Florida Carry

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Florida Carry Key Accomplishments Timeline


  • Named 2016 CCRKBA Grassroots Organization of the Year
  • Argued Norman v. State open carry case to Florida Supreme Court - Ruling Pending.


  • Filed motion for en banc rehearing to 1st District Court of Appeal in Florida Carry v. University of Florida.
  • Filed appeal to the Florida Supreme Court in Norman open carry case, certiorari granted.
  • Filed notice of appeal to the Leon County Court in Florida Carry v. City of Tallahassee.
  • Filed lawsuit against Florida State University for violations of firearms preemption.
  • Filed lawsuit against the City of Tampa for violations of member's rights while engaging in lawful activity.
  • Drafted and lobbied for the passage of Florida's Open Carry bills, SB300, by Sen. Gaetz, and HB163, by Reps. Gaetz, Baxley, Combee, Drake, Eagle, Fant, O'Toole, Renner, Smith, Stone, Trumbull, and Van Zant.
  • Drafted and lobbied for the passage of Florida's Burden of Proof bill, SB344, by Sens. Bradley, Dean, Evers, Bean, and Simpson.
  • Forced removal of unauthorized "no firearms" signage in violation of preemption at government facilities (DACS regional offices, FL Dept. of Health, Seminole County, etc.)


  • Won lawsuit against Eastern Florida State College for violations of firearms preemption.
  • Won lawsuit against St. Petersburg College for violations of firearms preemption.
  • Filed lawsuit against University of Florida for violations of firearms preemption and the right to keep and bear arms in the home.
  • Filed lawsuit against the City of Tallahassee for violations of firearms preemption.
  • Filed lawsuit against Broward County for violations of firearms preemption.
  • Filed Amicus to Florida Supreme Court in Bretherick v. State on Burden of Proof in Defensive Immunity Hearings.
  • Drafted and successfully lobbied for the passage of Florida's Emergency Evacuation bill, SB290, by Sens.  Brandes, Bradley, Evers, Negron, and Stargel. This bill additionally contained a provision changing the possession of a valid carry license from being an affirmative defense to the lack thereof being an element of the crime of carrying a concealed firearm, protecting licensees from arbitrary arrest.
  • Initially drafted and successfully lobbied for the passage of Florida's Threat of Force Law, HB89, by Rep. Combee and Rep. Edwards and Sen. Evers.


  • Won Florida Carry v. UNF. Students and visitors statewide may now lawfully store firearms in their personal vehicles while parked on campus at state colleges and universities. - Florida Carry v. Univ. of N. FLA., 133 So. 3d 966 (Fla 1st DCA en banc 2013)
  • Secured return of firearms in court for a military vet. who's firearms were illegally seized by Daytona Beach Police.
  • Had firearms ban at FL Dept. of Health facilities repealed.
  • Amicus Brief in Mississippi Supreme Court case that upheld the state's new unlicensed open carry law.
  • Amicus Brief in Florida Supreme Court case clarifying that concealed carry alone is not grounds for police to detain or arrest.
  • Filed federal lawsuit against Citrus County and Deputy for unlawful arrest of concealed carry licensee.


  • Successfully negotiated to end the longstanding policy of denying entry to those who lawfully carry at the Florida State Fair. Signs were changed and security was retrained. For the first time in the history of state-issued carry licenses, licensees are welcome to carry at the Fair!
  • Authored and introduced HB 463 & SB 998 to allow military members and veterans under 21 to apply for their Florida Carry License (CWFL).
    • Unanimously passed both Florida House and Senate!
    • No pro-gun bill that we are aware of has EVER before passed with unanimous support.
  • Successfully provided legal defense for Hueris Mora; a lawful concealed carry licensee who was arrested and actively prosecuted for violation of Florida's Open Carry Ban when his properly holstered handgun became unconcealed as he raised his hands and informed an officer that he was legally armed during a vehicle stop.
    • Mr. Mora's gun was seized and he was maliciously prosecuted for over six months despite having committed no crime.  Florida Carry attorneys had his charges dismissed with prejudice.  Then, even with a lawyer, it still took four more months to get him his gun back.
  • Forced repeal of anti-gun ordinance in Leesburg Florida by successfully suing to demand compliance with state firearms preemption law.


