For Immediate Release 2017-01-23

Char-Lez Braden
Libertarian Party of Florida
1-855-FLA FREE (855-352-3733)

Libertarian Party of Florida Supports Open Carry Bill

Bradenton, Fla — The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has officially endorsed an open carry bill circulating around the Florida Legislature. SB 140, HB 6001, and HB 6005 all similarly would expand the permitted conditions of a Florida concealed carry license to include open carry of a handgun where concealed carry is permitted. Specifically, the LPF officially endorsed SB 140 and the bill is awaiting passage through the Florida Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

Today, Char-Lez Braden, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Florida, said, “If we trust some individuals with a concealed gun, how can we not trust them with a gun everyone can see?  This is a step in the right direction.”

The LPF holds that law enforcement cannot guarantee individual safety and self protection is a personal responsibility. “All individuals have the right to defend themselves and to possess the means to do so, as guaranteed by both the federal and state Constitutions.” For example, the average response times for the City of Miami are from 7½ minutes to well over 18 minutes, which is time victims could use to defend themselves.

A 2012 US News & World Report article found that open carry deters crime where implemented.   In that article is stated, “A 1985 Department of Justice survey of incarcerated felons reported that 57 percent of the felons polled agreed that ‘criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.’

Larry Pratt in reports that, “Researcher Gary Kleck found that 92 percent of criminal attacks are deterred when a gun is merely shown (or, rarely, a warning shot fired). By inference, this means that open carry would have the effect of deterring crime in the same way that a thief might choose another restaurant when he sees police eating at his intended target.”

You may view the full LRC Commentary here.

About the Libertarian Party of Florida: The Libertarian Party of Florida values human life and the right of all people to live in peace. All members of the LPF are required to declare “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals” thus putting the LPF far out in front of any other party’s commitment to nonviolent political action.

SB 140-Openly Carrying a Handgun

General Bill by Greg Steube (Rep) Dist. 23, Senator’s website

Related bills: HB 6001 Concealed Weapons and Firearms HB 6005 Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms

Schedule: Filed, Assigned Judiciary Scheduled Jan 10 2 pm, Governmental Oversight and Accountability, and Rules

Title: Openly Carrying a Handgun: Authorizing a compliant licensee to openly carry a handgun, etc.

Precis: An act relating to openly carrying a handgun; amending s. 790.06, F.S.; authorizing a compliant licensee to openly carry a handgun; revising the list of specified locations into which a licensee may not openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm; reenacting s. 790.053(1), F.S., relating to the open carrying of weapons, to incorporate the amendment made to s. 790.06, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an effective date.

LP Principles: LPF Platform Art. IV, Public Safety Sect. 1.  Law enforcement cannot guarantee individual safety. Self protection is a personal responsibility. All individuals have the right to defend themselves and to possess the means to do so, as guaranteed by both the federal and state Constitutions.

LRC Recommendation:  Favorable – Recommend Support

LRC Commentary:  The bill is mostly very straightforward, allowing a concealed carry holder to carry openly a handgun whenever and wherever concealed carry is allowed. In addition, it adds some language for both regarding the accepted manner to carry in a courthouse, deletes and lifts the prohibition to carry in a governmental meeting, elementary, secondary, and school administrative building, career center, college and university, and all parts of an airport except the sterile area.   This is an ambitious bill that appears to incorporate and incorporate a number of favorable bills from the 2016 session.

This bill clearly restores many reasonable unalienable rights as guaranteed in the US Constitution. It reduces problems for concealed carry holders who have had to be continually concerned about an accidental exposure of a firearm.

Conclusion:  We are wholly in favor of this bill and recommend a press release and lobbying efforts on its behalf.

Analysis by Suzanne Gilmore for the LPF Legislative Review Committee, 01/05/2017