Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri threatens to shoot concealed carriers

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In my humble opinion, it appears as though Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri may be ready for the rubber gun squad.

The good sheriff said Thursday that law abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights will be “thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them — or worse.”

He also said if a concealed carry unknowingly enters a bank during a robbery, the citizen is “going to take one in the chest because he’s a threat.”

What’s troubling the lawman, who’s also an attorney?

The Florida Police Chiefs Association voted Thursday to support open carry legislation — and that’s a bill the good sheriff staunchly opposes.

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.

And he’s been fighting the open-carry legislation with bad info.

A county sheriff who’s threatening to shoot his constituents for exercising their Second Amendment rights is a worrisome situation, one which I hope gets whispered into the ear of Gov. Rick Scott.

The governor needs to take swift action now, before a law abiding Pinellas County resident is “thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them — or worse.”

The sheriff’s statements constitute official sanction for his deputies to use excessive force — or even deadly force — on gun owners.

And quite frankly, that should scare the hell out of everyone who lives in Pinellas County, regardless of whether they own or carry a gun.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Here’s the story from the News Service of Florida that details the sheriff’s threats:



12/10/2015

POLICE CHIEFS WILL BACK REVISED OPEN-CARRY BILL

By MARGIE MENZEL
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 10, 2015……….Acknowledging “momentum” behind a proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry guns, the Florida Police Chiefs Association said Thursday its board of directors had voted to back the controversial measure — as long as changes designed to protect law-enforcement officers are included.

A spokeswoman confirmed that the police chiefs’ group had contacted the sponsors of the proposal (SB 300/HB 163), Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, who both say they’re on board with the changes.

“The police chiefs understand that momentum is building,” association spokeswoman Sandi Poreda said. “And because of their concerns for police officers’ safety, they wanted to go ahead and reach out to the bill sponsors and work on these amendments, which they believe will better protect officers.”

If the measure passes, 1.45 million Floridians with concealed-weapons permits would be able to openly carry guns. Opponents — including a number of Florida sheriffs — warn that people who openly display guns could get hurt as a result, either by criminals or law enforcement.

Gun bills will be heavily debated during the 2016 legislative session, which starts Jan. 12. Along with the open-carry proposal, lawmakers are looking at allowing people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses and are considering a proposal to shift a burden of proof in “stand your ground” self-defense cases.

By a vote of 15-7, the police chiefs association’s board of directors — who represent law-enforcement agencies in different districts of the state — agreed to support the open-carry bill when the amendments are adopted.

In a “Red Alert” email Wednesday to association members, Executive Director Amy Mercer cautioned that the police chiefs’ group “reserves the right to oppose the bill in the future, particularly if our amendments are changed or removed or if other amendments are added that are found not to be in the best interest of the FPCA and our members.”

Lawmakers will consider four proposed amendments, which have not yet been filed.

One amendment would add a provision to the Senate bill. The amended version would include House language stating that a person who displays a firearm “intentionally … in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self defense” is not covered by the proposed open-carry law.

Second, both current versions of the proposal would allow fines to be imposed on people — including police officers — who infringe on others’ rights to openly carry guns, unless probable cause exists to believe that crimes have been committed. A proposed amendment would ease that standard for law officers, who would be required to have “reasonable suspicion” before stopping people to verify or investigate the carrying of guns.

Third, the current proposal states that no one who infringes on the right to openly carry guns — including police officers — would be immune from legal consequences. However, the agreement between the Gaetzes and the police chiefs association specifies that nothing in the bill would be intended to restrict a law enforcement officer’s ability or authority to conduct investigations as otherwise allowed by law.

“Sovereign immunity is a vital tool that allows law enforcement officers to perform their duties without fear of frivolous lawsuits,” Mercer wrote. “Officers will not fear losing sovereign immunity when investigating a person open or concealed carrying.”

The fourth amendment would require a holster for purposes of openly carrying a firearm.

The original versions of the bills have started moving through House and Senate committees. Matt Gaetz said Thursday he expects the changes to be added when lawmakers return to the issues after the first of the year.