  • Florida Carry filed a lawsuit against the University of North Florida (Florida Carry v. UNF) to end their unlawful and dangerous parking lot gun ban.
  • Case Won 2013
  • Florida Carry identified and worked with over 300 jurisdictions with unlawful gun control ordinances.
    • Most have responded to Florida Carry's efforts by complying.  Ordinances were repealed and gun ban signs were taken down statewide.
    • A few jurisdictions, universities, and colleges have decided to test our resolve.
    • Lawsuits are ongoing, more are pending...
  • SB 234 was introduced with Florida Carry and NRA support to decriminalize open carry by concealed carry licensees.
    • The bill was amended to only protect brief exposure of an otherwise concealed firearm.
  • HB 45 made Florida's 24-year-old firearms preemption law (F.S. 790.33) enforceable.
  • Authored and introduced HB 499/SB 1220 to allow military members and veterans under 21 to apply for their CWFL.
    • 2011 Bill died in committee 
    • UPDATE: Passed Unanimously in 2012! See HB 463 and SB 998.
  • Successful in having all anti-gun ordinances repealed in nearly 300 jurisdictions across the state.
  • Successful in having all anti-gun signs taken down statewide.
  • Had unlawful and ill-advised signs removed from the Florida Fish and Wildlife's Babcock-Webb Public Shooting Range.
    • These locally enacted policies created an extremely dangerous situation by forcing gun owners to stop on a public street and clear their firearms along the road before driving into the range parking lot.
    • Patrons of the range can now safely clear their firearms before reaching the firing line.


  • First Open Carry Fishing event held in Daytona Beach, FL 7/3/2011 to raise awareness of, and lobby for, Open Carry rights in Florida.
    • Florida and only six other states have wide bans on Open Carry.
  • Began campaign to challenge local laws that violate Firearms Preemption and lobbied to have a bill introduced to make Preemption Enforceable. 
    • Subsequently, HB 45 was introduced and passed with support from Florida Carry and the NRA.
  • Had unlawful and ill-advised anti-gun "gunbusters" signs removed from public parks and buildings in Duval, Lee, Volusia, and Flagler counties.




SB 234 – Open Carry/Vehicle Storage/Long Gun Statute Repeal Bill Stalled in Senate Judiciary Committee



Members and friends,


SB 234’s companion bill has expeditiously completed its journey through committee and is waiting to be heard on the House floor. For some undisclosed reason, SB 234 has been stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee since March 16. Normally, the chairperson of the committee is responsible for scheduling bills to be considered. Senator Anitere Flores (R-Miami/Dade) is the chairperson for this committee. Her staff maintains that the committee staff has not scheduled the bill, and the committee staff states it is the chairperson’s responsibility. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Evers, has sent multiple formal requests to get the bill scheduled. The next committee meeting is April 4, and SB 234 is still not on the agenda for this meeting.


It is critical that this bill get scheduled and heard, as it still has to pass both this committee and the Senate Rules Committee prior to the end of committee meetings for the session.


Florida Carry is urgently requesting your immediate action to get this bill on the agenda. We need everyone to fire off an e-mail to both Senator Flores and Senate President Mike Haridopolos. We are calling for a “mailbox meltdown”. Early on, Senator Bogdanoff waffled on this bill, and it was your enormous response that got her back on board. We need you to do this again, this time in trump.


Feel free to use the e-mail helper below, and thank you again for your solid support. We’re almost there, and we just need a final push to get this bill to the Governor’s desk for his promised signature.
E-mail Helper (feel free to cut, copy, paste, and edit to suit)



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Get SB 234 moving again!


Dear Senators Haridopolos and Flores


Senate Bill 234 has been sitting at the Judiciary Committee since March 16. Its companion bill in the house has already completed committee hearings and awaits a vote on the house floor. It is imperative that SB 234 get scheduled for both the Judiciary and Rules Committees immediately, in order to make the April 26 cutoff date.


Senator Evers has made multiple requests for scheduling the bill, and has been ignored to date. Florida Carry, and other rights organizations, have worked too long and too hard to get this bill to this point, just to have it die in committee within sight of the finish line. Governor Scott has already indicated his intent to sign the bill. Concealed carry licensees have patiently waited for this bill for over 23 years. Florida is one of only seven states that do not permit some form of general open carry. The objections raised by law enforcement and retail associations make no mention that the practice of open carry is successful in 43 states, nor do they acknowledge their dire predictions are the same “blood in the streets” arguments of almost a quarter-century ago. Those predictions have been proven unfounded. There is no substantiated reason for this bill to be stalled at this point.


Please get this bill scheduled immediately for the remaining two committees.


Respectfully yours,

<your name>



Sean CarannaSean Caranna founded the Florida Open Carry Movement immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment applied to state and local law on June 28th 2010.

