Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where I reluctantly mount the wild Drama Llama...

Another story that has been covered on nearly every gun blog:

Some guy in Florida goes walking down the street and his shirt rides up over his holster, and the po-po are called, and they pigpile him because it's against the law in Florida to let the public get a glimpse of your heater, and doubly so if you are guilty of the heinous crime of Being Swarthy In Public.

Now, understand that while a few states like Washington and Indiana reformed their carry laws back in the dark ages, Florida and Texas drew national attention in the late '80s/early '90s for reforming theirs, because they were large states with lots of electoral votes.

Because they were large states with lots of electoral votes, the national media has paid a lot of attention to them: "Ooh! Florida and Texas are so gun friendly!" Except they're really not. They have onerous and antediluvian licensing requirements, weird rules about where you can carry & where you can't and, most especially, draconian requirements about not letting so much as a peep of your pistol show, like it was the ankle of a woman in Victorian England or my hair in Riyadh.

And AOA, a Texan blogger, comments thusly:
I understand that concealed means concealed. I also understand that here in the South, it gets hellishly hot and humid and proper "concealment" clothing isn't always as concealing as we'd like. Perhaps this CHL holder's instructor wasn't exactly top-shelf and didn't explain in great detail the necessity of staying concealed or the penalty for a "flash" which apparently is getting slammed to the concrete by five uniformed badge-toting apes.
...
Give Mr. Norman a ticket for "flashing," require a couple of hours of supplemental education on proper carry and concealment, then drop the thing.
No. That's not the proper action. Do you have frickin' Stockholm Syndrome or something? The proper action is to join the 21st Century and to eliminate the ridiculous "mandatory concealment" language that was a sop to the gun prohibitionists and makes you the laughingstock of most states in the Union, regardless of your feelings on Open Carry (and I don't OC myself, for whatever that's worth.)

It's a disgrace to the noble Lone Star Republic Of Texas that, when I visit there, I have to keep my gun burkha snugged around my body while walking the windswept parking lots of Amarillo in a way that I don't when I'm walking through the Hoosier hippie enclave of Broad Ripple, because in Texas it's a crime if somebody accidentally sees my gun and here in Indiana the hippies can just piss off if they catch a glimpse of my heater.

42 comments:

MonteG said...

I have nothing to contribute, beyond this.

Kristopher said...

Fucking dark ages.

Constitutional carry, with an optional permit for those states still retarded enough to require one.

Mike said...

As a Texan and gun guy, I have to point out that it is NOT illegal to accidentally flash your gun in public when you're carrying concealed. The law says that as long as it's not intentional or reckless, you're just fine. This gets hashed out all the time on TexasGunTalk, and the CHL instructors and lawyers are constantly correcting people who think that an accidental flash or printing is going to land you in jail.

45er said...

I agree with Mike, however, it doesn't mean that you aren't going to end up all the way at the end of the legal system until it is worked out. Unfortunately, the law leaves it too up in the air which means that you are at the mercy of whatever kind of po-po shows up. The reasonable kind, or the power trippy kind. It's the same reason Texas reformed their vehicle carry law. The language "defense of prosecution" doesn't give me the warm fuzzies.

Tam said...

Mike, yeah, thanks, I'd rather not have to leave it to twelve people who couldn't get out of jury duty whether my gun "flashing" was "accidental" or not.

In my state, the sight of a handgun is, at most, grounds for a po-po to ask if I have a pink card or not. If I do, that's the end of it, according to Washington v. Indiana.

Living in Babylon said...

And for us god awful mall ninjas...seriously Texas, you're the last state in the union where everyone knows who Jim Bowie is, but god help the poor schmuck who gets caught packing a bowie knife there.

Divemedic said...

We tried that here in Florida last year, and it was defeated. This year, we will spend pro gun political capital trying to defend stand your ground, thanks to the Zimmerman/Martin shooting.

chiefjaybob said...

I would just like to point out that those of us living in free Illinois don't have any of these problems.

*glurp* Sorry, just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

kishnevi said...

The concealment requirement in Florida was as much a sop to the Chamber of Commerce as it was to the gun banners. They were afraid the tourists from England and New York would freak out if they saw a real live gun walking around. Of course, they are more likely to be envious...

pax said...

And that, right there, is why I support the Open Carry movement even though -- well, even though a lot of stuff. I don't open carry myself, but I'm sure glad somebody does.

Keads said...

We are still debating "Restaurant Carry" here. "Ooh! Florida and Texas are so gun friendly!" Except they're really not." In many ways North Carolina is NOT concealed carry friendly. Mandatory 8 hour classroom instruction and a practical test (live fire). A long convoluted list of where you may and may not carry.

