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Thread: Response from Senator Rhonda Storms

  1. #1
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    I wrote a letter to Senator Storms (District 10) concerning my views on unlicensed open carry, carrying while in a vehicle, the state of our 2nd Amendment Rights in general, and the threats currently being levied against them.

    Even though I'm currently living in Colorado, I'm still a resident of Florida, and I've been watching keenly the RTKBA developments there.

    This is the response I received from Senator Storms' legislative aide:

    "Thank you for contacting Senator Ronda Storms regarding the need to protect the second amendment and I apologize for the delayed response.
    Please know that Senator Storms personally holds a concealed weapons permit and she is a second amendment advocate. As a citizen and an elected official she will do her utmost to keep the State of Florida a right to bear arms state.
    Thank you for your ongoing dedication and sacrifice to our country – we sincerely appreciate your commitment and recognize the sacrifice you and your family continually make. If our office can be of any additional assistance, please never hesitate to contact me."
    Most sincerely,
    Audie Canney
    Legislative Aide
    Senator Ronda Storms


    I wrote back:

    I fully appreciate that Senator Storms is busy serving the people of Florida & our Nation, and I thank you for taking the time to inform me of Senator Storms' stance on the 2nd Amendment, and that she does indeed possess a CWP for self-defense.
    Oddly enough, some of the most rabid opponents of our right to keep & bear arms in Washington also have CWPs, solid evidence of the hypocrisy running rampant through the gun-control advocate ranks.. Even California Senator Dianne Feinstein has a concealed weapons permit and carries a handgun for self-defense! In California a CWP is almost impossible for the average citizen to obtain, unless he or she has political connections or is a celebrity. In many "May-Issue CWP" States, this is the case. And while regular law-abiding Americans applying for CWPs have them overwhelmingly denied by their local permitting agency/authority, individuals like Senator Feinstein, New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy, and New York Senator Charles Schumer either have CWPs themselves, or have armed bodyguards for protection amongst a disarmed constituency.

    I hope that Senator Storms is aware of these lawmakers who seek to place harsh restrictions upon law-abiding American citizens that they themselves are not willing to follow. Lawmakers who exhibit such elitism & hypocrisy are a serious threat to the Constitution, America, our fellow citizens, our national & personal security, and our very way of life. If Senator Storms is not aware of those like Senator Feinstein, who exempt themselves from their own gun-control ideals, in exposing their duplicity it would be greatly helpful when fighting any draconian & unreasonable gun-control legislation introduced by those intent on disarming American citizens.


    And I must reiterate that it is an unwarranted restrictionupon Florida's citizens whostill cannot lawfully open-carry without aCWP; in our vehicles, on our persons, or at ourplace of business,. As I mentioned before, many gun-owners feel thatopen-carry is adistinct deterrent against criminals, and ithas been proven in other States thatlaw-abidingcitizens who are allowed by law to open-carry without licensing arenot a risk to the generalpublic. Many gun-owners cannot afford the cost in time & money to apply for a CWP, and lawful open-carry is a safe & effective way for citizens to afford themselves & their families the protection that we are entitled to.

    And the response:

    Fair enough and agreed. I certainly have no other way to convince you, other than her vote history (in her short tenure as a state senator, since 2006 and her tenure as a county commissioner 1998-2006). I will definitely share your comments with her – again, thank you for holding your elected leaders accountable. Take care.

    Most sincerely,
    Audie Canney
    Legislative Aide
    Senator Ronda Storms


    To be honest, I never expected any reply from any of the lawmakers that I've contacted about the 2nd Amendment. I hope that she holds toher word, and brings the subject of open-carry & the gun-grabber legislators' hypocrisy to Senator Storms' attention. I also directed Ms. Canney to OpenCarry.org in my first letter, and quoted frommany positive experiencesthat I've found here.

    For being a former teacher and attorney, that Senator Storms is a Republican is kind of unusual, IMHO. I think she bears watching in the future.

  2. #2
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    Very well written, but the responses left much to be desired.

