Pinellas Sheriff fights open-carry bill with bad info

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In a Q&A style interview published Wednesday on the Palm Beach Post’s opinion blog, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who chair’s the Florida Sheriff’s Association’s legislative committee, spelled out his opposition to SB 300, the “Open Carry” bill, which is moving forward in the legislature.

I interviewed him for this story, and we spoke about his comments in the Post’s Q&A interview.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

The sheriff  bristled somewhat when I asked if he was a Second Amendment supporter.

“I really don’t like that statement,” he said. “The Constitution is the Constitution, and I support every amendment, but every amendment is not without limit.”

You’ll remember Sheriff Gualtieri. He’s not known for his support of guns, gun owners or pro-gun legislation.

In May of 2013, he vowed to start enforcing a little-used county ordinance that requires background checks at local gun shows for all private sales. The county ordinance gathered dust since it was enacted in 1998. Violators faced misdemeanor charges. After garnering a few headlines, the plan fizzled. Gun shows were held without any problems. No arrests were ever made.

A year later he called the Firearms Mandatory Evacuation bill — which is now law — “crazy” and “absurd,” saying it would allow people to carry concealed firearms into a riot, rather than when they’re fleeing their homes.

In his interview with the Post, some of Sheriff Gualtieri’s responses are confusing. Others are downright wrong.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

“I am saddened to see so much misunderstanding and erroneous information about a bill that simply protects the rights of law-abiding concealed weapons and firearms license holders,” said Marion Hammer. “The apparent distrust of law-abiding firearms owners by their sheriffs is indeed very sad and disappointing.”

Hammer is the executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, a past-president of the National Rifle Association and an NRA board member.

Math issues

Sheriff Gualtieri starts by claiming 82 percent of the sheriffs oppose open carry.  They took a secret vote, he said, during which 47 of the 67 sheriffs voted to oppose the bill. While my dad taught math for 33 years, I’m no mathematician, but that seemed more like 70 percent than 82 percent. It causes one to wonder why they have to skew the numbers.

The sheriff told me there were 5 sheriffs who abstained and 5 who could not be contacted, so 57 voted.

I’ll give him the 5 who didn’t answer their phones, but an abstention is still a vote.

This drops his 82 percent down to 75 percent. That much is clear.

Same restrictions as concealed carry

Sheriff Gualtieri  told the Post that SB-300 it too broad and has no limits, but that’s not the case. The bill is not broad. It does have limits. It has the same limits that apply to concealed carry, and to clarify that those restriction apply, an amendment was added Tuesday to the bill in Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

The sheriff didn’t agree that the same restrictions would apply.

“That’s arguable,” he told me. “It also says the courts, in interpreting any statute not just this one, are to apply strict scrutiny. It calls into question whether any existing statute, under the strict scrutiny analysis, would survive. All have been analyzed under the intermediate scrutiny analysis. I don’t know if any (restrictions) would survive if the bill would become law.”

I’m no attorney, but this argument stinks, and it’s not Hoppes #9 I’m smelling.

No rifles

The Post story included  a picture of three men queued up in a fast-food restaurant. One had an M4 slung over his back. But SB-3oo only applies to handguns. It specifies that no long guns, rifles or shotguns, may be carried concealed or openly except as provided in 790.25 (hunting, fishing, camping, etc.)

“I didn’t choose the photos,” the sheriff said. “It (the bill) is purely about handguns. I never mentioned rifles.”

Good point, sheriff.

Produce license upon request

The sheriff said the bill “raises questions” about a police officer’s ability to ask an open-carrier to produce their concealed-carry license.

But under existing law, 790.06(1), license holders are required to have the license with them “at all times in which the licensee is in actual possession of a concealed weapon or firearm and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer.”

That same restriction apply to open carry. It’s in the bill.

Gualtieri admitted same.

“That’s true, assuming that all that survives,” he acknowledged.

Private property rights 

In the Post story, Gualtieri claimed that a Day Care or a McDonald’s won’t be able to bar people from open carry or “having their guns on tables” while eating.

This too is false.

