You might be surprised to learn that in a state usually known for it’s gun-freedom there is a fight in the courts to push that line even further.
For the last three decades the state of Florida has banned open-carry of firearms across the state. Meaning that if you wanted to defend yourself from harm, outside of your home, you had to first become permitted to carry concealed. A few years ago one Florida man, Dale Norman, ran afoul of the open-carry ban and was arrested, charged with a misdemeanor, and fined because his gun became visible while he was out for stroll.
“Mr. Norman is a law-abiding citizen who has a concealed weapons license and was exercising his constitutional right,” NRA lobbyist and past president Marion Hammer told Sunshine State News. “Mr. Norman is being treated like a criminal because his shirt came up and his firearm was accidentally exposed to the sight of another person.”
This struck Norman as incredibly unjust and so he appealed and his case wound its way through the legal process all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, where he recently lost that appeal and the state’s ban on open-carry was upheld.
Thankfully, that isn’t the end of the case. Norman and his legal team have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of the United States, and they hope that the opinion from one of the dissenting judges on the Florida Supreme Court will give them a leg up in their battle.
While Normal lost his Florida Supreme Court case 4-2, one of the dissenting judges wrote a brilliant dissent to explain why his colleagues were wrong.
Here’s how Conservative Tribune explains Justice Charles Canady’s dissent:
Florida Supreme Court Justice Charles Canady noted that the two most significant recent cases regarding Second Amendment constitutional law — District of Columbia v. Heller, which established that the Second Amendment established the right to individual firearm ownership, and McDonald v. City of Chicago, which established that due process clause of the 14th Amendment applied to gun ownership — meant that the court’s ruling was erroneous.
“Three elements of the Supreme Court’s reasoning in District of Columbia v. Heller … illuminate the constitutional question here,” Canady’s dissent read. “The third element establishes that the Second Amendment right is a right to openly carry firearms.”
The first element was the already-established right to bear arms outside of the home. The second, surprisingly, was Heller’s notion that “the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.”
Finally, this meant that in the light of other litigation involving the Second Amendment, case law “point(s) strongly to the conclusion that the constitutional right is best understood historically as a specific right to carry arms openly.”
Do you see the problem with Florida’s open-carry ban? If the Supreme Court has decided that the Constitution agrees that citizens have the RIGHT to bear arms outside of their home, and that states have the right to lay prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons, then the Constitution must be saying that Americans have an absolute right to open carry.
It’s simple math folks. 1. We have a right to bear arms outside our homes. 2. The state can say yes or no to concealed carry. 3. Therefore, open carry cannot be banned or it.
Here’s hoping that the US Supreme Court agrees to hear the case and that they agree with the logic train established by Justice Canady.