IMPORTANT FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE!
HB 39 (2018) — Weapons and Firearms
Added to House Meeting Agenda:
01/25/2018 4:15 PM Added to Criminal Justice Subcommittee agenda, for meeting on 01/29/2018 3:00 PM, at Sumner Hall (404 HOB)
This Bill Summary: An act relating to weapons and firearms; amending s.790.053, F.S.; deleting a statement of applicability
relating to a certain violation of carrying a concealed firearm; reducing the penalties applicable to a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm for a first or second violation of specified provisions relating to openly carrying weapons; making
a fine payable to the clerk of the court; amending s. 790.06, F.S.; providing that a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm does not violate certain provisions if the firearm is temporarily and openly displayed;
The important part of this bill is twofold. The first time anyone is charged with a violation of this they will only have a $25 Civil infraction, but more importantly, included in the very same statute would be this nugget: “A person licensed to carry a concealed firearm under this section whose firearm is temporarily and openly displayed to the ordinary sight of another person does not violate s. 790.053 and may not be arrested or charged with a noncriminal or criminal violation of s. 790.053.”
Which if you read it, means that any temporary exposure (which is not defined in statute BTW, meaning that it could be a second to hours) of a firearm by a licensed person, they “may not be arrested or charged with a noncriminal or criminal violation of s. 790.053”. So, in essence, this Bill is, on one hand, laying out a three strike system for CWP holders, but later in the same Bill it says they cannot be arrest for it. Maybe an unintentional (or intentional) way of making it so that CWP holders cannot be arrested for any temporary exposure, and “temporarily” will have to be decided when the first person is arrested for it after this Bill becomes Law.
Florida Firearms Coalition supports this Bill and would like for people to write to the legislators on the Criminal Justice Committee members and ask them to support this Bill. We see it as an incremental move in the direction of OC, and of course our ultimate goal of Constitutional Carry in Florida. This Bill, if made into law, will really have to be researched by the Florida Attorney General’s Office to put out parameters it sees as enforceable, and those it does not. And if the history of the AG office is anything to go by, when a Bill contradicts itself, they say to not enforce it until legislators clarify or change it. And that would be fine by us. No enforcing the OC violations would be fine.
Here is the information for the members of the Committee: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/committeesdetail.aspx?CommitteeId=2921