“In the next committee in which the bill is heard, either the House Judiciary Committee or the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is my expectation that those amendments will be adopted,” Matt Gaetz said.

The Florida Sheriffs Association would not comment Thursday. But Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, a staunch opponent of open carry, said the four amendments wouldn’t make the bill acceptable to him — or safe for people who openly display their guns.

For instance, he said, if an officer arrives at the scene of a crime and sees someone with a weapon, “At a minimum, they’re going to be thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them — or worse.”

And if good citizen with a concealed weapon walks into, say, a bank during an armed robbery, Gualtieri added, “he’s going to take one in the chest because he’s a threat.”

“It’s not good for Florida, it’s not good for the economy, it’s not good for tourism,” he said.

Don Gaetz, however, pointed to the emerging differences between opponents such as Gualtieri and the police chiefs association.

“Well, he now will have the opportunity to debate that issue with his fellow law-enforcement officers who are taking a different view than he is,” Don Gaetz said.

National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer, who strongly backs the measure, dismissed the critics.

“That’s rhetoric. That’s reaching,” she said. “Every time we do something to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, somebody will come up with a ‘what if?’ “

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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 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

283 Comments

  1. How is that guy still a sheriff? He took an oath to back & uphold the Constitution, and he is trying to target law abiding CWP citizens? How is this even legal? That guy needs to be thrown out of office & knocked off that “high” horse he seems to think he is riding on…I too agree with you Lee, this needs to be brought to the attention of Rick Scott…

  2. This Sheriff’s comments are reckless and very alarming. They demonstrate his abandonment of the United States Constitution, which he took an oath to defend.

    He needs to be removed from office, with haste. Once removed, he can go without a weapon as he is probably “unbalanced” in his narrow and liberal ideologies.

  3. I would say that any Pinellas deputy who shoots an open carry citizen in the chest merely for walking in on a bank robbery or whatever would face manslaughter charges. Even a bank robber who has a gun on his hip and doesn’t make a move to use it can not be legally shot down. Would he have a gun pointed at him? Sure! Would he be kissing the floor? Sure!
    Gualtieri is a imbecile and embarrassment to all his deputy’s and Pinellas citizens.

  4. It doesn’t matter to them if you have a gun or not they use excessive force regardless before you know it pinellas county will be in the news for killing innocent people they are the worse sheriff’s I’ve ever dealt with even more worse then Temple terrace police and Polk County

  5. Wow what a dumb a**, saying he will shoot someone for being in the wrong place at the wrong time…. Try that with me and I’ll fire back one in the chest…. I’m a law abiding citizen and carry for personal protection …..and this guy says he would shoot me for that…… That cop is the biggest moron next to trump that I’ve ever seen. A poor excuse for a cop, an embarrassment for his county

  6. Bob,….. really? Not sure if indeed you stated this or not however giving you the benefit of the doubt that you would shoot a CCW Legal FL Citizen. If this is false I would make a statement very quickly to correct the statement.

  7. Hmmmm……He made a threat to shoot and presumably kill legally armed citizens of the United States of America, and he made that statement public. So I would think he should be forcibly removed from office and tried for terrorist threats to citizens and for treason. After all I’m sure the oath he took included the term(s) protect from all threats foreign and domestic. Seems to me this is completely illegal for a public servant to threaten the lives of the people he is supposed to protect. Maybe someone out there can get the ball rolling on his removal and trial for treason…..just thinking out loud here!

