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FL Carry Reform Bill in Committee needs YOUR HELP NOW!

Discussion in 'Activism' started by StogieC, Feb 12, 2011.

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  1. StogieC

    StogieC Member

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    FLORIDA CARRY LEGISLATIVE ALERT

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 12, 2011
    SB 234 - FL Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
    Hearing scheduled for 2/22/11

    SB 234 is on the agenda of the FL Senate Committee on Criminal Justice on Tuesday, February 22nd at 9:00am. Florida Carry, Inc. urgently requests that you email via the members of the committee in support of Senate Bill 234.

    This NRA authored bill comprises several separate initiatives. These include the option for CWFL holders to carry openly; a provision to authorize carry at career centers, colleges, and universities; the right to store a firearm in one's vehicle wherever it may be lawfully parked; the authorization for the Department of Agriculture to take fingerprints; the repeal of Florida’s ban on long gun purchases in most other states. Quite simply put, this is the most comprehensive carry rights bill since shall-issue concealed carry was passed twenty-four years ago.

    Florida is one of only seven states where open carry of firearms is generally forbidden, excepting under certain circumstances. Arguments against open carry generally consist of concerns regarding the fearful reactions of the general population. Some have suggested that an open carrier becomes an instant target, having his firearm snatched by a criminal in line at a convenience store. The facts simply do not support those allegations. In states where open carry is lawfully practiced, citizens have become accustomed to the understanding that a holstered weapon is a danger to no one. There have been no wholesale attacks on open carriers, nor have open carriers been shot with their own weapons. Police officers are not fearful of open carriers as they know that a 5-year FBI crime study has shown that criminals do not open carry, nor do they carry in holsters. Criminals shun attention, something that the open carrying of a firearm invariably draws to some extent. Not a single state that has legalized open carry in recent years has repealed the right.

    In 1987, open carry was outlawed primarily because of the predictions of wild west shootouts, blood in the streets, gun battles over parking spaces, and normally law abiding people indiscriminately becoming homicidal maniacs. The main opponent of open carry was Janet Reno, then assistant state attorney. She was able to rally support from a vocal group of police administrators with the doom and gloom scenarios. Amazingly enough, the exact same arguments were heard against "shall-issue" concealed carry. Twenty-four years later, and none of the rampant bloodshed predictions about concealed carry have come true.

    With regard to carry on colleges and universities, it is not coincidence that most of the mass shootings in the U.S. occur on the campuses of educational institutions. To believe that a potential assailant would be dissuaded from committing mass murder simply because there is a law forbidding him to bring a firearm on campus is pure folly. Rape, robbery, assault, and murder have all occurred on campuses across the country.

    College and university administrators continue to deny the reality that by prohibiting students, faculty, staff, and visitors from defending themselves promotes an unsafe environment. Often ignored by opponents is the fact that only concealed weapons/firearms license holders would be permitted to carry on campus, and the minimum age requirement to have a license is 21. Those students under 21 would not be permitted to carry on campus. Once again, the potential criminals do not care about minimum age or having a license. After all, there are no barriers to access on most campuses. Florida Carry, Inc. supports SB 234, and encourages all gun owners/carriers to join us in contacting the senators on the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee. Please tell them 24 years is enough.

    We urgently need you to email the committee members NOW!
    Include “Support SB 234” in the Subject Line


    E-mail Helper (feel free to cut, paste, and edit to suit)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TO:
    evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov
    dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov
    dockery.paula.web@flsenate.gov
    margolis.gwen.web@flsenate.gov
    smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov

    SUBJECT:
    Support SB 234 – Support the Second Amendment


    Dear Senator,

    This e-mail is to express my support for Senate Bill 234, Firearms. As a member of the Florida Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, you will be hearing this bill on Tuesday, February 22nd. I respectfully ask that you wholeheartedly support this bill.

    The predictions of doom and gloom that preceded the adoption of "shall-issue" concealed carry have been proven to be fiction. For twenty-four years, Florida concealed weapons/firearms license holders have proven themselves to be responsible to the extreme. Since 1987, only 168 of nearly two-million licenses have been revoked due to misuse of firearms. It is time to recognize that responsibility by giving those licensees the option to carry their firearms in the manor that is most appropriate to their situation, openly or concealed. In the 43 states that permit some form of general open carry, not a single state has repealed that right.