There is nothing in the bill that in any way impacts the private property rights of others. Any businesses or person may prohibit the open carry of firearms on their private property.

The sheriff does not see it this way.

“No. It says right now they can carry a firearm openly anywhere they’re lawfully allowed to be,” he told me. “Certainly, the best way to protect private property rights is to remove any ambiguous language, so it clearly says private property owners can do that.”

Stop prosecutions

One of the main reasons the bill has garnered so much support is that it will stop the overzealous arrests and prosecutions of concealed carriers whose clothing rides up and they unintentionally display a handgun.

The sheriff said these law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be “dinged” for a simple mistake, but that certainly has happened. Arrests have been made. We tried it the Sheriffs’ way in 2011 — in good faith. Instead of going to simple open carry,  we agreed to an amendment by the sheriffs that was supposed to stop abuse of people who were carrying concealed.

It didn’t work.

Licensed concealed carriers were still arrested for violation of the open carry law if their firearm accidentally and unintentionally became exposed to the sight of another person. Their amendment said it was not a violation of the open carry law for a gun being carried concealed to be briefly exposed to the sight of another person. That amendment didn’t work, and the abuse only got worse.

The sheriff told me that no “good people” should be prosecuted for a mistake. Unfortunately, they still are.

The law in 45 states

The Post asked Gaultieri why 45 states allow open carry.

In his response, he said it’s not an “apples to apples” or an “accurate” comparison, because Florida has a strong preemption law.

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what he meant by that, so I asked.

“The proponents and sponsors are trying to use the statement persuasively that Florida is the only one of five states that don’t have open carry — trying to say that 45 have laws similar to Florida that would allow straight open carry — that there are no issues in other places, so there will be no issues here — that if it’s good in 45 states, is should be good here,” he said. “Take Pennsylvania — their statute is very, very narrow. Oklahoma requires a holster. You can’t stick a .45 in your pocket. Texas (open carry) law doesn’t take effect until 2016. To sit there and say this has worked out in other places so it would work here is wrong. There’s a whole myriad of laws in other states. They’re not examples. There’s a big difference between the Poconos and downtown Miami.”

I told the sheriff that of course different states had different provisions and that the 45-state analogy should be taken on the whole, but he didn’t agree.

“Show me a major metro area where you don’t have to have a handgun in a holster, or where there’s no (mandatory) weapons retention training,” he said.

Bearing arms

Sheriff Gaultieri told me he “absolutely” supports the right to carry a concealed firearm, but he refuses to support open carry.

“What I am against is the unnecessary and unreasonable display of firearms,” he said. “There’s no right here being infringed on. Everyone has a right to carry a firearm concealed.”

I told him most folks view open carry as the “bearing arms” part of the Second Amendment, but the sheriff doesn’t agree.

“No. the Florida Constitution states that we can have reasonable gun restrictions, and the Federal Constitution — people read too much into it,” he said. “The Fourth Amendment says people should be free of unreasonable search and seizure. It doesn’t say all search and seizure. I don’t think it’s good to be sitting in the public cereal aisle, and to see some guy with two .45s stuck in his bathing suit. If they want to carry concealed, they need to be discreet about it.”

I want to thank the sheriff for taking the time to talk to me, even though I’m one of those who, in his view, is certainly guilty of reading too much into the Second Amendment.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

68 Comments

  1. Lawrence Brown on

    This Sheriff is out to lunch. I can see why their county has crime. Sheriff is Anti-America in my book. If he is unable to follow constitution he should just quit and allow someone else to protect the good people. Sworn to uphold law and once in power wants to become dictator.

  2. NO state that currently has open carry requires any special training to do so. His retention training rhetoric is a strawman argument. There’s over 20k licensed security officers in FL that OC every day with no specific holster requirements and no mandated ‘retention’ training.

  3. Lee Williams, here are some major metro areas off the top of my head.

    Atlanta, Richmond, Detroit, Las Vegas, Auburn, Portland, Manchester, Des Moines, Boise, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Burlington, New Orleans

  4. So, being a sheriff makes you a expert in constitutional law? Hey Sheriff, you don’t interpret any law..you enforce the law. That’s your job. So, leave the intellectual lawyering to the experts.

