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An Interview with a Florida Open Carry advocate

BB62

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http://regularguyguns.com/2019/01/09/An-Interview-With-A-Florida-Open-Carry-Advocate/

2019 is shaping up to be a battleground year for firearms rights not just in Florida, but throughout the country. Among other things, in Florida we are fighting to maintain, and expand the recognizance of our right to openly carry firearms, beyond the narrow exception as defined in Florida Statute 790.25. At the forefront of this fight is Florida Carry, Inc, and at the tip of this spear is Michael Taylor…

At almost every open carry fishing expedition in Florida, Michael is there. Equipped with fishing tackle, sidearm, and AR-pattern rifle, he’s rapidly becoming one of the more prominent fighters for our rights. Here at RGG, I recently had the chance to (virtually) sit down with him and pick his brain on the Second Amendment, open carry, fishing, and more…

An interview with Michael Taylor of Florida Carry
Q: How did you get into firearms?

A: I am a new gun owner as of November 2017. What made me get my first firearm was right after the Parkland shooting in South Florida. When David Hogg, March for our Lives, and Mom’s Demand Action were on their crusade trying to ban assault weapons I saw it then and I still see it now how they want to come up with so called common sense gun reform. After the end of 2018 I now own a few. Now is not the time to get complacent.

Q: How did you get into openly carrying while fishing? Did you see others doing it?

A: After purchasing my first firearm I started to learn all the laws on firearms. How I could carry it legally, how I must store it in the vehicle, etc. I was very limited on how I could carry in the public without a concealed Weapons License. Not having the money for the class and the fees to purchase the license I had to put it off. While on YouTube and the Internet I was learning everything I could about Florida Gun laws, when I ran across the Open Carry Statute in Florida but was not to comfortable carrying like that at the time. So I continued fishing without my firearm until one late at night in Fort Pierce a couple of guys were hiding under the bridge that I was fishing. I never heard them or saw them till they were close behind me. I turned around and they were within 15 feet of me yelling in Spanish dinero, pronto. My Spanish isn’t that great but I knew they wanted my money. I did what I could and swung my fishing pole at them and took off running. I was in a real bad situation that night and if they would have had a weapon I was done for. From that point on I open carried every time that I went fishing. How I got introduced to Florida Carry is a fun story. As I was doing research I started calling LEO agencies of places I had fished and started asking questions about 790.25 (3)(h). I had posted one not sure if it was facebook or youtube, but Eric Friday of Florida Carry’s general counsel reached out to me and ask me if I had heard of FC and how I learned of the law and so forth. From that day forward I found FC would be the organization I would grow to love and trust. Not taking away from the NRA but Florida Carry is looking out for us here in Florida.

Q: From my basic research, you have twice been harassed by law enforcement in the State of Florida while legally, within the definitions of Florida law, exercising your right to openly carry a firearm. Can you briefly detail those two incidents?

A: I have had 4 police interactions 2 went pretty smoothly, and the other 2 went very wrong very quickly. The Miami Beach, FL incident was with guns drawn and detained for 2 hours and they injured my shoulder. Most recent was in Port St. Lucie, FL. I was trying to explain the law and they just put me in handcuffs, and then proceeded to take my firearms away from me as well as my GoPro off my head.

1st Interaction Stuart

2nd Interaction Miami Beach

3rd Interaction Fort Pierce

4th Interaction Port St. Lucie

This is probably all I can say at the moment about this.

Q: How did it feel, being targeted and harassed by the government for exercising your rights?

A: I do feel for LEO because they do have a tough job, but that does not give them the right to violate me or any other persons rights when they are following the laws that were given to us in Florida. Both interactions had parts that scared the shit out of me. Miami Beach I had several guns pointed at me. Port St. Lucie they were so hell bent on being right that no matter what I said to help them understand the law they were ready to take me to jail.

(article continues)
 

ADulay

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I must be the only open carrying fishing guy in Florida who never has trouble with the LEO I encounter.

They have stopped me, asked a few questions, looked at my ID and basically left me alone to continue fishing or riding the motorcycle to wherever it was I was headed. Usually to the range if on the bike.

This guy has been carrying for two years and has had a lot of trouble for some reason. Perhaps it's the AR-15?

Evidently my Glocks don't appear to cause nearly as much trouble for the LEO. :whistle:

AD (open carrying in Florida for a LONG time now)
 

Ghost1958

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I must be the only open carrying fishing guy in Florida who never has trouble with the LEO I encounter.

They have stopped me, asked a few questions, looked at my ID and basically left me alone to continue fishing or riding the motorcycle to wherever it was I was headed. Usually to the range if on the bike.

This guy has been carrying for two years and has had a lot of trouble for some reason. Perhaps it's the AR-15?

Evidently my Glocks don't appear to cause nearly as much trouble for the LEO. :whistle:

AD (open carrying in Florida for a LONG time now)
Depends on your definition of trouble.