    It is also time to recognize that criminals have discovered a target-rich environment at colleges and universities. Rapes, robberies, assaults, and other violent crimes continually occur at and near campuses on students, faculty, and staff alike. Concealed weapons/firearms license holders should not have to relinquish the ability to defend themselves because of a mistaken belief that criminals obey campus restrictions.

    Please support SB 234.

    Respectfully yours,



    <your name>

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike Member

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    Also, for those who want to follow the committee, here is their page:

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/Show/CJ/

    I anticipate this will be broadcast (some are some aren't), I would go here to the media page during the day of the meeting and you can watch it all. On the day of the meeting, if it is broadcast, it will be on this page, in the box "Today's Video Broadcast Schedule".

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Media/
     
  3. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    This is good, but it's a few big bites to swallow all at once. Is it likely to pass? (Another state jealous of Utah's Brady grade. :)
     
  4. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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    I always add a little
    to the end of my emails to let them know where they stand ;)
     
  5. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    I sent my emails out several days ago, and I got a (likely canned or written by a secretary) response from Senator Charles Dean the next day:

     
  6. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

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    emails sent along with the explanation that i was writing them as a University of Florida Student Class of 2012
     
  7. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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    I got the same response this morning.
     
  8. JayBird

    JayBird Member

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    Sent.
     
  9. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Bumping this up to the top.

    Got the NRA email; this is to be heard on Wednesday, March 9. I just sent my messages out to the senators.

    Anyone else in Florida, I urge you to do the same. Email, fax, call, make them hear us. This needs to get passed!
     
  10. Dan Forrester

    Dan Forrester Member

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    Just sent out emails to all except Greg Evers. I believe he is the author of the bill. Maybe a word of thanks to him would be appropriate. I plan to follow it up with phone calls since it is probably taken more seriously than an email. Even if it takes you 5 minutes per call that’s not more than 25 minutes out of your day tomorrow. Please give them a call Monday or Tuesday.

    Greg Evers - (850) 487-5000
    Charles Dean - (850) 487-5017
    Paula Dockery - (850) 487-5040
    Gwen Margolis - (850) 487-5121
    Chris Smith - (850) 487-5112

    NRA Score From Project Vote Smart. Be sure to call all of these people especially the bottom two:

    Greg Evers: A+ in 2004 and 2010
    Charles Dean: A rating in 2002 and A+ in 2004
    Paula Dockery: A in 2000, A in 2001, and A+ in 2004
    Gwen Margolis: F rating in 2010
    Chris Smith: F rating in 2000, 2002, 2004

    I usually custom tailor my emails based on their NRA rating. Emails to pro gun reps are usually words or support, encouragement and a reminder not to let us down. Emails to anti gun reps are full of talk about “liberalizing gun laws”, giving individuals the “right to choose” and references to firearm ownership as a “civil right’s issue”. I figure maybe it will remind them of what it truly means to be a liberal; something they forgot long ago.

    Dan
     
  11. Packman

    Packman Member

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    I sent an email to each member of the committee separately. Below is what I said:

     
  12. Dan Forrester

    Dan Forrester Member

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    Just made a couple phone calls; hope it helps. Where does it go from here if it makes it out of this committee?

    Thanks, Dan
     
  13. Packman

    Packman Member

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    Well, I watched the feed of the committee discussing the bill. It was the last thing on the agenda, and thus had its time cut short. They had the head of the FSU police department speak at some length as to why he and many other police organizations opposed the bill, despite the fact that Senator Dockery's amendment has taken college carry off the table.

    The head of Florida Open Carry got a whopping 30 seconds to speak (literally) before they stopped him and left the room without voting.

    So? Now what happens?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  14. sawdeanz

    sawdeanz Member

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    It's really unfortunate that they felt they had to remove the college carry part. It was definitely quite the topic of heated debate on the University of Florida campus, and a lot of backlash when our student body passed a resolution against campus carry. Open carry in Florida is still on the bill right?
    I wish someone could explain how anti's can use events like Virginia Tech to ban guns on campus when that law was already in place and clearly didn't help. Most importantly though is that they can't get in their head that the right to carry guns on campus isn't to protect students from the great plague of mass murderers but to protect ones self while at school from robbers and rapists. Everytime I read something against guns it makes my blood boil!
     
  15. Dan Forrester

    Dan Forrester Member

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    It looks like there is another meeting scheduled for 3/14/11.

    So Senator Dockery removed college carry? So much for her A rating from the NRA.

