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Thread: Florida Firearms/Weapon Laws

  1. #1
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    I recently went to Tallahassee to do some research on the history of firearm/weapon laws in the state. I figure if we are going to get our rights given back to us, we need to know how the State got us to where we are now. Here is what I found:

    History of Carry Law in Florida

    Could not find any information prior to 1893, I would have to guess that carrying was generally legal. Perhaps contingent to the discretion of local law enforcement.

    1893, June 2 – Chapter 4147 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature regulates the carrying of “Winchester or other repeating rifle[s]”. Requires that an individual seek a license from County Commissioners to carry in that respective county. $100 surety bond is required as well as record of the make and model of weapon to be carried. Waive goodbye to the 2nd amendment![/i]



    1901, May 1 – Chapter 4928 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature amends Chapter 4147 (1893) to include pistols. Also states that Chapter 4147 does not pertain to concealed carry laws existing, or created in the future. Open carry only, with license![/i]

    1901, May 31 – Chapter 4929 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature declares the concealed carry of any weapon a breach of peace and provides penalty, except for LEO’s.

    1903, May 26 – Chapter 5139 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature amends Chapter 4147 to direct boards of County Commissioners to only grant licenses to persons at least 21 years of age and of good moral character.

    Legislative nomenclature changed in 1930's

    1965, June 25 – Chapter 65-410 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature creates FS 790.25, which is very similar to the statute today. Includes exceptions to when licenses are not required to carry a weapon. Does not include an exception to concealed carry law, as exists today in FS 790.25

    1967, June 8 – Chapter 67-165 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature amends FS 790.01 (concealed carry law) to clarify penalties and add another government entity which is exempt from penalty.

    1982, April 6 – Chapter 82-131 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature amends FS 790.001 by defining what “Readily accessible for immediate use” means. Also amends FS790.25 by adding subsection (5) to declare that it is lawful to keep a concealed firearm or weapon for self-defense in a private conveyance, without a license, as long as it is not readily accessible for immediate use.

    Here is where it gets interesting:[/i]

    1987, May 12 – Chapter 87-23 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature passes the Joe Carlucci Uniform Firearms Act, preempting all firearms regulations, except for county handgun waiting periods. These can exceed the 3-day limit given by the state, but cannot be less than.

    1987, May 12 – Chapter 87-24 is passed:[/b] Also known as the Jack Hagler self-defense act, the Florida Legislature amends FS 790.06 (licensing law, previously Chapter 4147) to authorize the Department of State to issue concealed carry licenses and provides procedure. Also repeals FS 790.05 (penalty for carrying w/o license).

    Note: The state has now mandated that Concealed Carry can only be done if an individual is issued a state issued license. The open carry law (790.06) was revised to not pertain to open carry at all. So, Floridians could openly carry without a license now (I’m sure this was not the intent) until:

    [/b]1987, October 10 – Chapter 87-537 is passed:[/b] Florida Legislature calls a special session to hear House Bill 28-B. Generally this procedure takes weeks of deliberation, and compromise. The House read the bill 3 times and passed it unanimously. The Senate accepted it, read it, and passed it unanimously. This bill passed in a matter of hours. FS 790.053 is created, declaring the open carry of firearms and weapons unlawful, except as provided by law. FS 790.25 is amended to allow open carry and concealed carry only under certain circumstances.




    What I have not been able to find is what transpired the events in 1987. Unfortunately, I was not even a zygote at this point, so if anyone was around and following the 2A events, please comment. Who is Jack Hagler and how is he releated to the concealed carry law? In the 5 months between the Concealed Carry Law passage and Open Carry Law prohibitation, what happened? Why did the Legislature snap into action and ban open carry in a matter of hours?

    There is another thread that provides a little info on this, but with no sources:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum17/16729.html

    Sources are available upon request.... I did a lot of xeroxing while in Tallahassee

    Tucky


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    Hi Tucky, great thread by the way. I am jammed up on time right now but can add a couple quick tidbits.

    Go to the FSU law library next time in Tallahassee. You will find case law around the turn of the 20th century where several cases declared that open carry was not only legal but the desired methodology of carry at that time. Concealed carry was not looked upon favorably. When I get some time I will find a couple of those cases and post some more info for you.

