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 Not a single state that has legalized open carry in recent years has repealed the right.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)
Support SB 234 – Support the Second Amendment
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 manner 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.