Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal has just made a ruling on an “open carry” weapons charge that many are calling the first of its kind. On February 20, a three-judge panel upheld the Florida law that restricts openly carrying firearms, ruling that state law does not interfere with “the right to bear arms” provided by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling comes as one of the first Florida court decisions to address how the constitutional right to carry weapons should be conducted in a way that does not violate state law.
The court’s decision came in response to an appeal by a 27-year-old defendant found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor for openly carrying a pistol. Even though the defendant had a concealed weapon permit, he was found in public carrying the weapon in a holster. The man was charged and convicted, only to later appeal his guilty verdict, arguing that the U.S. Constitution provided him the right to carry the weapon for self-defense.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal had a few key factors to consider in this case. They included:
· The fact that the defendant could and did receive a legal concealed weapon permit.
· The fact that the defendant could have legally carried his weapon concealed.
· The fact that Florida law does provide legal ways to carry firearms in public.
· Whether the defendant’s right to bear arms was infringed on by those state laws.
Ultimately, the judges decided that the state law allowed the defendant to get a concealed weapons permit, and that Florida concealed weapons laws gave him satisfactory and safe ways to exercise his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
An Important Decision on Gun Rights
Gun rights will remain a controversial issue nationwide, but this appeals decision by the Fourth District Court shows a growing consideration of how Second Amendment rights can be safely and appropriately incorporated into our communities. While the U.S. Constitution has always had the final say on the rights of citizens, state laws can and will continue to define how we can reasonably exercise them to the benefit of all.
If you or a loved one is facing a weapons-related charge, then we urge you to contact our skilled legal team at Herman Law, P.A. today. Our experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer can provide the aggressive and effective counsel needed to fight your charges and protect your rights.
Call Herman Law, P.A. to schedule a free consultation!