    And this "she will do her utmost to keep the State of Florida a right to bear arms state." made me laugh.

    Phew...good thing, I was worried there for a bit.



    Maybe one more letter to pin her down on her stance on OC, which would talk about OC and only OC or do you figure you're just not going to get a direct response regarding OC?









    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

  3. #3
    Regular Member rvrctyrngr's Avatar
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    My guess is that her aide doesn't know what the hell OC is. Senator Storms has a good record when it comes to FL firearms issues, and she's a busy lady up in T-town.
    Director,
    Florida Carry, Inc.

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    This is my email on the topic of OC that I wrote to Senator Storms (via Ms. Canney).

    "Several members of OpenCarry.org raised some excellent points that I would like to share with you.

    While Florida is by no means as restrictive upon private handgun ownership as, say, California or Washington DC, it is an unwarranted restriction placed upon Florida's citizens who still cannot lawfully open-carry their legally-owned handguns even with a concealed weapons permit; in our vehicles or on our persons, unless said firearm is securely cased/locked/wrapped & unloaded.
    Due to car-jackings and street robbery, not being able to adequately & lawfully arm ourselves against those who obey no law is simply increasing the likelyhood of being victimized. The July 1st change in Florida firearms statute allowing employees to keep firearms locked in their vehicles on the grounds of their employer's business. This law is simply a paper-tiger, as the handgun-owner must still maintain a CWP to transport their firearm in their vehicle, and the handgun must still be encased and not readily available for immediate use.

    While I am still a citizen of Florida, I live in Colorado, and Colorado law considers a citizen's vehicle as an extension of their house. And as such, it is not required that a handgun owner maintain a CWP to keep their handgun in their vehicle; and it does not need to be cased, unloaded, and beyond easy reach of the driver. Colorado law-enforcement is well aware of this law, and Colorado citizens who carry their handguns in their vehicles in such a manner are always mindful that if a traffic-stop is initiated, it is imperative that they announce the presence of the handgun to the officer, and to keep their hands well away from the firearm until the officer has secured the handgun or ascertained that there is no threat.

    To date, I have found no public records of any accidental shootings by an on-duty law-enforcement officer as the result of a law-abiding citizen being stopped with a legally owned handgun in the vehicle.

    In States with "May-Issue" concealed-weapon permit statutes, and even in "Shall-Issue" States, there's no guarantee that a concealed-weapons permit will be granted.

    There are many chief law-enforcement officers (Sheriffs, State Patrol Officers) who will dismiss CWP applications out-of-hand due to their own political dislike concerning citizens owning & carrying handguns for self-defense (or simple prejudice against race or economic status), rather than dismissing a CWP application due to lawful mitigating factors; such as conviction/arrests for domestic abuse, drug charges, vandalisim, DUI/DWI, assault (simple or otherwise), theft (grand or otherwise), etc. Many LEOs see citizens who carry their own handguns as potential threats (and by their own admittance, threats to the officer's force supremacy).

    I have personally found admittances to as much by law-enforcement officers on various online Law-Enforcement-Only message forums (Real Police - Law Enforcement Resource, & Officer.com are just two).

    This is highly regrettable, as it is our Constitutional Right to Keep & Bear arms. Lawfully permitted open-carry of handguns will again afford those citizens (like myself) who cannot afford the cost & or meet the demands of prejudicial enforcement officials to obtain a CWP. And in regards to citizens open carrying their handguns while conducting their day-to-day business/errands, there is a growing movement amongst law-abiding gun-owners that are OC'ing on a regular basis. In an emergency, it may take LEOs up to 15-20 minutes to arrive, yet it takes only seconds for a rape, aggravated assault, or robbery to take place.
    And in any case, the Supreme Court ruled in Warren vs. DC. that "The fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." This supposition has been upheld by many courts in other States:
    ~ Bower v. DeVito (1982) 686 F.2d 616
    ~ Calgorides v. Mobile (1985) 475 So.2d 560
    ~ Warren v. District of Columbia (1983) 444 A.2d 1
    ~ Morgan v. District of Columbia (1983) 469 A.2d 1306
    ~ Sapp v. Tallahassee (1977) 348 So.2d 363, cert.denied 354 So.2d 985
    ~ Keane v. Chicago (1968) 98 Ill.App.2d 460, 240 N.E.2d 321
    ~ Jamison v. Chicago (1977) 48 Ill.3d 567
    ~ Simpson's Food Fair v. Evansville 272 N.E. 2d 871
    ~ Silver v. Minneapolis (1969)) 170 N.W.2d 206