  8. Obviously a card carrying liberal who cares nothing about the Constitution of the United States the he swore to protect and defend…..One of the FEW….very few….LEOs that I have heard make comments like this…..one of those being the Chief of the Chicago Police Dept. that got fired for trying to cover up a cop killing a civilian. He should be fired/recalled immediately

  9. Javier hernandez on

    Ok so not only do we have to keep a watchful eye for terrorism, but know we also have to fear ignorant power tripping egotistical absent-minded analy retarded sheriff like bob gualtieri thats advising his law abiding citizens that he is going to shoot them in the chest for lawfully carring a fire arm in public to protect and preserve life because yeah thats his job to protect us after there’s fourteen dead mr sheriff what you are saying you are going to do is not protect and serve but EXECUTION!! Plain and simple i bet the people in your county feel much safer now that you said that

  10. I would like this Sheriff to explain to me what the difference is between him and an armed bank robber if they both threaten to kill anyone who MIGHT be a danger? We all know an armed bank robber, in the commission of a crime, would shoot a security guard OR anyone else that got in his way for that matter. If a sheriff shoots an innocent, armed citizen JUST BECAUSE HE HAPPENS TO BE IN THE VICINITY OF A BANK ROBBERY, does that NOT make the sheriff just as guilty as the bank robber? A public official doesn’t become immune to justice simply because he wears a uniform, carries a gun and has a badge. There is no room in Law Enforcement for this kind of behavior! They either uphold their oath to “Protect and Serve” EVERY law abiding citizen or they do not need to be LEOs!

    • Mr. Reed, you are missing the point of his comments. He is referring to the scenario where law enforcement, responding to a shooting, can’t distinguish between the criminal and some one who “thinks” they are being a good guy. Law abiding citizen pulling out his concealed weapon – criminal with gun out. Heat of battle not much differentiation…that was his point. Someone pulls out a weapon, even legally carried, the police have choice but to treat them as a potential criminal. Not sure why no one is understanding his comments.

      • Mr. Jeff…go back and read what he said…he said that if a person with a concealed carry walks into a bank, he “could take one to the chest”..if your going to quote, get it right. He never said anything about pulling out their concealed carry weapon…

  11. I’m not too worried. I am pro-le, but all the deputies I have seen in the training classes I have attended can’t shoot worth a damn anyway, so not too worried.

  12. The Legislature in Arizona repealed the requirement that people had to have a concealed carry permit. Indeed, I can conceal carry into a Bar, or any where else, so long as I am not drinking. I can open carry 24/7 if I want. The Legislature ruled that concealed carry permits were nothing more than a money scheme – but they did encourage people who plan to buy and own a gun to get the proper training and to remember that they could be viewed as a threat by those who oppose the 2nd Amendment. Indeed, most all of the Arizona Sheriff’s, with all the problems with terrorism going on, are telling people to get a gun and to carry it concealed or open so that additional civilian help is available until Law Enforcement arrives. I’m sorry for Florida, especially for the fct that you have Diane Wasserman-Schultz.

  13. from an interview with the sheriff. military weapons AND a threat against citizens. I think that’s grounds to be removed from the 1033 program and be stripped of what military equipment they already have.

    Q: We’re seeing a lot of news lately about the militarization of local law-enforcement agencies. Is that something that concerns you, or do you think it’s being hyped up?

    GUALTIERI: I think it’s a bunch of hype. We’ve had either the same or similar equipment for many, many years. It hasn’t been available in the volume or to the extent that it is (now), so you didn’t see as many agencies in the past having it, but we’ve had it for years.

    It’s all about using it in the right way, using it responsibly. We picked up …on a 1033 program, we picked up this year six Humvees and two (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, known as MRAPs). We’ve had similar-type vehicles in the past, we’ve had them for years. There’s been no problem, there’s been no controversy, there’s been certainly no misuse of them. But when the time comes, and you need the resources, you need the assets — you need them now.

  14. As a retired Deputy (Corrections) I can see the Florida Department of Law Enforcement getting a lot of calls if any of the Deputies start throwing people to the grown. I’m pro Law Enforcement but the Sheriff is way out of line.

  15. Bill J. Canada on

    I see some multi million dollar lawsuits in Pinellas county if the sheriff follows through. If he pulls any of his crap on friends and family he will find out what the gates of hell look like, The man has no business wearing a badge.

  16. Really so its ok for the sheriff to threaten citizens he should be prosecuted for commicating threats where is the state attorney at

    • You ask where is the prosecutor charging the sheriff for threatening citizens?

