, 2007, 11:41 AM
EEK! a gun!

Where I live this wouldn't be illegal. You can open carry if you want, and some folks do. People are not that unaccustomed to it. As a result, people don't freak out at the sight of a gun. Which makes everybody safer.

CDignition
September 13, 2007, 11:52 AM
Tom Lyons is a liberal wack job...Hes local to me and I don't read his crap cause it makes my head want to explode.

true, it sounds as though this old dude made a bad judgment decision, it also sounds to me like he unloaded his gun when he took it out.

How many 75 year old people will make a bad call today and kill someone in a motor vehicle?? Those folks have other things to be truly afraid of, and not a gun..

Florida law is clear on what you can and cant do in regards to alcohol. 4 beers ain't gonna make a smart person into a moron, so it isn't really a concern.

He just needs more training...but looks like his one screwup will lose him his rights..and thats a bad thing for all of us.

pdowg881
September 13, 2007, 12:18 PM
He should've avoided pulling out his gun, but that still shouldn't effect my constitutional right.

In other news: I recently know a fellow motorist who got caught driving drunk and arrested. Of course when these motorists drive to the store, they are praised, but nobody says much when one of them gets a DUI. So much for their reasoning that anyone who isn't a drunk driver should drive a car.

ServiceSoon
September 13, 2007, 07:06 PM
In other news a local police officer unjustifiably shot and killed a person. Maybe police officers shouldn't have guns either.

In other news a guy was pulled over for going 55 in a 35. Maybe people shouldn’t be allowed to obtain an operators license.

:banghead:

Doggy Daddy
September 13, 2007, 07:24 PM
I wonder how many other diners were swept with the muzzle as he pulled it out, racked the slide, and placed it on the tray.

That concerns me more than the simple fact that he "exposed his weapon".

Mannlicher
September 13, 2007, 09:06 PM
Bad behavior, and yes, stupid behavior ,should be addressed, and appropriate punishment handed out on a case by case basis.

Robert Hairless
September 13, 2007, 09:28 PM
Mr. Lyons would do much better to campaign for modification of Florida law so it prohibits stupid. Stupid is not restricted to people who carry firearms. It is a menace that crosses all lines of every kind.

I would support such a law in every state, and I would join a movement to outlaw stupid on a federal level too. In time that law might become common in all countries. Imagine how much better this world would be if stupid, currently the plague of humanity, could be eradicated.

As for the issue of how journalists, Rosie O'Donnell, Michael Moore, and most Hollywood personalities will support themselves when stupid is no more, we must not allow ourselves to become diverted so that we lose our own ability to see the significance of events. At least some of us understand that Albert Rudolph probably did not have a copy of the Florida statutes with him when he committed stupid and realize that no law would have prevented him from committing stupid.

We are not, after all, stupid.

Robert Hairless
September 13, 2007, 09:51 PM
By the way, folks, while many people seem to be scrambling for high moral ground there seems to be a failure to focus on the legitimate goal of laws: to prevent people from harming other people by punishing them if they do so.

Laws--even really flashy, snazzy laws with wire wheels and chrome bumpers--are not in themselves preventatives or curatives. Laws do not prevent accidental pregnancy, banish migraines, create intelligence, or increase the life of an automobile tire.

We find ourselves in a time and place where people look to laws as if they are the wizard's magic spell, hunt down every conceivable ill, and demand as many laws as humankind's wildest imagination can conceive.

We probably have enough laws to satisfy several generations of morons who can't otherwise handle day-to-day life. There are more laws than anyone can possibly know or understand or remember. When there are so many laws the most important of all laws prevails: Gresham's Law. Bad law drives out good law.

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