    In 1987 the state legislature passed the concealed carry laws. Due to the great debate happening in Florida and across the nation at that time, many people began to actually look at what the law said. (Can you say complacency?) Anyway, once many realized that open carry was at that time and had been legal for a very long time, they actually began to OC. YOu can only imagine the cry that went up from the northern vacationers and the new media. So much so a special session of the legislature was called.. meant calling them back off of their vacations. Now if you want to tick off a legislative body, call them back from vacation. So WHAMMO in went the OC ban which we live with today.

    Good research. I will be sending you a PM soon.. need to talk to you about whenever your next trip up to Tallahassee will be.

    Rebel
    American by birth, Southern by choice


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    Tucky,

    Thanks for posting up that history lesson for all of us. I'll print that one out and keep copies around for future reference and use as needed.

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    The state has very cleverly converted a right to a privilege and forces you to pay a fee for it. Various U.S. Supreme Court decisions have declared rights may not be converted to a privileges--then forcing the people to pay a fee to exercise that right.

    You must be allowed a way to freely exercise the right--freely in all meanings of the word.

    For one of those decisions see U.S. vs Miller. Florida law will not stand a strong challenge. But--it takes money!

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    4sooth wrote:
    The state has very cleverly converted a right to a privilege and forces you to pay a fee for it. Various U.S. Supreme Court decisions have declared rights may not be converted to a privileges--then forcing the people to pay a fee to exercise that right.

    You must be allowed a way to freely exercise the right--freely in all meanings of the word.

    For one of those decisions see U.S. vs Miller. Florida law will not stand a strong challenge. But--it takes money!
    4sooth,
    thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, article 1, section 8 of the current Florida constitution (there are a handful of versions) states:

    "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."

    This totally violates the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution, however, it has been decided by the powers that be over at SCOTUS that the second amendment does not apply to the states. Once the decision is made that it does apply, hold on to your hat, as MAJOR change will occur all across the nation. When will that happen? Soon, I hope. I believe SCOTUS has a case now dealing with incorporation. If so, somebody please cite.


    Tucky



    Edit: I get worked up too easily; did not read the post in it's entirety

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    Thanks for the reply---I should tell you I am from Florida--born in Tampa in the late forties. I still have relatives all over the state--my oldest daughter lives in Tampa.

    Florida can regulate ONE manner of the right but you still must be allowed at least one way of freely exercising that right. So if concealed carry via a permit system is the way the state chooses to regulate the right then you must be allowed the open carry option as the "free" way of performing the right.

    Case law is well established in this arena--Miller is just one. I will find others and post them. I feel sure Florida would have to relent--after a strong challenge.

    I will be in Tampa next week--if you live near there the coffee is on me!

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    Thanks for the reply---I should tell you I am from Florida--born in Tampa in the late forties. I still have relatives all over the state--my oldest daughter lives in Tampa.

    Florida can regulate ONE manner of the right but you still must be allowed at least one way of freely exercising that right. So if concealed carry via a permit system is the way the state chooses to regulate the right then you must be allowed the open carry option as the "free" way of performing the right.

    Case law is well established in this arena--Miller is just one. I will find others and post them. I feel sure Florida would have to relent--after a strong challenge.

    I will be in Tampa next week--if you live near there the coffee is on me!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the reply---I should tell you I am from Florida--born in Tampa in the late forties. I still have relatives all over the state--my oldest daughter lives in Tampa.

    Florida can regulate ONE manner of the right but you still must be allowed at least one way of freely exercising that right. So if concealed carry via a permit system is the way the state chooses to regulate the right then you must be allowed the open carry option as the "free" way of performing the right.

    Case law is well established in this arena--Miller is just one. I will find others and post them. I feel sure Florida would have to relent--after a strong challenge.

    I will be in Tampa next week--if you live near there the coffee is on me!

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    I am from Florida--born in Tampa in the late forties. My oldest daughter lives in Tampa. I will be visiting there next week. If you live close--the coffee is on me.

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    4sooth wrote:
    I am from Florida--born in Tampa in the late forties. My oldest daughter lives in Tampa. I will be visiting there next week. If you live close--the coffee is on me.
    When next week? I work pretty crazy hours but if I can make it, would love to get together for a few hours as well and just kick some ideas around.


    Gulf Coast Gunman

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