Florida Carry

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Florida Carry today filed lawsuits against the City of Tallahassee and Broward County for blatant violations of Florida’s law that preempts local gun control.

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
For Immediate Release

 

Florida Carry today filed two lawsuits for blatant violations of Florida’s law that preempts local gun control.

 

Joined by the Second Amendment Foundation, the first case filed is against the City of Tallahassee.

 

In the second case, Florida Carry filed against Broward County. 

 

“Since 2011, Florida Carry has prompted the repeal of anti-gun ordinances and regulations in over 200 Florida jurisdictions, including municipalities, counties, colleges and state agencies,” noted Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna. “Usually the jurisdiction is responsive to our notification that there is a problem and no lawsuit is necessary. It is a rare and unfortunate circumstance when local government leaders decide to willfully break state law, despite the personal penalties. When local officials are willing to knowingly violate the law in order to suppress the rights of law-abiding gun owners, they can expect that we’re going to make them pay for it.”

 

Broward County has ignored repeated attempts by Florida Carry to gain its compliance with state law and left us with no choice but to file this case.  When local officials refuse to stop breaking the law in order to deny the rights of Floridians, Florida Carry will act to demand that people’s rights be protected. Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry is also named as a defendant in the case. Florida Carry is represented by Miami attorneys Michael T. Davis and Benedict P. Kuehne of The Law Offices of Benedict P. Kuehne, P.A. and Florida Carry General Counsel Eric J. Friday with Fletcher & Phillips of Jacksonville.

 

Florida Carry, Inc. and the Second Amendment Foundation joined forces in the lawsuit against the City of Tallahassee for refusing to repeal ordinances restricting the use of firearms in defiance of Florida’s firearms preemption law.

 

“We’re happy to partner with Florida Carry on this legal action,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This is not the first time we have had to take a city to court for violating a state preemption law. Why municipal governments still don’t understand the concept of preemption is a mystery to us”

 

“Clearly,” Gottlieb observed, “Tallahassee has way over-stepped its authority under state preemption. The Florida Legislature has exclusive domain over firearms regulation. When the law was passed, it nullified all existing, and future, city and county firearm ordinances and regulations.

 

“Mayor Marks and his colleagues on the city commission knew all of this,” he added, “but they rejected an opportunity to bring the city into compliance in February. Their stubbornness really left us no choice but to join Florida Carry in this action.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMAFaI4UWDk#t=7189

 

Named as defendants in the Tallahassee case are Mayor John Marks, and City Commissioners Nancy Miller, Andrew Gillum, and Gil Ziffer. SAF and Florida Carry are represented by Jacksonville attorneys Lesley McKinney with McKinney, Wilkes & Mee, and Florida Carry General Counsel Eric J. Friday with Fletcher & Phillips.

 

Florida Carry is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental civil right of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self-defense as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution's Declaration of Rights.

Florida Carry, Inc. was organized in order to better coordinate activities, effectively lobby the state legislature, and to provide a legal entity capable of filing suit to demand compliance with state and federal law. Florida Carry stands to represent our members, the approximately 8 million gun owners, and countless knife and defensive weapon carriers of Florida.

 

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Thursday March 27th 2014, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) openly testified against Second Amendment rights to the Florida House Judiciary Committee saying, "In our opinion, there is a difference between owning a firearm and carrying one concealed on your person. Owing a firearm is a right; carrying it concealed is a privilege; and it is a privilege that is earned..."

 

In what can only be viewed as contempt and distrust for law-abiding gun owners, the Florida Sheriffs Association went on to say that during an emergency you are "least likely to use a firearm in a safe and responsible manner". Think about that. The Sheriffs are telling your legislature that when you are under attack by looters and rioters, you should be disarmed because you will be the irrational person in the situation.

 

The Sheriff's Association also told the committee that "there is plenty of time before hurricane season starts to go out and get a concealed weapons permit so you can carry on your person." This is completely false. Hurricane Season starts June 1st, only 62 days from now. Even if you already have your training certificate, your fingerprinting done, and have the $112.00 in fees ready to spend today, appointments at the regional offices are booked up to six months out and applications by mail are currently taking more than 90 days.

 

In other words, FSA is saying your Second Amendment right to BEAR arms can only be exercised if you have the time and money to get a license to carry a concealed handgun.

 

The Sheriffs go on to claim that "Given modern technology, the approach of storms can be predicted days in advance; and the last second flight scenarios are just not realistic." Anyone who has tracked approaching hurricanes knows this to be false.

 

A similar law to the one that we are trying to fix was struck down in North Carolina in 2012. The federal court there said:

"[T]he statutes here excessively intrude upon plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights by effectively banning them (and the public at large) from engaging in conduct that is at the very core of the Second Amendment at a time when the need for self-defense may be at its very greatest." Bateman v. Perdue, No. 5:10-CV-265-H, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47336, (E.D.N.C. Mar. 29, 2012)

 

The bill that the FSA opposes, HB 209, would create an exception to the automatic ban on firearms possession in public (even with a concealed carry license) for people who are complying with a mandatory evacuation order.

 

This is the unconstitutional law that the FSA is trying to protect:

870.044 Automatic emergency measures.—Whenever the public official declares that a state of emergency exists, pursuant to s. 870.043, the following acts shall be prohibited during the period of said emergency throughout the jurisdiction:

(1) The sale of, or offer to sell, with or without consideration, any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
(2) The intentional display, after the emergency is declared, by or in any store or shop of any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
(3) The intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.