    Dan
     
  16. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    I can. They run in backward, broken logic. "He what? Shooting up a school is one thing, but bringing a gun there is illegal, right? Didn't he see the signs? Put up bigger signs so it won't happen again!"

    To be completely honest, I'm thinking that campus carry may have been a bargaining chip in this case. "Fine, we don't need to allow responsible people to carry on campus, but since they carry everywhere else, how about you let them show who they are?"

    Campus carry had me just as eager, if not more, than open. But we need to pass all we can now. We can fight for more later, hopefully with a committee with fewer F-rated members we have to appease.
     
  17. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    any word from the bill yet?
     
  18. nigmalg

    nigmalg Member

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    The bill was amended at the last minute yesterday in the CJ committee.

    In addition to the remove of College Carry completely, they've also put in language requiring a Level II retention holster and the requirement to display your concealed license in a clear plastic sleeve near the holster. There's also a requirement to be trained in weapon retention.

    Under "Amendments":
    http://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2011/0234

    Some are saying that it was Dean who pressured for these amendments last minute. I do remember him saying on video during the hearing that the "Sheriffs Association" was responsible for suggesting the amendments.

    There's a couple ways to repair the bill:

    1. Call your Florida senators on the CJ committee before the next meeting (March 14th), and remind them that they're elected. Hopefully we can have follow up floor amendments to remove the garbage.
    2. Push your house representatives to pass the clean version of the bill, HB517, so we can (maybe?) skip the CJ committee and put pressure on the FL Senate.
     
  19. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    So did the amendments functionally neuter the bill. Other open carry states don't have these restrictions and "training" requirements.
     
  20. AWorthyOpponent

    AWorthyOpponent Member

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    I don't really mind the retention requirement, personally. The biggest problem i see is:
    Does that mean that those of us with a current CWFL are going to be in violation?

    As for:
    That's ridiculous. I don't mind showing my CWFL to LEO's if they ask, but displaying it in a sleeve looks stupid and introduces one more thing for LE to complain about. I hate carrying extra **** on my belt and this would just mean one more thing to have to worry about losing. Right now, i know i have my permit because I never take it out of my wallet.
     
  21. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Member

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    Those amendments were put in there to ensure it didn't die in committee. There was 3 R's, 2 D's on that committee and two of the R's were the bill's sponsors. It's pretty obvious they added whatever amendments they had to in order to get the other R to sign on, and they will try to remove it later.
     
  22. StogieC

    StogieC Member

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    Florida Carry Legislative Alert - SB 234 Stuck and Gutted

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 10, 2011

    SB 234 - FL Senate Committee on Criminal Justice hearing scheduled for 3/14/11

    As most of you know, SB 234’s two primary elements, open carry and campus carry, have been gutted by committee amendments.

    These amendments were proposed, accepted, and integrated into the bill without public comment or discussion. On February 22, 2011, the father of Ashley Cowie, the FSU student who was killed in an off-campus incident, presented an impassioned plea against the campus carry element of SB 234. Ashley was killed by a student who was too young to get a concealed weapons/firearms license (CWFL), allegedly was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, negligently mishandled a rifle too large to carry concealed for self-defense purposes, at an off-campus frat house at which weapons were prohibited.

    The campus carry initiative has nothing in common with this tragic event, and the current ban on lawfully carried firearms did not prevent it. In fact, there are 71 campuses in the U.S. where concealed carry is permitted, some of which have been doing so since 1995, and not a single gun-related event has occurred on any of those campuses.

    But the amendment to kill campus carry was passed by the committee without them hearing these facts because not a single proponent of campus carry was permitted to address them prior to the amendment’s adoption. No debate, no discussion was permitted. Ironically, after the amendment was adopted, a college law enforcement administrator wasted time allotted to public discussion to continue opposing the already dead element.

    Likewise, the open carry element was saddled with an amendment that demanded impractical and unnecessary requirements that no other open carry state in the union, including California, requires. The requirements are for firearm retention training, a level-2 retention holster, and public display of one’s license in proximity to a firearm being openly carried.

    The retention training requirement is not realistic for a number of reasons. First, no other open carry state has such a requirement since there is no evidence that there is any substantial threat to open carriers of being relieved of their firearms by criminals. It simply isn’t happening anywhere else. Law enforcement will maintain that their officers must undergo such training because of numerous incidents of fellow officers being killed by their own firearms. But they conveniently forget that these incidents result from the officer’s duty to initiate contact and apprehend nefarious types, often violent felons who have no desire to get sent to prison. No such duty exists with citizen open carriers, and there is little motivation for the felon to initiate contact with an armed citizen when so many unarmed potential targets exist.