Disclaimer: I teach the CCH class here. In some ways I agree with that requirement. I have had students that could not meet the really simple live fire requirements. (B-27 target anywhere in the target counts at 3,5,7 yds.) I exceed state requirements and require weak hand, strong hand, firing and my round count is greater.

I don't want them to start ripping off rounds while I'm a half block over and they miss! I don't make enough money on the class to have that motivation to defend it here.

We do have open carry though. Without ANY permit. So, in that regard we are better off that Texas?!?! Really?

I prefer concealed to open carry but I do both.

Anonymous said...

"The concealment requirement in Florida was as much a sop to the Chamber of Commerce as it was to the gun banners. They were afraid the tourists from England and New York would freak out if they saw a real live gun walking around."

LOLWut?

So New Yorkers and Englishmen do not go fishing in Florida? Because if you are fishing in Florida you can open carry.

Shootin' Buddy

Mattexian said...

I think I prefered the Texas shown in L Neil Smith's "Roswell, Texas", where every citizen was required to carry a firearm in plain sight. We're still working on that ideal.

Orville said...

From Florida Statutes, Chapter 790, specifically 790.053, Paragraph 1:
"...It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense."

This was the legislature's halfway measure to appease the open carry advocates. I think the guy has a false arrest case against the gestapo.

I've discussed this type of situation with a very knowledgeable Florida attorney who handles firearms cases after the sentence above was added to the law in 2011 and his opinion was that while it was legal to briefly display a legally carried firearm (the question was about discrete removal of a motorcycle jacket and putting on a vest in a restaurant parking lot), it would almost certainly result in arrest because police were uninformed about the law, and while legal, he strongly advised against it because of how police would respond. Dale Norman's experience confirms the attorney was correct.

Until such time as the Florida legislature can ensure complete police conformance to the statute, which they will never be able to do, Florida - and the other 4 states - needs to stop being partially pregnant and allow for licensed open carry. I'm completely with Tam on this one - the perpetually offended can piss up a rope, and that includes the "reasonable gun owners" who are so afraid of someone getting upset about open carrying.

Constitutional carry is where we need to be, but one step at a time.

Keith said...

As an Arizonian I have to ask you all an important question: what are these "gun laws" that you all keep yammering on about?

Divemedic said...

@Orville: Especially considering how hard the cops lobbied to kill open carry last year. They even broke the law to do it.

http://street-pharmacy.blogspot.com/2011/04/captain-mike-fewless-is-your-enemy.html

Anonymous said...

I think Texas has loopy gun laws because we were the first. A lot of the nation was aghast at the first carry laws, predicting "blood in the streets" when the bad ole wild west returned. I guess they wanted to thread the needle for the doubters. They have done some easing here and there but I get the idea they're overall pretty proud of their creation, I don't see constitutional carry anytime soon.

Phil in W. TX

Aaron Burr said...

This is a gun blog?

Tam said...

Phil in W. TX,

"I think Texas has loopy gun laws because we were the first."

No. Not by a long shot. Y'all were, like, fifteenth or sixteenth.

Keads said...

Tam, Unless you were born south of the sweet tea line you cannot use Y'all in written or verbal communications. Just sayin =)

Cargosquid said...

The more I read things like this, the more I'm happy to be living in Virginia. We don't have these problems.

Britt said...

Pretty sure Tam is from Atlanta originally Keads.

Ed said...

Yes, it is time for Constitutional Carry in Florida and in all the other states that do not already have it. Why? Conformance to the Constitution. Are there any other civil rights that you will tolerate being infringed?

Josh K. said...

Phil the real problem is that the fee and licencing is a revenue source for the state, so there is no incentive to change; at least in the politicians mind. 

Tam I couldn't even find any news article or when last time a CHL holder was even prosecuted for failure to conceal in Texas. Unless your in Leftyville Austin, some parts of Houston or Dallas, I don't even hear of people getting hasled that often. There isn't the epidemic of lawful CHL holders going to jail for flashing or printing that seems to be implied her.

The closest incident I found  was this:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Rodriguez-convicted-in-neighbor-s-death-3632270.php

Should we even have to worry about this no;  I am all for constitutional carry.

A good article as it pertains toTexas law.

http://www.gunreports.com/special_reports/handguns/Issues-Concealment-Printing-Flashing-concealed-handgun-texas-law-shield3509-1.html

How did Texas got dragged into a Florida mess?
;-)

Josh K. said...

P.S. If there was a lot of arrest,the current laws wouldn't last very long in Texas. IMHO

Josh K. said...

P.P.S. Tam you don't make fun of our silly laws in Texas and I won't make fun of Indiana's attemp to say you don't have the right to refuse unlawful entry by police.
;-)

An Ordinary American said...

Tam, make no mistake--I'm a major OC proponent.