If you were stopped for carrying you had trouble. Even if you don't realize
 

eye95

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I must be the only open carrying fishing guy in Florida who never has trouble with the LEO I encounter.

They have stopped me, asked a few questions, looked at my ID and basically left me alone to continue fishing or riding the motorcycle to wherever it was I was headed. Usually to the range if on the bike.

This guy has been carrying for two years and has had a lot of trouble for some reason. Perhaps it's the AR-15?

Evidently my Glocks don't appear to cause nearly as much trouble for the LEO. :whistle:

AD (open carrying in Florida for a LONG time now)
The water may not yet be boiling, but you are being treated like a frog, and the heat under the pot of water in which you are swimming has just been turned up a bit.
 

gutshot II

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I must be the only open carrying fishing guy in Florida who never has trouble with the LEO I encounter.

They have stopped me, asked a few questions, looked at my ID and basically left me alone to continue fishing or riding the motorcycle to wherever it was I was headed. Usually to the range if on the bike.

This guy has been carrying for two years and has had a lot of trouble for some reason. Perhaps it's the AR-15?

Evidently my Glocks don't appear to cause nearly as much trouble for the LEO. :whistle:

AD (open carrying in Florida for a LONG time now)
Not evident at all. You seem to ignore the other variables in the incidents that you mention. The most obvious of which is the police officers involved in your stops are not the same officers involved in the other stops. Did you ever think that they might have had a better understanding and more respect for the letter of the law than the LEO's that chose to stop some others.
 

ADulay

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Not evident at all. You seem to ignore the other variables in the incidents that you mention. The most obvious of which is the police officers involved in your stops are not the same officers involved in the other stops. Did you ever think that they might have had a better understanding and more respect for the letter of the law than the LEO's that chose to stop some others.
I agree. Not all LEO are as "well behaved" as the ones I've run into. I do see the horror stories out of Miami and other "rogue" areas in our state.

The question becomes "how do we make sure these guys understand the gun laws"?

On one occasion I had to have the officer actually pull up the applicable statute on his in-car computer to verify what I had told him. Once he saw it in black and white, I was on my way, still open carrying.

It is a long haul to get everybody on the same page and those of us who open carry daily, knowing fully well the next stop might be by a really bad LEO who has a hate about civilians with guns (ran into that guy already).

Luckily 99.9% of my interaction with both civilians and LEO while open carrying has been good.

AD
 

solus

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ADulay, one consideration is your encounter shouldn’t have occurred!

While your interaction ‘resolved’ your immediate issue, but by failing to notify/reporting the situation to those LE mgmt overseers that in your personal belief the situation may/could/was caused by a lack of training/knowledge does not mitigate the LEs pervasive lack of knowledge or wilfully display of lack of knowledge, on purpose!

While we feel relief once our encounters are over, we move on instead of taking the time to accomplish one last step ~ notifying mgmt to preclude another citizen, who might not be as savy, enduring improper LE encounters/situations.

You would do the same if you encounter a rude resturant worker, etc., you would immediate seek relief from mgmt, or imagine walk into a SAMs/WALMART national chain refuses access while OC’g where you have in the past!

Remember LEs are just a service agency who work for the citizen’s of their community/counties, why let or accept substandard behaviour be allowed for this privileged group?
 

color of law

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Expanding on Solus' above statement.

NOTICE Did you catch it? NOTICE

All these encounters with the police happen because the police chief was never given NOTICE.
Once you give NOTICE the police have no excuse for stopping you.
NOTICE also works when you carry a NOTICE with you and when stopped hand the officer the NOTICE.
Don't talk to the officer, the NOTICE does all the talking.

So, write-up a NOTICE as to what Florida law says and send it to the police chief and carry that NOTICE with you when open carrying.

After handing the NOTICE to the officer (if possible) move on down the road......
 

ADulay

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Gentlemen,

Florida's odd open carry statutes are pretty black and white. The reason I, personally, get pulled over is because I'm riding a motorcycle (BMW) with an exposed sidearm (Glock 30).

It is evident that the LEO is aware of the relevant statute because I am apparently only stopped because they cannot ascertain that I am going to the range or headed to my favorite fishing hole as my range bag and fishing gear are in both locked side bags.

It's either that or they want to just get out of the car and get some fresh air for awhile. I really don't know.

The fact that I have never been disarmed would confirm that they understand the statute and are just "checking" to verify my status.

Should I ever run into a rogue officer who insists on doing more than the cursory inspection on site, you can rest assured that I will be all over that officer's department with an "information" campaign. Our local Gun rights group (Florida Carry) had a bulletin sent out to every department in the state a few years ago to get this information in front of the LEO community when we first started our 2nd Saturday Open Carry events around the state.