    The requirement for a statutorily undefined level-2 retention holster again stems from this unsubstantiated and purely speculative assumption that an armed citizen is a ripe target for a criminal. Again, no other open carry state requires this because there is no evidence to support a threat. Indeed, if there was ever a candidate for mandatory wearing of a retention holster of any type, it would be for a law enforcement officer. There is no state requirement that police use a level-2 retention holster.

    Also, by requiring a citizen to only open carry in a retention holster does not address a very basic function of the open carry initiative; that being the ability switch from concealed carry to open carry at will depending on conditions. For example, a CWFL holder carrying in a standard in-waistband holster concealed under a light jacket would not be permitted to remove his jacket.

    Furthermore, level-2 retention holsters are not available for many popular makes and models of side-arms. Many gun owners will not be able to open carry their side-arm because no manufacturer has marketed their holster as a "level-2".

    Finally, the requirement to display one’s CWFL in public would again, only exist in Florida. Law enforcement has universally discouraged CWFL holders from the use of badges, as this could cause the public to mistake them for officers. There is no reason to believe that the mandatory display of licenses would not be likewise mistaken for police identification.

    The Supreme Court of Florida has ruled that the mere possession of a firearm does not suffice as reasonable suspicion for the purpose of detention, identification, and search of citizens, yet this requirement sidesteps the concept of reasonable suspicion/probable cause and in fact, authorizes police to question law-abiding citizens under the guise of “verifying” carry credentials.

    Florida statutes do not require CWFL holders to identify themselves to law enforcement for this very reason. It is also quite ironic that in light of this committee’s passage of SB 604, the bill which permanently exempts CWFL licensee data from release under so-called “sunshine laws”, the public display of a licensee’s name, and on some licenses their home address, for all to see.

    The true purpose behind this amendment is clear. Having no real substantiated reason to deny open carry, certain groups and individuals instead are attempting to make the practice so burdensome as to either discourage the vast majority of CWFL holders to participate in open carry, or to make the open carry initiative itself so unpalatable to proponents that it would soon die due to lack of interest.

    And again, as with the arguments for campus carry, these facts were not permitted to be presented to the committee prior to adoption of the amendment requiring these unrealistic requirements. Through two entire sessions of the committee, the SB 234 supporters were afforded a single, 30-second time slot by a single individual, and this occurred AFTER the amendments were approved by the committee. This is intolerable and surely flies in the face of the concept of representing the people.

    We ask members and non-members alike to e-mail, write, and call the Senate President Mike Haridopolos, and express your outrage over the actions of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

    There is ample documented evidence to support SB 234, and nothing but unsubstantiated opinion against it. Procedurally, it is a travesty that amendments are adopted without public discourse, which has a direct bearing on said amendments.

    We urgently need you to email Senator Haridopolos NOW!

    Include “Please help us get SB 234 through committee” in the Subject Line

    E-mail Helper (feel free to cut, paste, and edit to suit)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TO:
    haridopolos.mike.web@flsenate.gov

    SUBJECT:
    Please help us get SB 234 through committee!

    Dear Senator Haridopolos,

    This e-mail is to express my outrage as to the procedural conduct of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee with regards to the gutting of Senate Bill 234 without the benefit of public discourse.

    An ill-conceived amendment to the proposed open carry legalization was passed by the committee without a single word from the public prior to its adoption. Each and every element of the amendment can be factually argued, but no argument was permitted whatsoever.

    Despite two committee meetings addressing the bill, which still has not yet been voted upon, the supporters of SB 234 have been permitted a single individual to speak for a total of 30 seconds. Florida Open Carry Movement members from across the state were gagged in the audience without the opportunity to speak. This is a travesty, and only supports the notion that the committee is not interested in hearing arguments in favor of the bill for which they have no rebuttal.

    We request your assistance in getting a SB 234 through committee and to the Senate floor where both sides will have the opportunity to present verifiable and documented facts, without the procedural maneuvering that is clearly picking apart this good bill.

    Respectfully yours,

    <Your Name>
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  23. gatorjames85

    gatorjames85 Member

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  24. nigmalg

    nigmalg Member

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    Sent as well. I clicked "send" very loudly.
     
  25. sawdeanz

    sawdeanz Member

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    Thanks for the update. This is outrageous and I sent a very thoughtfully worded letter as well
     
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