    Citizens, openly armed or carrying concealed, can make a huge difference when seconds count.

    Many handgun-owners feel that open-carry is a distinct deterrent against criminals, and it has been proven in other States (such as Colorado) that law-abiding citizens who are allowed by law to open-carry without strict & expensive licensing are not a risk to the general public. In many cases (such as in my own) handgun-owners cannot afford the cost in time & money to apply for a CWP, and lawful open-carry is a safe & effective way for citizens to afford themselves & their families the protection that we are Constitutionally entitled to. Law-enforcement in Coloradoisby & large are aware of the legality of open carry (except in Denver, which has preempted open-carry and made it illegal), and we that OC are cognizant of firearms restrictions on federal & school sites, and aware of signage on private businesses & buildings prohibiting the open-carry of firearms onto the premises.

    Because we are allowed to OC our handguns legally, there are certainly many responsibilities that we as handgun-carriers must be aware of. Situational awareness is key, mainly to avoid a criminal from obtaining the handgun, even though retention holsters are extremely effective in preventing unauthorized access to a citizen's sidearm. But the main burden placed upon any handgun owner in public is the decision on whether to use deadly-force or not in the face of violent crime. This is being hotly debated amongst handgun owners nationwide, but the consensus is that deadly-force is NOT to be used unless all other options to protect life & limb have failed.

    Gun-owners who choose to carry in public are amongst some of the most responsible and level-headed people our nation has to offer;
    An openly armed citizen present at a location chosen by a madman may completely deter the criminal with nefarious intent; or if the OC'ing citizen is not noticed beforehand, thwart the crime if it proceeds. Consider Virginia Tech, or the shooting rampage in Killeen, Texas at the Luby's Cafeteria, which left 24 dead. While a majority of schools are still "Gun-Free Zones" (?!), had Texas passed legislation allowing the open-carry of firearms; the woman who had been forced by law to leave her handgun inside her vehicle, very well might've carried her sidearm into the Luby's; and the 24 victims would've had a much greater chance at survival due to the presence of a single lawfully armed citizen.

    The State of Florida should be greatly concerned with allowing its' citizens the tools to protect themselves & their families against criminals who follow no laws, especially laws regarding firearms. Keeping law-abiding citizens from maintaining a handgun at the ready in their vehicles only increases the likelyhood that they'll become victims of a vehicular robbery/car-jacking, thereby increasing the burden upon overworked law-enforcement.
    And not allowing less economically advantaged men & especially women who must walk, utilize mass-transit, or commute alone to/from work the means to open-carry a handgun in their vehicle or on their person marks them as targets for opportunistic and/or sexual predators.
    I can't emphasize enough the cost and wait time it takes to obtain a CWP. Especially in the case of a woman who is the victim of an active stalker; scraping enough money to buy a handgun is only half the battle. Waiting for approval for a CWP before she can actually carry her handgun may become a death/rape sentence. However, a woman who has legally bought a handgun and may immediately begin to carry it openly during her daily life is exponentially more effective than a restraining order, cell-phone, alarm whistle/device, or pepper spray..... especially in this day & age of the meth-addict, upon whom pepper-spray/mace is little more than an irritant.