  5. kenneth Letson on

    I live in Pinellas and have met our Sheriff. I have no influence with him but what can we do about this? I was surprised we had not heard from him sooner regarding open carry. He has stated before he does not like it. He said it would turn florida into “The Wild West”.
    Regards,
    Kenneth P Letson

      • The Sheriff is obviously wearing rose coloured glasses.. After 35 years in Law Enforcement…I can tell you…..I am more worried with the gun I CANNOT see….than the gun on someone’s hip. Furthermore, he is probably being “puppetted” by his constituency…I am almost sure of it…as the majority of Pinellas County is retired and wants “FLOOOOOOORIDA” to stay a sleepy community….which., In case they missed it….was left behind 30 years ago

        • Nelson who southern Florida keeps voting in, is anti gun, anti military, with all the retires in Central Florida Nelson voted to reduce military retirement, what little us enlisted get, Nelson wants to reduce it. He is a politition just like the Sheriff is. After Nelson and the Sheriff is voted out, the Sheriff is going to be Nelson s punk bitch. It’s the only job he’s qualified for. Their both two faced back stab ears!!!

    • “Wild West” — You hear that a lot, from the uninformed. That term comes from all the movie and TV industry that fictionalize what happened back then for sensational purposes, to get money. In actual fact, there were very, very few ‘shootouts’ on main street or even bars. Ex. In a saloon, once, in Dodge City, cowboys got into a gunfight. When it was over, 102 shots had been fired. The only one injured was the bartender who had a wood splinter in his hand. The ‘Wild West’ is a fearmongering exaggeration used by those trying to force their will and opinion on yourself. Check this site out: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-gunfights.html

  6. I was so happy to hear that Florida would have an open carry law. I rarely carry concealed as I am afraid of just the type of persecution your article mentioned about “if my gun momentarily becomes visible.” That type of fear of prosecution for an unintentional act is in my opinion a direct threat to my 2nd amendment rights. Thank you for your article.

  7. AL in Orange Park, FL on

    I live in FL and for the life of me I can’t figure where all the liberal useful idiots hide!
    I only know a few and they’re mostly the hand-me-out crowd of assorted color NOT just one.
    There are so many Constitutional folks at least in Northern FL that the only way they can be so numerous is living in the southern end.
    There’s always a useful idiot sheriff out there in every state this guy is ours.
    Sorry folks but this useful idiot of the obama-mite crowd will not stop until the folks down there “vote” the idiot out.

  8. Sheriff’s by their very nature are political. He is only worried about his political future, not the rights of his constituents. He was voted into office, and he most assuredly can and should be voted out. He swore to uphold the constitution and laws. He seems to be doing neither. He should be removed for dereliction of duty.

  9. Some of the men in law enforcement that I have had discussions with have the mindset that they are right no matter what proof you have to refute what they say, and he sounds like one of them. They figure that they have years on the force so how can we, a citizen, know anything? He figures like others who really want to disarm us, and yes they do, that we don’t need guns. And from reading the story I would say that he is a Democrat by his responses, being far out left field somewhere saying what he did about the Constitution.

  10. This sheriff is completely incompetent. His job is to uphold the law and protect the people, NOT disagree with it and certainly not interpret it. He is in no way qualified to do so. The 2nd ammendment says we have the right to bear arms. It DOES NOT say they must be concealed. That’s lawmakers making up their own rules contradictory to the 2nd ammendment making any restrictions is unconstitutional, period. The American people need to wake up and stand up for themselves and take back their rights and stop letting lawmakers tell the American people what they can and can’t do. That’s what the Bill of Rights were for. Everything else is unconstitutional.

  11. Law enforcement officers open carry for two reasons. First the open display of a firearm is a deterrent for those that see it that may be considering the commission of a crime. Second, they open carry for availability and ease of access should they need to use it. Why should the citizens of the state of Florida be denied the same right and access to a weapon if needed, I have a concealed weapons license and am very aware of my surroundings at all times. If I am not carrying in a Sneaky Pete holster (which is as close to open carry as the law allows) I carry in the small of my back. In the event of emergency having to un tuck or struggle with getting my gun out without fighting a shirt is a concern. If someone can pass the scrutiny of getting a concealed weapons license the state should also trust them to carry openly.