I should add that on many occasions I've had a Sheriff's car or local PD pull up beside me at a stop light or intersection and not even give me a second look. Maybe they recognized my "mug shot" on the local Dunkin' Donuts wall??

AD
 

color of law

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Gentlemen,

Florida's odd open carry statutes are pretty black and white. The reason I, personally, get pulled over is because I'm riding a motorcycle (BMW) with an exposed sidearm (Glock 30).

It is evident that the LEO is aware of the relevant statute because I am apparently only stopped because they cannot ascertain that I am going to the range or headed to my favorite fishing hole as my range bag and fishing gear are in both locked side bags.

It's either that or they want to just get out of the car and get some fresh air for awhile. I really don't know.

The fact that I have never been disarmed would confirm that they understand the statute and are just "checking" to verify my status.

Should I ever run into a rogue officer who insists on doing more than the cursory inspection on site, you can rest assured that I will be all over that officer's department with an "information" campaign. Our local Gun rights group (Florida Carry) had a bulletin sent out to every department in the state a few years ago to get this information in front of the LEO community when we first started our 2nd Saturday Open Carry events around the state.

I should add that on many occasions I've had a Sheriff's car or local PD pull up beside me at a stop light or intersection and not even give me a second look. Maybe they recognized my "mug shot" on the local Dunkin' Donuts wall??

AD
Pulling you over to determine if you are legal is illegal.

Just because you are not pulled over (presumably because of your good looks) like others, they are the ones that need to carry NOTICE.
 
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eye95

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I don’t know how Florida’s statutes on OC and stopping OCers is worded, but regardless, even if it is “lawful” to stop you, it is anticonstitutional to do so. The officers have no probable cause to believe that your are committing a crime, let alone have the invented lower standard of reasonable, articulable suspicion.

You should be left alone. But, cops ain’t good at that one.
 

solus

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AD, thanks for your clarification it provides background to the scenario's you mentioned...
 

solus

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I don’t know how Florida’s statutes on OC and stopping OCers is worded, but regardless, even if it is “lawful” to stop you, it is anticonstitutional (sic)to do so. The officers have no probable cause to believe that your are committing a crime, let alone have the invented lower standard of reasonable, articulable (sic) suspicion.

You should be left alone. But, cops ain’t good at that one.
Eye95 would there be reference to your claim 'it is "anti-constitutional" especially after stating you "don't know how Florida's statutes on OC...is worded."

BTW mate, what in the world does the term "invented lower standard" of RAS mean? is there a 'high standard'?
 

ADulay

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I don’t know how Florida’s statutes on OC and stopping OCers is worded, but regardless, even if it is “lawful” to stop you, it is anticonstitutional to do so. The officers have no probable cause to believe that your are committing a crime, let alone have the invented lower standard of reasonable, articulable suspicion.

You should be left alone. But, cops ain’t good at that one.
I95,

Actually I do believe they have a legitimate reason to stop me. It is illegal to openly carry a sidearm in Florida unless you meet the requirements of Florida Statute 790.25(3). As I do not outwardly appear to meet those requirements, it would be proper to at least stop and see if I'm a valid open carrying individual at that time. Once "proof" of my qualifications to openly carry a sidearm is satisfied, we can both go on about our business.

I used to carry a fishing rod strapped to the back of the bike. It was cumbersome to say the least. Much easier to keep a Cuban rig (survival rig in today's PC world) at the ready in the left side bag. The range bag is always on the right side.

And that's why I don't get all wound up on the rare traffic stop these days. None so far this year! Just made a 200 mile round trip out to a range near Lake Okeechobee for a USPSA Classifier match. Open carried round trip, of course. It's what I do, every day.

AD
 

eye95

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It is illegal to drive without a license? Yes.

Can officers stop you thinking that you may be driving illegally? No.

Don’t buy into the “Papers, please” state.

I have often said that you fight for Liberty by fighting for the Liberty of others. I now must add that you lose the Rights of others by willingly giving up your own.

Thanks for your POV, but I think it is dangerously wrong.
 

ADulay

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It is illegal to drive without a license? Yes.

Can officers stop you thinking that you may be driving illegally? No.
Hmmm. Good point.

I do believe there used to be "Stop and Check" road blocks around all the time but those have been mostly dumped by the wayside now so your argument may be valid.

Thanks.

AD
 

eye95

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Hmmm. Good point.

I do believe there used to be "Stop and Check" road blocks around all the time but those have been mostly dumped by the wayside now so your argument may be valid.

Thanks.

AD
I don’t think that they have been dumped so much as courts have been ruling against many, unless the need for the 4A violation meets some nebulous standard.

Cops get around it by using DWI/DUI/OVI checkpoints (extremely ineffective at the stated purpose), since courts seem to think that they serve this nebulous purpose that outweighs our constitutional Rights. These checkpoints are de facto ID/license/registration/insurance checkpoints.

Here is a link to a lawyer site that discusses checkpoints:

 
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