 

In 1987 the Florida Sheriffs Association also opposed concealed carry, saying at the time that citizens should be forced to carry firearms openly so they would be able see who has guns. Once concealed carry passed, they turned around and pushed for the ban on open carry -- which was legal until 1987. In 2011 the FSA opposed a bill that would have restored the open carry of handguns.

 

The fact is that the Florida Sheriff's Association has opposed every right to bear arms bill that has ever been offered.

 

While the FSA may have some sympathy for people's the Right to Keep Arms at home, it is obvious that the group has disdain for the Right to Bear Arms for self-defense. At the same committee hearing, Assistant Adjutant General for the Florida Army National Guard Maj. General Don Tyre spoke in support of the bill that will allow law abiding Floridians to take their guns with them during a mandatory evacuation order without the need for a concealed carry license.

 

We call on you to contact your local Sheriff and ask if the Florida Sheriff's Association is representing their values. Is lobbying against the right to bear arms during an emergency how they are honoring the oath that your Sheriff swore to defend the constitution? Does your Sheriff really support the Right to Bear Arms?

 

It is time for Florida's Constitutional Sheriffs to take control of the FSA or quit supporting it with your tax dollars.

 

We need your help to continue the fight for your right to bear arms.  Please Join Florida Carry today.

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Florida Carry sues the University of Florida for illegal ban on guns and other defensive weapons in cars and homes

Friday, January 10, 2014
For Immediate Release

Gainesville FL - Florida Carry, Inc. has today filed a lawsuit against the University Florida (UF), seeking a permanent injunction to protect the rights of students, faculty, and the public from the university's illegal and unconstitutional regulations prohibiting firearms and weapons on all university property. Since 1987 the Florida Legislature has preempted firearms law and issued state-wide licenses to carry for self-defense.  In December Florida Carry won a similar case against the University of North Florida (UNF).  In Florida Carry v. UNF the First District Court of Appeal ruled that "The legislature’s primacy in firearms regulation derives directly from the Florida Constitution... Indeed, the legislature has reserved for itself the whole field of firearms regulation in section 790.33(1)..."  No public college or university has any authority to prevent students and the public from having a functional firearm in places that are constitutionally protected or permitted under state law.

 

The University of Florida has failed to comply with the court's ruling by doing nothing more than adding an "Intent" footnote to one of its illegal policies. Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna reached out to UF President Bernie Machen in an attempt to avert the need for legal action.  Mr. Caranna's call was returned by the university's General Counsel who refused to take our concerns about UF's illegal policies and regulations seriously and was dismissive of our plea that they work with us to craft a legal set of regulations.  Florida Carry was left with no choice but to file this case.

 

 Any public college or university which attempts to restrict the statutory and fundamental right to keep and bear arms in Florida is subject to enforcement actions by organizations such as Florida Carry. In addition to enforcing the clearly established right of students to lawfully store firearms in their personal vehicles on campus, Florida Carry seeks to protect the right to possess firearms and other defensive weapons in the home.  In the landmark 2008 Heller case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bans on the possession of functional arms in the home are unconstitutional.  Nationwide, millions of adult university faculty, students, and their families live in university owned housing.  The fact that state housing facilities run by Florida Universities continue to deprive law abiding adults of their fundamental right to keep and bear arms in their homes, years after the clear decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that such bans are unconstitutional, is unconscionable.

Read the Complaint Here

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Florida Carry lawsuit spurs Eastern Florida State College to comply with state firearms law

Friday, February 07, 2014
For Immediate Release:

Palm Bay FL - On Monday Florida Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Eastern Florida State College seeking to protect the rights of students, faculty, and the public from the college's illegal regulations prohibiting defensive firearms and weapons stored in private vehicles. Today Eastern Florida State published a revised policy that brings them in to compliance with state defensive firearms and weapons laws.  We are pleased by the college's response to the case thus far and greatly appreciate their willingness to work with Florida Carry to craft lawful firearms and weapons policies.  We hope to reach a final settlement of the case soon.

In December Florida Carry won a similar case against the University of North Florida (UNF).  In Florida Carry v. UNF the First District Court of Appeal ruled that "The legislature's primacy in firearms regulation derives directly from the Florida Constitution... Indeed, the legislature has reserved for itself the whole field of firearms regulation in section 790.33(1)..."  No public college or university has any authority to prevent students and the public from having a functional firearm in places that are constitutionally protected or permitted under state law.

Florida law provides for strict penalties against public entities and individuals who violate the rights of gun and defensive weapon owners. Any public entity which attempts to restrict the statutory and fundamental right to keep and bear arms in Florida is subject to enforcement actions by organizations such as Florida Carry.

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December 23, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The first day class in 2014 is the deadline for Florida public colleges and universities to comply with state firearms and weapons laws

 
Any Florida public college or university that fails to notify all students and the public that prohibitive policies regarding the storage of firearms, or other defensive arms, in the personal vehicles of its students and visitors are void and unenforceable by the first day of  Spring semester classes will be subject to being sued by Florida Carry for violations of 790.33 Florida Statutes and/or Article I, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution.  Colleges and universities who do not work in good faith to expeditiously revise or repeal such unlawful policies will also leave Florida Carry no choice but to demand compliance in the courts.

Recently the 1st District Court of Appeal reaffirmed, in Florida Carry, Inc. v. Univ. of N. Fla (Fla. 1st DCA 2013), that adult students have a right to keep and bear arms in their vehicles under our constitution and Florida law.  This case set binding precedent statewide that Florida Carry will seek to enforce for the protection of law abiding Floridians.

Students and members of the public are encouraged to notify Florida Carry of violations of Florida’s Firearms Preemption Law by emailing details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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