    • I don’t agree with your opinion. I think open carry in the state of Florida will cause more problems for Law Enforcement. The old saying is, “Just because your certified, (CCW permit) doesn’t mean your qualified” . There’s a tremendous liability for anyone carrying a gun for self defense, as a LEO we’re trained in the USE Of Deadly Force. Definition “force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm”, as a last resort to protect ourselves or others who are in IMINENT DANGER, (IT’S ABOUT TO HAPPEN). Citizen’s do not go to the extensive training as we do throughout our careers , they just shoot at a paper target get minimal classroom training and that’s it for 7 years or until their certification expires. It’s up to them if they choose to practice proficiency. Then there’s the “Fight or Flight Syndrome” do you really think everyone will respond properly during a life or death situation if for instance a loved one or friend is being shot and their guts and brains are being splattered on the walls or floor? What about friendly fire? when police show up on scene and order everyone to drop their weapons and Mr. Friendly Citizen gets tunnel vision and doesn’t hear the police order to “drop your weapon” because everyone is screaming and crying now he’s shot dead . What about the stray bullets Mr. Friendly Citizen fires that hit innocent people? attorney’s will have a field day with that one. What about 70 year old grandpa who weights all but 140 lbs. or Mrs. McGillicuddy will they be able to maintain “Gun Retention” in their open carry holsters? . Or what about the irresponsible college age idiot’s who will be partying on campus drunk and now their openly carrying guns around. Citizens just don’t understand the Use Of Deadly Force as a last resort, all they care about is “I was standing my ground”. You better think twice about the Open Carry Law, it’s a potential for disaster.

      • So cops are trained better than civilians? I’m gonna call BS right now.

        First how many firefights have you been in during your tenure as an LEO? I’ve personally been in many during my deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve had years and years of training with firearms for close quarters and longer ranges. It’s also a well known fact that officers fire many more rounds to end an engagement versus civilians. It’s also another well known fact that most LEO’s only shoot their weapons to qualify either annually or bi-annually, unless you are on a swat team.

        Stop bringing ficticious statements into the conversation……..

        Doc Stull

      • One more question…how many cops were killed with their own weapons? How many 120-140lb female cops have had their weapons taken from them. Also why would you shoot joe citizen unless he pointed a weapon at you?

        Now i see why there are so many bad LEO shootings….you all think you are above regular citizens. You personally sound like you have a “God complex”. Most civilians train and shoot more often then cops(fact).

        I’m a combat medic, I’ve dealt with my buddies being shot and still am able to be effective. You grossly underestimate us “subjects”…….

      • As a combat veteran, Vietnam war Combat Photo-Journalist I was armed with a 35mm Nikon and a Colt 1911 45. I qualified expert with that weapon and can out shoot almost any LEO I have ever met. I used to shoot at a range in Virginia Beach that is also used by the police department and it would scare me how bad the cops were at any range with any weapon. How many times do you see stories that the police fired over three hundred rounds and the suspect was hit four times. Just because you are a cop does not give you some magical ability to manage a firearm. I won a ton of money shooting against the VB LEO’s in friendly competition. The only one that beat me on a regular basis was an FBI agent in Norfolk, He was the best shot I had ever met in my life. he could rapid fire an entire clip and have a one inch hole in the target. (I only have a three inch group at fifty feet) My experience has taught me that shooting skills are inherently a combination of natural hand and eye coordination, you either have it or you do not. If you have a problem or concern with tunnel vision, you have not been trained correctly. I think it is wrong to judge all concealed weapons license holders with such a broad brush. Many of us do have the training and experience and in most cases much more range time than a precinct full of LEO’s.

        • I saw it first hand on a tactical class my wife and I took last year, out of 21 persons in the class 20 qualified except the one individual who happens to be a police officer.
          My wife was a first time shooter and out shot this officer all day long.

