mythMYTH #1 – It is against the law for a neighborhood watch member to be armed while on duty.  ***FALSE***

ANSWER:  There are no statutes or administrative code that governs neighborhood watch.  The only Florida statutes that mention neighborhood watch specifically are:

1.  §843.16(2)(b) [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/0843.16 ] which governs radio equipment use.

2. §30.06 [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/30.06 ] which provides authorization for the County Sheriff to form neighborhood watch programs within their jurisdiction.

3. §166.0485 [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/166.0485 ] which provides authorization for municipalities to form neighborhood watch programs within their jurisdiction.

4. §843.20 [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/843.20 ] which provides for relief if members of a neighborhood watch program are victims of harassment or other criminal acts against them for performing their duties.

Nowhere in the above statutes listed in 1-4 does it mention anything about weapons or firearms and the prohibition of carrying for the purpose of lawful self-defense.

5. §790.06(15) [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/790.06 ] which governs the statewide preemption of the regulation of concealed weapons and firearms. This is called the class W license or more commonly referred to as the concealed carry license.

6.  §790.33 [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/790.33 ] which governs the statewide preemption on the regulation of firearms and ammunition.

7.  §790.06(12)(a) [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/790.06 ] which governs the EXCLUSIONS to concealed carry.

8.  §790.25 [ http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/790.25] which governs the EXCEPTIONS to the open carry and conceal carry ban (except concealment on or about your person without a class W license).

Again, nowhere in these statutes that I’ve listed in 5-8 mentions that concealed carry during the duty of a neighborhood crime watch volunteer is prohibited.  Furthermore, these statutes specifically state that a neither the county, municipality nor any political subdivision of the state OTHER THAN the state legislature can FURTHER regulate concealed carry, possession and use of firearms!  Therefore, as the state’s witness for the Sanford PD (SPD) volunteer coordinator stated on the stand, and I paraphrase, “…When that topic [armed] comes up, which it does a lot, we do not even answer that question because it is not within our area of jurisdiction.  We do preach not to confront the subjects or enter a suspicious scene. They [neighborhood watch volunteers] are our eyes and ears. … .”

MYTH #2 – When a non-emergency call taker, 911 operator or dispatch gives an instruction over the phone, you MUST follow that order.  ***FALSE***

ANSWER:  Having been a 911 Operator for a sheriff’s office here in Florida, this statement is completely false!  The state’s witness 911 Operator even said on the stand, and I paraphrase, “…We always say that. … .”  There is absolutely no statute or administrative code that stipulates that if an operator says something to you on the phone, you don’t follow it exactly or at all, then you will face criminal proceedings for not…


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