      I’ll tell you where the prosecuting state attorneys are on this matter. They are hiding from the law enforcement unions (AFLCIO) and using that old tired excuse of “prosecutorial discretion”, which allows a prosecutor to not charge anyone they don’t want to, even if that person is guilty of breaking the law. And then there’s any number of reasons a state attorney can come up with to try and justify his failure to bring charges under “prosecutorial discretion”, such as saying they are under manned, under funded, don’t have sufficient evidence (even if they do). Even if you get a court order writ of Mandamus, which is a court order demanding an elected official do their job,….even then the game is rigged since a prosecuting state attorney can simply ignore that court order writ of mandamus and claim “prosecutorial discretion”, and who is going to charge that prosecuting state attorney, another prosecuting state attorney? It boils down to who charges the wolves for robbing the hen house when the only people that can bring charges are wolves.

  17. There seems to be a complete disconnect between Sheriff Bob and reality. The reality is this. There are numerous states who already have open carry. Two of them, NV and AK, I have lived in for a total of probably 30 years between them? Never once in all my years in NV did I ever see anyone carrying openly. The only time I saw it when I lived in AK was when we were out fishing or hunting and had to beware of the bears. TX, where I now live (thank GOD) just passed open carry and campus carry bills that will go into effect on January 1, 2016. I imagine that there are going to be a few people wearing their guns openly for a month or so…and then the novelty will wear off and no one will see them anymore. In TX the law states that you must have a concealed handgun license to be able to carry openly. Which I think is a good thing because then it means that the “lawful” open carry person will have gone through the background check that a CHL holder must go through. Sheriff Bob needs to get on some Xanax. CHL holders are far, far, far less likely to commit a gun related crime than other people are. Like, less than 1% of CHL or CWP holders ever commit any type of gun related crimes.

    On the new TX law… I would bet that most all of us, myself included, will still never openly carry. I applaud the sheriffs who are telling their citizens to get armed and carry their weapons. Sheriff Bob and his ilk need to be put out to pasture.

    • I agree with you 100%. PA is an open carry state (due to a loophole, not by Open Carry Law) and I have never seen one person carrying openly in almost forty years living here.

      However, this whack job’s department is at risk if they point a gun on a law abiding, gun carrying citizen. That citizen may just defend himself or herself.

  18. Jonathan Rutledge on

    This man needs to be terminated by the Governor immediately and have ALL his Benefits,certification and qualification stripped from him permanently. He has no place in Law Enforcement Then,Now,or in the future period.

    • Agreed, but the sheriff’s office is the highest law enforcement position in a county elected by the residents. The state AG or Federal DOJ can indict him for crime & get him removed if found guilty. I wonder if this man is a native of Florida or a carpet bagger from the North.

  19. Kenneth A Partyka Sr on

    Gov. Rick Scott needs to deal with this out of control sheriff immediately. His remarks are not that of a person in his high capacity should be. He is sending a warning signal to Gov Rick Scott, and if he does nothing to stop this sheriff, he also will be responsible for any wrongdoing. In the litigious world we live in , no action can be costly to the state of Florida.

  20. you take a shot at me **motherfu*kker** and I will fu*kkk*ing kill you – it is time to vote you out of your office which you rightfully don’t deserve or outright kill you…..

  21. If this isn’t a warning that this man’s job needs to be taken away from him, along with his personal rights to carry a gun in the future, then I don’t know what to tell you! He is dangerous and he has made his thoughts known publicly. He should be removed from office immediately before he does something that the State will end up paying heavily for if this man goes through with his verbal threats! The writing is on the wall. Someone better take control of this dangerous man and remove him and seek medical help for him! He’s crazy!!!

    • Send all the Nazis to Syria where they can shoot to their heart’s content –
      till they receive what they love to dish out.

    • Hopefully this sheriff will be out on his ear come election time, provided an honorable man or woman runs for his job & Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t fund his campaign.

  22. This guy sounds like a window licker to me. Lets see how he sounds if he were to stroll into the middle of a bank robbery without any weapons but his fists, and ends up depending on a concealed carrier to save his sorry ass… Just a badge on a power trip.