      • The FDLE qual is a joke, so much of a joke that I shot it last year from my support side and scored a 100%. During my training classes police officers are consistently the worst shooters in the class as well as the least proficient at weapons handling in general. I don’t fault them, in general most of them aren’t shooters, but to talk about their amount and quality of weapons training as if it’s something spectacular is laughable.

      • I have been carrying concealed since we have been able to here in Fl. and in Tx. when I go to visit. I hate to have to give up my normal carry gun when wearing shorts and t-shirts because I’m afraid someone or some cop is going to see printing and cause a big scene, and not just a scene possibly jail. All of this just for trying to protect myself and my family. I am a retired Fireman from here in Fl. I have had a lot of time working with cops on many calls over the years. I will say they have a tuff job , they deal with jerks, drunks, drug addicts, crazy people, and very little respect all day long. I would not want the job. BUT, a big BUT. 90 % of the ones I have worked with and even been friends with think one way on and off duty. You are the public, WE ARE THE COPS. They are a paramilitary organization , and we are civilians. The ones now going and coming back from protecting us over seas find this even harder to deal with. Bottom line, they took this job , learn how to do it or get out. The Police Officer deserves respect , but the best way to get that is to give it first. I’m not here to talk about the new fight they have to deal with by having a certain group of people, marching and chanting about killing them. Anyone with any sense should know ALL LIVES MATTER not just one color. Also I don’t agree at all with strapping a long gun of any kind around your body and walking down the street because open carry has been made legal. Thats just asking for trouble and making an ass of yourself. I just want to be able to wear my full size 45 in a nice safe comfortable holster where its legal to do it now and if my shirt covers part of it ok, but if I get out of my car or bend down to pick something up and now you can see it, ok. You never know it might have just made the depressed loner with the CONCEALED hand gun under his coat at the popcorn stand think twice and go home and take his meds.Most of us pray to God we never ever have to use our weapon to harm another human. But I will fight to protect my right, to protect my rights.

      • Christopher Garnett on

        Just a few counterpoints , I live in Marion Co. just for the record, You say ” because your certified doesn’t mean your qualified” Point # 1, Weather you can see it or not has no bearing whatsoever on qualification. Point # 2, Your statement on trained in the use of deadly force , in case you have not noticed there are lots of incidents where LEO’s have used their weapons where deadly force was not necessary . I do not have the time or desire to type the very lengthy list that exists , just look it up , believe me it’s not a secret. Point # 3, You are correct on the training part , it is up to the individual to maintain proficiency , but the US Constitution does not stipulate that . Moreover I can acquire a drivers license , a medical license , Pass the Bar exam and many other things that may or may not have a serious impact on someones life and there is no requirement to maintain proficiency in order to maintain my license. Point # 4, Fact is Cops don’t even know how they will respond in a life or death situation , although there is the expectation that they will fall back on their training and that’s all anyone can expect from a cop . On a personal note as it relates to life and death situations , Been there done that more than once. Point # 5, In the real world ( most ) of the time Cops don’t have the luxury to say ” Police , drop your weapons , everybody on the floor” so stop spreading that nonsense . Point # 6, Stray bullets ? Many Law enforcement agency’s have had to switch to fragmenting bullets due to the safety margins , resulting primarily from “stray Bullets”. So don’t make believe Cops have some monopoly on straight shooting, plenty of Cops out there that couldn’t hit the side of a barn under stress. Point # 7, 70 yr old grandpa weighing in at 140 lbs ? lots of 140 lb Female cops out there that are questioning your statement right now. Point # 8, Gun retention, college students drinking ( that’s illegal BTW in case you haven’t heard ) drinking while carrying , the conversation is about Legal carry not Illegal carry , and gun retention ? whats your point ? good holsters vs bad holsters ? Point # 9, “Citizens don’t understand the use of deadly force as a last resort , all they care about is stand your ground “. So your speaking about all citizens ? you have cast a net on all citizens ? Would you like me to do that to LEO’s ? Because if I applied that same rationale , every Cop in this country would have to be fired because of the few bad ones out there. And finally : You sound like a Rookie just out of the academy who still believes EVERYTHING they told you . Well , this is real world not Propaganda pep talk training school.