    Yet anti-gun proponents insist that victims of crime call law-enforcement after simply complying with a criminal(s) demands, and hope that they are left alone once said criminal(s) obtain the valuables they desire. At that point, the anti-gun proponents produce statistics showing that a majority of robbery victims will be able to walk away and identify the criminal(s) in a line-up once they're apprehended by police. And that's assuming the perpetrator only has simple robbery on their mind(s). If the victim is a woman, the brutal reality of the crime is more often quite tragic. Violent criminals with 2 or more strikes, or are already wanted by police for previous crimes, will have no compunctions about disposing of victims or witnesses. In the case of an ultra-violent crime where only seconds matter between life & death, waiting for the police to arrive will only result in them having to mop up, possibly with a medical examiner in tow.

    This advocation of the victim-mentality has been getting people robbed, beaten, & murdered.

    While I am a strong proponent in the passing of legislation in Florida allowing for the legal open-carry of handguns in vehicles & on our persons, I also strongly believe that there should be short & informativefirearms safety classes taught to all potential handgun buyers. There would be absolutely no shortage of volunteer instructors for such a program, and funding could be had from the fines usually paid by convicted DUI & domestic abuse criminals. I myself would love to volunteer for such a program & teach others how to safely handle a handgun; how to work carrying a handgun into day-to-day life; how to correctly assess a threat and the level of response to a threat; and most of all, the responsibility one must shoulder when carrying a handgun and possibly using it to take a life while protecting self, family, and other defenseless innocents against a dangerous assailant.

    Many opponents to open-carry of handguns insist that doing so is the same as painting a giant target on the OC'ing citizen, and that it would be a simple thing to disarm the OC'ing citizen, thereby endangering others nearby. This couldn't be any farther from the truth. Inmates interviewed have stated overwhelmingly that they will always target victims who appear to be unarmed & unaware of their surroundings; i.e. occupied with an iPod, cellphone, newspaper, map, etc. Armed citizens who have their wits about them are situationally aware and can generally notice individuals with evil intent. I know not a single person who will go out in public with their handgun and be blaise about it; they are fully aware of the gravitas carried with their handgun, and are watchful of others and their surroundings.

    In closing, I believe that Senator Storms should look into changing Florida's restriction on the open-carry of handguns. Giving Floridians the option of doing so will increase their ability to exercise their Constitutional Right, and give them the increased means to protect their own, and those who are unable to protect themselves.... as the police will not always be able or inclined to do. Contrary to the anti-gun lobby, legalizing open-carry of handguns by law-abiding citizens will not result in a return to the "Wild West". Rather, that we can openly exercise our Constitutional Right and better protect ourselves and our community through deterrence, and our refusal to allow ourselves to become victims or bow to draconian firearms restrictions; we will show the Nation that Florida is intent on upholding the ideals our Founding Fathers held dear and that criminals will find no easy marks here."


    And as an addendum, this is a petition created by a member of OpenCarry.org

    http://www.flopencarry.com/

    If I may ask, would you please bring it to the attention of those who would be interested in and supportive of our cause?

    Thank you again for your correspondence & time,


  5. #5
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    I just received this response to the last emailI sent on OC'ing (or lack thereof) in Florida.

    "Thank you for the follow up – I will certainly share this with her. Take care.

    Audie Canney
    Legislative Aide
    Senator Ronda Storms
    10th District, Florida Senate"


  6. #6
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    Well said pal.I think we need to push and push to get this topic through Tally.I would even be happy with an OPEN CARRY PERMIT of some sort.That way you can deter the average criminal from OCing .We must remember that criminals have MORE rights than you or I. Crazy ain't it! I can't figure it out neither! Open Carry permits could be the way to go because then the Gov. wouldn't be lossing out on the funds generated by CWPs.Politicians love money, as any red blooded American can see.If they see money is to be made, then they will more inclined to pass such a Bill.My CWP cost was nothing compared to my families' safe being.Maybe we need to try the back-door approach, through their pockets!Thanks to all those in favor of the open carry and keep pushing!

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    first i noticed the lack of a direct response to the oc question. and yes it may be easier to get a law passed if they realize a monetary gain. but my main thought or question is - with a ccw, my gun can not show or i am violation of the law. sad. especially with the weather we have here in florida. lets keep up the push and realize more than just a dream.



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