Legislators are considering a broadening of the laws regarding just how you carry your firearm. Specifically, some want to make it acceptable for licensed owners to carry a weapon in plain sight. Called an open-carry law, this legislation has passed a House subcommittee but still has some lawmakers to win over before it becomes reality.
According to House Bill 517, the weapon carrier would have to have a concealed weapon or firearm license in order to benefit from the law. It would allow them to carry their gun outside of their clothing in a holster.
Opponents worry it would put the public in fear of law abiding gun owners and would make them wary of anyone who chose to wear their gun out. The Florida Sheriff’s Association is just one group who is opposed to the measure.
Orange County Sherriff states “All it would do is further add to the confusion that the public will have wondering whether or not this person with a gun is in the process of doing something unlawful or not.” Other lawful gun owners are also opposed, stating they would rather people didn’t know they were carrying a weapon.
If passed, the law would restrict such open carrying in schools and colleges, airports, and bars.
Of course, the option to carry your weapon on your hip would be just that—an option. One has to wonder what sorts would elect to show off their firearm. But without the option of a concealed carry permit, if they lawfully want to carry their weapon in public, this would be the only method.
Currently, Florida gun laws are fairly strict, as they are across the country. Lawmakers have to find a balance between public safety and the right to bear arms. They can place restrictions on the how, what, and where of the weapons but they can’t necessarily ban the weapons altogether. This balancing act is always a highly charged debate as this law will no doubt be in the legislature.
If you are facing weapons charges and trying to make sense of the current system of laws, you might need assistance. A local defense lawyer can help you understand your options and assist you in achieving the most favorable outcome possible in court.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.