      • william redmon on

        Michael, you do sound a lot like a new academy graduate and a lot like the Sheriff. But you really do not have a clue about armed citizens. I am retired from the US Army, 20 years plus of training with weapons, and deadly force training, two years in Vietnam, and PC training so as to not upset people with fragile feelings who might go cry to momma. I was still shooting and qualifying as expert with a .38 and a .45 auto when you were most likely still in diapers. And lets not forget long guns also.
        I have a family full of LEOs, local, county, and Federal. Cousins, nephews, all of my brothers in fact as well as my father. So I could probably tell you some stories. You need to get some experience young man and open your mind. Don’t push off your “extensive training” as anything more than training. Shooting at paper targets is all cops do also when (if) they do their annual qualification so don’t knock that either. I shot at a lot more than paper targets sonny, and in my case, they were shooting back and not a lawyer around to defend anyone. If you are so afraid of people legally carrying guns that you are afrid you might accidentally shoot one of us, then you are in the wrong profession.

      • You’re conflating two issues. You claim that some people who have CWPs don’t have enough training. How does Open Carry or the manner in which the weapon is carried have any impact? If the person is allowed to posses a weapon in public(CWP) open or concealed has no bearing on skill level of person,

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  13. PCSheriff’s Office used to use the Wyoming Antelope Club for training for years. Back in 1988, on a day they were using the range, a 9mm bullet went over a berm and hit a building. When the RO’s came in to open the next day, they found several wooden target frames shot up. I guess MP5’s aren’t that controllable in their hands. He is an “us and them” guy and if you’re not LEO you can see where he stands.

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  15. Here is what Gualtieri said in 2012 election: “I don’t think that in a county of a million people, in a civilized society, we need to be walking down the aisle at Publix at 6 p.m. on a Sunday and see three kids with guns on their hips,” he said. “This isn’t the Wild West.”

  16. Douglas De Boo on

    I have spoken with police officers when the opportunity comes to ask about concealed carry. In every instance I was told that they never leave their home without being armed and those that are married encourage their spouse to do the same and that I should do the same. My son-in-law is a lieutenant detective and he also strongly recommends that I should carry. However, because of the procescuters and judges in this state who are quick to act to runin your life for defending yourself and for accidently exposing a legally carred pistol I have choosen to not carry a pistol but only a pocket knief. If the laws are fixed to prevent this I will carry a pistol to protect myself and family. As it stands now I have the right to carry but not the protection to keep me from having my life runined for doing so.

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  19. Like the Sheriff said the Constitution is the Constitution. There is his version of the Constitution and everybody else’s version. What part of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The first ten Amendments (Bill of Rights) were ratified effective Dec 15,1791

    “It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions…. There are men in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters…. They think there need be but little restraint upon themselves ….The love of power may sink too deep in their own hearts….
    Daniel Webster

    The Sheriff thinks their should be limits to the U.S Constitution….

    “We in America do not have government by the Majority—We have government by the Majority who participates…. All Tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    It’s all ready happened in Pinellas county, Florida and the rest of the United States of America.. Instead of a foothold they have the whole ladder…

  20. Sheriff Gaultieri (Pinellas County) should know better than to make the kind of comments he made in the interview. He is a lawyer, licensed to practice in Florida. His Bar Admissions include the Florida Supreme Court, all Florida courts, U.S. District Courts in Florida, and others.

    Gaultieri is an intelligent person. Unfortunately, he is an individual who does not believe that laws apply to him.

    As a Florida Constitutional Officer, and elected official, Sheriff Gaultieri was required to swear an Oath of Office which included the language, “I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Florida.”.

    Regarding my opinion that Sheriff Gaultieri does not believe the laws apply to him, I base my opinion on the fact that Sheriff Gaultieri ignores those provisions of The U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution with which he disagrees, or find inconvenient .

    Like his predecessor, Sheriff Jim Coats, Sheriff Gaultieri would be much happier if he could wave his magic wand and have all firearms in Pinellas County disappear, with the exception of those of his and his deputies.