Six months later, Florida Carry, Inc. was born of a necessity to expand the original mission of Florida Open Carry to include firearms preemption enforceability, campus carry, knife rights, and other issues facing law-abiding gun and defensive weapons carriers. He has dedicated himself to reforming Florida's gun, knife, and self-defense laws to protect the ownership and possession of defensive arms by law-abiding citizens.
In 2012, and again in 2015, Mr. Caranna was awarded the Second Amendment Foundation's "Defender of Liberty" Award

"My solemn oath, sworn before god, to protect and defend the Constitution had no expiration date." Says Mr. Caranna, "I am bound by my oath to do whatever I can to protect today's most widely abused individual right, the right to bear arms. My sworn duty to our cherished Bill of Rights demands it."

Mr. Caranna spent eight years in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman, including active duty service in Europe, Bosnia, and South America; he also served in the Florida Army National Guard.
Mr. Caranna has been accepted as an expert witness in Florida courts on issues relating to firearms laws and legislative history, small arms, and defensive tactics.
Sean is an active Certified Firearms Instructor and Range Safety Officer who formerly taught military small arms tactical and combat vehicle gunnery for a US defense contractor.
Since leaving the military he has worked primarily in computer imaging, simulation, and health care informatics fields.
Sean is also an avid private pilot, who enjoys the outdoors, and has been with his wife Cindy since 1999.
Mr. Caranna is a founder and Executive Director of Florida Carry, Inc.
altRichard Nascak is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, who originally hails from notoriously gun-unfriendly New Jersey. Rich has a unique perspective on freedom and individual rights as he was stationed in West Berlin, Germany from 1983 through 1990 and was present during the fall of the infamous Berlin wall. He personally witnessed the oppression of a citizenry by its government under color of law.
Rich has been on the forefront of the campaign to hold local governments to task with regards to the state preemption statute. He has also taken up the cause of open carry and can be seen as host of the Fort Myers area open carry/fishing events. Rich is an NRA Certified RSO and Firearms Instructor.
Rich has been married to his beautiful wife Jean for over 30 years, and they reside in Lehigh Acres.
Mr. Nascak is a founder and Executive Director of Florida Carry, Inc.
Scott Whigham
M. Scott Whigham is a veteran of the United States Navy, where he served for 10 years as an Aviation Weapons Systems Operator/Instructor and a member of the Auxiliary Security Force. A Desert Storm combat vet, he also saw duty in South America, Iceland, Greenland, and most of mainland Europe. Scott also served in the Florida Army National Guard as a Military Policeman.

After leaving the military, Scott embarked on a career in Corporate Training.
He is currently the Training Director and Manager of a high-volume shooting range and retail firearms facility in NE Florida.

He graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Behavioral Psychology.

An NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, Scott is a member of numerous gun-rights organizations, is dedicated to the preservation of our firearms rights, and is a staunch supporter and defender of our Constitution. He is also an active competitor in IDPA and spent more than 10 years training K9s for law enforcement and competition.
Mr. Whigham is a Florida Carry Founding Director and serves as Treasurer.
Jim Dykes
James Dykes is a retired U.S. Army officer with more than 21 years of service including deployments to Croatia, Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq. He also served as an enlisted military policeman and spent over two years in Virginia as a civilian law enforcement officer.
Since leaving the military, Jim serves as a Program Manager for a defense contractor in the areas of military simulation and training systems. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Old Dominion University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University.
Jim has had a concealed weapons license for the past 14 years (from the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida) and is an avid supporter of 2nd Amendment rights, especially within the state of Florida. Jim currently lives in Melbourne, Florida with his beautiful wife Shannon, and their son, Carter.
Mr. Dykes is Florida Carry's Secretary
Steve Merrette
Steve Merrette is a U.S. Air Force veteran and avid supporter of the 2nd Amendment. He is a NRA Certified Firearms Instructor and Range Safety Officer as well as Glock Armorer and SIRT Certified Instructor and has taught firearms safety and Concealed Weapons Permit classes for many years.
Steve holds an Associate degree in Electrical Engineering from The State University of New York, Binghamton and a Bachelor degree, Summa Cum Laude, in Information Technology/Application Programming from Colorado Technical University.

Steve is a Project Engineer for a systems integrator and lives in Riverview, FL with his beautiful wife Graciela, daughter Laura and son Joey.

Mr. Merrette is Florida Carry's Director of Member Affairs.
Kevin Sona
Kevin Sona is the father of two wonderful young people, Kevin and Kayla, and husband to an amazing beautiful woman, Sarah. Kevin is a conservationist, hunter, and fisherman. "I consider myself a Constitutionalist who believes that the Constitution says what it means and means what it says. I am a huge supporter of gun rights and a 2nd Amendment activist."
Mr. Sona is Florida Carry's Director of Special Projects.
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