  23. I’m pro Law Enforcement but the sheriffs has made what I consider to be threatening statements against citizens who carry a handgun. I think he should reconsider his stand on open carry and violating a law abiding citizens rights by throwing them on the ground with a weapon pointed at them. I have carried a pistol for over 50 years and haven’t robbed or shot anyone yet and I don’t like to think of being drawn down on by a law officer. If the sheriff still holds to his decision I think for the safety of the county he should be removed from office.

    • !!!! BRAVO !!!! on that statement Lee Lyerly. If these are the Sheriff’s words in my opinion I find this a direct threat to law biding citizens. Is he violating his oath to protect and serve WE THE PEOPLE? The Sheriff may be exercising his first amendment right but was this while on duty? For both questions is this terms for immediate dismissal? Are tax payers paying this Sheriff to threaten them? Perhaps this Sheriff/attorney needs to rethink his position? Is his position a public office? WE THE PEOPLE have every right under the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution quote, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. Perhaps it is time for him to be relieved of his position as it no longer serves the citizens of Pinellas County? Has a letter or a copy of this been sent to the State of Florida’s Governor Office to investigate? In my opinion I would be calling for his immediate resignation and his position replace with one that will uphold the constitution and one that will protect and serve WE THE PEOPLE. Is Pinellas County Residence really going to stand for this?

  24. Sovereign immunity is sooo dangerous for the citizen. It needs to be wriiten out of law and banned for any use. NOBODY should have immunity, period. The point is people that have the ability to abuse will do it and walk away ! Unions should not be involved in any of the negotiations. Law enforcement should only have the same protections as a civilian. Theb2nd Amendment should be protected with blood and lead. Read any of the papers our founding fathers wrote. They spell it out in plain English ! Government gets too big every so often and has to be knocked down to the ground again to remind the tyrants who is actually the master, really there is only One Master.

  25. richard turner on

    Every citizen should print this article and use it as proof that the sheriff intended to violate their civil rights and unlawful use of force when they are assaulted by LEOs in this county. These statements show premeditation in their actions. After the first few multi-million dollar lawsuits for violations of the gun owners civil rights and the sheriff might begin to change his attitude.

  26. ALL who posted here ,should consider writing Governor Scott ….as to the threat this sheriff made against law abiding Florida citizens who are licensed by the State….I have requested the Governor to remove this sheriff from office as he is a threat to Florida citizens…and it is the Governors job to protect and serve the law abiding citizens of this state….Semper Fi

  27. One more thing… If I’m in a bank and its getting robbed, who should I shoot first ? The robber with clear intent and means or the Sherriffs deputy who has made it clear they will use physical and possible deadly force …with intent and means, ’cause the Sherriff already announced what he will do in the situation. I think uniform 1st and .5 seconds later bank robber is on the floor. Remember! We ALL just want to go home to our family ! Isn’t that what all the cops say. Judged by 12 if you dare try when the smoke clears.

  28. This Florida sheriff is an idiot! He seems to have missed the course on the Seond Amendment and on the one on the concept of Freedom. A fool…really a fool

  29. The intent was to protect concealed carry people from being prosecuted for open carry when their firearm can be detected by inadvertent display. This was a typically anti-gun maneuver by some DA’s. This law will make it even across the state where now you could be subject to arrest just by crossing a line into another county. It is fair and equitable. I would also like to thank the Florida Police Chiefs Association for their intelligent and impartial input.

    • John E.B. Goode on

      Filing a complaint to the organization run by the guy you’re complaining about? You’re new to this, aren’t you?

  30. THAT’S WHEN I WOULD I BE POPPING THE COP ESPECIALLY THE DUMB ASS SHERIFF IF HE EVEN RAISED HIS WEAPON AT ME, HE SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE, I HOPE HE READS THIS, AND RESPONDS TO MY E-MAIL.

    • John E.B. Goode on

      You are the reason there are problems with guns in thus country. Fools like you who talk about “poppin” cops for ANY reason are causing problems for us law abiding citizens who carry legally and RESPONSIBLY. I hope natural selection takes you out before you hurt or kill somebody.

