The Florida Supreme Court upheld the state’s open carry ban in a 4-2 decision. They say the law is constitutional. Their reasoning doesn’t make sense. And what started this court case in the first place is insane! Check out the details.
The controversy began when Dale Norman – a concealed carry holder – was arrested by Fort Pierce police in 2012 because his gun was visible as he walked down a sidewalk. He was convicted of a misdemeanor, appealed the conviction, and followed the appeal process all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.
The court reasoned that because the ban on open carry regulates “only one manner of bearing arms,” it “does not impair the exercise of the fundamental right to bear arms.” In other words, because Florida residents generally have easy access to concealed carry permits, banning open carry does not significantly limit their right Second Amendment rights.
But the court went further.
While they agreed that the Second Amendment includes the right to bear arms outside the home, they saw open carry as working against “the stated government purpose of public safety and reducing gun violence.”
Open carry diminishes public safety because hypothetical criminals are more likely to target individuals with guns. According to the court, “deranged persons and criminals would be less likely to gain control of firearms in public because concealed firearms — as opposed to openly carried firearms — could not be viewed by ordinary sight.”