    And, from his comments made in the interview, there appear to be many Florida Sheriffs who are in agreement with him.

    One Florida Sheriff who disagrees with the Florida Sheriff’s Association is Sheriff Gordon of Bradford County. My “Thanks” to Sheriff Smith for his concern for the citizens of Bradford County, and his courage to think for himself instead of lining up behind the Florida Sheriff’s Association.

  21. RetMSgt in Pa. on

    “Show me a major metro area where you don’t have to have a handgun in a holster, or where there’s no (mandatory) weapons retention training,” he said.

    Pittsburgh, Pa., second largest city in the state.
    Harrisburg, Pa., the state capitol.
    Philadelphia, Pa., largest city in the state.

    Although either concealed or open carry requires a license in Philadelphia (a separate state law), only concealed carry requires a license – open carry does not. And there’s NO TRAINING REQUIREMENT at all for a Pennsylvania license.

    And nowhere in Pennsylvania law is one required to carry a handgun in a holster.

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  23. I was in the Army from 1975 to 1984 I trained with handguns m16s all kinds of weapons. I got out and went to work for the Federal Government until I retired in 2007. I lived in Ohio when they first came out with a CCW and then I moved to FL in 2011 were I got my concealed for FL I carry all the time. In this day in age it is not safe anymore to many thugs and robbers who don’t want to work for what they get but would rather steal and kill to get it because the law doesn’t do anything to them if they get caught but slap them on the hand and say well he was mistreated when he was younger so we should not be so hard on him this time and let him go. That’s what wrong with society today there worried about offending a thug and criminal than looking out for the good people who work and made something of there lives and just want to grow old and not worry if they goto the store at night they’re not going to be robbed or murdered so I will keep carrying concealed or open carry which one I’m allowed to do to protect my family and me until this society wakes up and starts thinking of the way life used to be when you could walk down a dark street at night and be safe and goto a Mall at night and be safe. I will carry every day and if somehow my gun gets seen by somebody then I will deal with it like a old man told me I would rather be judged by 12 people than be carried 6.

  24. Obviously Sheriff Gualtieri must be a Communist and despises The Constitution Of The United States Of America – as the Second Amendment clearly state “… the right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”. What part of “SHALL NOT” does this Communist in a cop costume not understand?

  25. Christopher Garnett on

    I have had a CCW license since 1985 , Probably longer than this Sheriff , and I spent 3 yrs in the USMC during Viet Nam and over 20 as a NYC Firefighter, needless to say I have seen plenty . But I am not surprised at this Sheriff’s action , Why ? because he ain’t a Cop , he is a Politician , a fact twisting , Sensationalizing , Glory Hound. I am not from Pinellas Co. I am from Marion But if I were I certainly would not vote for this Anti 2nd Amendment Nazi Prick .

    • USMC huraaa,I’m a Vietnam vet also and the total disregard for our CONSTITUTION is grounds for impeachment starting at the top and working down ! If 70 per.of Fl.Sheriff’s want to write their own laws and CONSTITUTION it’s time to clean house,impeachment should be easy…..There are a lot of VETERANS in Fl. and this great NATION that believe in our CONSTITUTION they’ll sign…..It’s time to raise the AMERICAN flag again !….

  26. Pingback: Ask Your Sheriff to Support Open Carry | 1 In The Chamber

  27. Pingback: Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri threatens to shoot concealed carriers - The Gun Writer

  28. Pingback: Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri threatens to shoot concealed carriers - 2nd Amendment Right

  29. The sheriff is a lawyer, END OF CONVERSATION,those whores are all the same they think they make and pass the laws.this clown should be removed from his job. Why is he working as the sheriff he sure as he’ll if he were competent could make a much finer living practicing law . He’s probably a little power hungry?????? The governor and state attorney should be apprised of his treat to residents of pinellas county. I thought we got rid of hitler in the 1940s.

  30. Pingback: Sheriff Gualtieri Could Get a Gun Owner or a Deputy Killed

  31. Pingback: Sheriff Gualtieri Could Get a Gun Owner or a Deputy Killed | Freedom Newz

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