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Thread: When did FL turn a right into a privilege?

  1. #1
    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    If my memory of Florida law happenings serve me, the FL Constitution was amended in such a way that what used to be a right was turned into a privilege. Am I right?

    As stated on this site, Article I, Section 8 says:

    "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."

    What used to be a RIGHT to keep and bear arms can now only be exercised by obtaining a LICENSE to carried concealed (and concealed only)- so a right is now a privilege, right?

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    Unfortunately, I don't remember what the state law for FL was before it was amended, however, in my opinion, yes, what was once apparently a right and is still outlined as a right in the state constitution is now treated as a priveledge, at least if you live someplace civilized. Here's an incomplete list of areas where you don't need a permit to have a gun:

    1. on your private property (you can OC or CC without a license)
    1a. on someone else's private property if you have permission
    2. while traveling (CC in a glovebox or similar container, not within immediate reach)
    3. while fishing, camping, or hunting or going to or coming from such activities
    4. while at a target range

    If anyone else knows of something that I left out, let me know. I'm pretty sure there's a full list in 790 of the FL statutes somewhere (now where did I see that last?)

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    giblackjack wrote:
    Unfortunately, I don't remember what the state law for FL was before it was amended, however, in my opinion, yes, what was once apparently a right and is still outlined as a right in the state constitution is now treated as a priveledge, at least if you live someplace civilized. Here's an incomplete list of areas where you don't need a permit to have a gun:

    1. on your private property (you can OC or CC without a license)
    1a. on someone else's private property if you have permission
    2. while traveling (CC in a glovebox or similar container, not within immediate reach)
    3. while fishing, camping, or hunting or going to or coming from such activities
    4. while at a target range

    If anyone else knows of something that I left out, let me know. I'm pretty sure there's a full list in 790 of the FL statutes somewhere (now where did I see that last?)
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...0/titl0790.htm


    790.25 Lawful ownership, possession, and use of firearms and other weapons.--

    . . .

    (3) LAWFUL USES.--The provisions of ss. 790.053 and 790.06 do not apply in the following instances, and, despite such sections, it is lawful for the following persons to own, possess, and lawfully use firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for lawful purposes:

    (a) Members of the Militia, National Guard, Florida State Defense Force, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, organized reserves, and other armed forces of the state and of the United States, when on duty, when training or preparing themselves for military duty, or while subject to recall or mobilization;

    . . .

    (g) Regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive weapons from the United States or from this state, or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for target, skeet, or trap shooting, while at or going to or from shooting practice; or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for modern or antique firearms collecting, while such members are at or going to or from their collectors' gun shows, conventions, or exhibits;

    (h) A person engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition;

    (i) A person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person while engaged in the lawful course of such business;

    (j) A person firing weapons for testing or target practice under safe conditions and in a safe place not prohibited by law or going to or from such place;

    (k) A person firing weapons in a safe and secure indoor range for testing and target practice;

    (l) A person traveling by private conveyance when the weapon is securely encased or in a public conveyance when the weapon is securely encased and not in the person's manual possession;

    (m) A person while carrying a pistol unloaded and in a secure wrapper, concealed or otherwise, from the place of purchase to his or her home or place of business or to a place of repair or back to his or her home or place of business;

    (n) A person possessing arms at his or her home or place of business;

    . . .

    (5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.--Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.








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    The original Florida constitution states:
    That the free white men of this State shall have the right to keep and to bear arms, for their common defense.
    i.e. - it "granted" a right.

    In 1868 it was changed to read:
    The people shall have the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the State.
    i.e. - basically the same thing, except not just for white men.

    It was not until 1885 that the "shall not be infringed" wording came into use in FL, although it was also at this time that the constitution allowed the legislature to regulate how firearms could be carried. This is not an uncommon concept for state constitutions around the country:
    The right of the people to bear arms in defense of themselves and the lawful authority of the State, shall not be infringed, but the Legislature may prescribe the manner in which they may be borne.
    In 1968, the constitution was re-written, but the the right to keep an bear arms remained the same, with only minor wording changes:
    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.
    Finally, in 1990, additional text was (stupidly) added which ironically add restrictions and rules on an item which falls under the section of the constitution titled "Declaration of Rights":
    There shall be a mandatory period of three days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the purchase and delivery at retail of any handgun. ... Holders of a concealed weapon permit as prescribed in Florida law shall not be subject to the provisions of this paragraph.
    So, to answer the original question at hand, the legislature has been allowed to regulate carrying of firearms (in public, it is assumed) since shortly after the civil war. However, there is an interesting reason this power was given to the legislature. At the time, free white men could carry a gun as they pleased, but freed black slaves were not trusted by their former masters. Therefore, in order to prevent them from exercising their right to bear arms, it was necessary to ammend the constitution to allow the legislature to regulate how a firearm may be borne. Unfortunately, the racist wording has never been removed from our constitution.

    A history of the FL Constitution can be found here: http://www.law.fsu.edu/crc/conhist/contents.html

    and a discussion of the FL Constition (as related the required waiting period) here:
    http://www.gregandbeth.com/blog/inde...iew&id=743

  5. #5
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    Did I miss it or did you notice that in the 1865 Constitutionthere was no provisions what-so-ever concerning the right to keep and bear arms. Glad they corrected that.

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