My comment on my blog was pertaining to the law as it is NOW for Dale Norman. His "flashing" is not probable cause to go to jail nor be prosecuted.

As far as worrying about twelve people judging as to whether or not you'll become a longtime resident of Texas enjoying striped sunshine because your gun "printed" or "flashed," as has been pointed out, our law here says "concealed" and not invisible.

I can find no arrests for flashing or printing here in Texas for at least the past six years--which is as far back as I requested be checked.

--AOA

DanH said...

Ok I totally read that title as Dalai Lama

It makes so much more sense now

Orville said...

@Divemedic - I am quite familiar with Mike Fewless and the situation to which you refer.

Suffice it to say regarding the event in question Fewless was not operating independently.

Tam said...

Aaron Burr,

"This is a gun blog?"

I don't know why they keep putting me in that filing cabinet drawer, either, but there you go.

Tam said...

Keith,

"As an Arizonian I have to ask you all an important question: what are these "gun laws" that you all keep yammering on about?"

If you go Constitutionally Open Carry into your local Applebee's, they'll show you.

Borepatch said...

Iwas at a restaurant in Austin, and the gents at the table behind me were a little loud (perhaps in their cups?) and so I overheard the astonished exclamation that Georgia just requires a background check and a cheque made out to the Probate Court to get your carry license.

Yup. Still not perfect, but getting the permit was about as no muss, no fuss as it can get. Kudos to georgiacarry.org for fighting the Good Fight, and winning a lot.

perlhaqr said...

It's a disgrace to the noble Lone Star Republic Of Texas that, when I visit there, I have to keep my gun burkha snugged around my body while walking the windswept parking lots of Amarillo in a way that I don't when I'm walking through the Hoosier hippie enclave of Broad Ripple

No, no, no. You're going about this all wrong, Tam.

"Yep. Just still more proof that New Mexico is better than Texas."

All right, that should be fixed by next week...

;)

Kristopher said...

Josh K: It's all right ... the cops in Indiana are often too drunk to find the door.

Tam: In Cheyenne, the Appleby's manager might ask you to leave, but the cops won't even show unless you ignore the manager's trespass.

We do still have disarmed campuses here ... we need to fix that.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

+1 pax. I don't open carry for various reasons, but but I support 100% anyone who does, and this is one of the reasons.

+1 Cargosquid. I'm glad to live in VA, where I would be able to OC without jumping through any .gov hoops beyond those needed to actually purchase a gun (and not even that, if the gun was a gift from a family member). A state father can buy his son a pistol for his 21st birthday, and the son can immediately strap it on and walk down the street with no government pre-approval required, as long as it's visible.

Fortunately, the fight for Constitutional Carry is in progress.

SpeakerTweaker said...

P.S. If there was a lot of arrest,the current laws wouldn't last very long in Texas. IMHO

Is it not a crying-damned-shame that we have to wait for a bunch of folks to have their immediate freedom and property removed from them at gunpoint before anyone can cry foul? I mean, the logical conclusion to the quoted statement is as long as folks aren't getting arrested, we can leave shitty legislation on the books forever.

Tam pointed out once that gun laws in Texas are closer to the gun laws of California than those of Indiana. If that doesn't make you absolutely ashamed every time you hear about Georgians forking over a few bucks to Probate, or folks in Ohio - home of Officer Roid Rage - having Open Carry Day, then you're in denial.

I mean, Jesus-tap-dancing-Christ. California finally outlawed open carry which actually brings their shitty laws more in line with Texas!

I swear, I wish someone would do 50-state comparison of the carry laws and rate them, a la Brady Bunch. I'd wager that the carry laws in TX put us closer to 50 than they do to 1.

Panamared said...

If you think that the police know the law, you are mistaken. All they really know is department procedure. When the department gets sued for false arrest they will change the procedure to match the law. Constitutional carry would fix all of these problems, but I still bet that once we get constitutional carry there will still be abuses by the police.

Cormac said...

Didn't the teeth and claws recently added to Florida's preemption laws account for mistreatment by the cops?

Fair to say they should reasonably know the laws, right? If not, how the hell can anybody else be held responsible for them?

Josh K. said...

ST, I wasn't justifing the behavior, just pointing it out that if there was a lot of arrests or harasment it probably be easer to rally the troups for change.

Josh K. said...

P.S. Ironic huh?

Texas Sean said...

Still, carrying here in TX is better than NOT carrying back in the home state, NJ. With the right holster (White Dog Purebred, IWB with J hooks), the right belt and the right t-shirt, the SR9C disappears pretty much and I follow good body posture practices in carry and enjoy freedoms long denied. I'm also active on pushing for open carry and seeking to spread the word, 2A is The Way!

Texas Sean said...

p.s. Still wish it was as easy as carry in, say, AZ.