Florida court ruling could legalize open carry of firearms

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 18, 2015: 4th District Court of Appeal rules against the right to open carry in Norman case.

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 6, 2014: Watch video of oral arguments here and here (39 minutes).

Norman v. State (FL) is the case of a law abiding concealed carry licensee who was arrested and prosecuted in Fort Pierce, FL for violating Florida[‘s] nearly complete ban on Open Carry after his otherwise lawfully carried handgun unknowingly became unconcealed while walking down the street the first time he carried outside his home with his new Florida concealed carry license. -excerpt from Florida Carry

Florida Carry: Norman v. State of Florida case history and court records Open carry of firearms is currently legal in 44 states, and was legal in Florida before 1987 when then State Attorney Janet Reno lobbied for the ban during a special legislative session and Republican Governor Bob Martinez signed the ban into law.  On November 6, 2014, at 10:00 am EST (9:00am Central), the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal will hear oral arguments in Norman v. State, which, among other issues, will address the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on open carry of firearms. In short, the argument is that since the courts have held that concealed carry is a “privilege” and not a right (Crane v. Department of State), and because there is no other provision to lawfully carry a firearm, that there is no way to lawfully exercise the right to bear arms as protected under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as under the Florida Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) – other than the limited exceptions in F.S. 790.25(3). Basically, the argument is saying that under current Florida law, the only way to bear arms (legally) is to do so with a concealed weapons permit, which the state and courts claim is a privilege and not a right – therefore unless you are granted the “privilege” to conceal carry, you cannot exercise your “right” to bear arms (legally). The ruling could reinstate the right to open carry in the state of Florida.    November 6, 2014 at 10:00am, you can watch oral arguments live here: http://www.4dca.org/video.shtml  Per Florida Statute 790.053, it is a misdemeanor to open carry a firearm or weapon in the state of Florida (other than the exceptions listed in F.S. 790.25). Per Florida Statute 790.06, it is a felony to conceal carry a firearm or weapon without a license.

U.S. Constitution, Amendment II: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Florida State Constitution, Article I, Section 8: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.”