  31. Is anybody reading what is said? The Sheriff is talking about a bank robbery. Typical response by Police is that the bank robbers might shot at them and is a degree of crime that many times deadly force is a concern often used by the bank robbers. Does a police officer know how many robbers are in the bank? Does the police officer responding know if the bank robbers have a back up plan? Is the person in the bank wearing a holstered weapon a good guy or bad guy? So the COP flips a coin who the bad guy is and who is a good guy? The only thing I read here is a Sheriff playing a little what if game. He never stated he wanted to shot people just allowing his Officer to be safe, control the situation, and sort it out later. What I see here is a lot of people going off half cocked. Do you all really think that every cop knows you personally and knows that you are a good guy? I’m not advocating anyone get thrown on the ground, that is good, but most all the above comments are saying that you want the police to be put into dangerous situation without any safety. I am for concealed carry and right to bear arms. I’m a retired 26 year police officer. We in society need to have the boys in blue or we would not have the society we currently live in. My idea is to allow people to carry anywhere they want as long as they have not had their rights taken away from them due to criminal or mental history and are of age. I think they need to be in possession of a license issued to anyone who meets those requirements. I think they need to sign a waiver stating that understand that proper training is recommended and that they are taking the responsibility for the use of the weapon and potential dangers. Classes should be free and offered in all communities. I see this Sheriff actually playing the Devils Advocate with the newly proposed legislation’s and trying to let people know that responsibility individuals take when they do consider carrying. I personally want others that are responsible to have the right to carry. God only knows that police can not be there immediately all the time and they can really need the help but they sure don’t want to shoot you when you look like a bad guy to them. Please carry and help – not hinder by acting stupid during a bank robbery by allowing your weapon to be interpreted as a possibly bank robbery suspect. You carry – You need to have common sense – Training. When in a public environment I personally think that Concealed is the way to go. Why would you want to become the target and the bad guy to target you first where you have less chance of doing good by picking your timing and position. The title of this article was way out of line and unfair. It actually seems like this Sheriff is telling you reality of being stupid and then everyone downing him when you really know very little of how hard it is that he does not want endangerment to his deputies who are actually trying to protect you and go home to their families after their duty. How many of you who posted comments actually looked at what was said and meant beyond reading the bad title of this article by someone who is going about it the wrong way to help us all gain rights that we should have.

    • We have open carry in Minnesota for many years and shall issue CCW since 2003. No incidents remotely close to a bank robbery situation and open carry. The truth is that bank robbers dont go in banks where people are openly carrying weapons. There are easier places to rob.

    • I am a 32yr retired LEO. I too prefer concealed carry. I personally thinks it gives “me” the advantage to engage or not engage at my discretion. I don’t take fault with persons who open carry but it does come with its inherent risks. However the Sheriff needs to chill on the “what if” comments. Voters may not chill at his next election.

      • I agree that open carry is not a good idea for tactical reasons. I’m a retired leo 31yrs. I don’t open carry and I advise my students not to either. Unless I’m in the middle of nowhere hunting or plinking. Maybe I’m not understanding something about Florida law but how does someone hunt or plink out in the boondocks in Florida if open carry is unlawful? I mean is it a crime in Florida to be in a rural area having a handgun in an exposed holster? Or carrying a rifle slinged over your shoulder out in the swamp or woods? That being said, the Sheriff needs to chill a little bit and realize that he needs to follow the law if this open carry bill is enacted. And he needs to realize that he has just left his agency and himself open to huge liability if anyone is killed or injured by one of his deputies who is following these absurd directives of his.

        • Dan Y and anyone else that has asked this question, Here in Florida we CAN open carry if we are going fishing and if we are going hunting, also as long as you are on your property you can open carry as well. Just wanted to clear that up for you guys. This open carry that is being proposed is to open carry just as you would carry concealed. I myself carry concealed. I am an Army Vet and I have friends and family that are LEO’s so I know first hand the problems open carry will have at first. I also agree that Sheriff Gualtieri if you read the actual write up was only saying if this happens this way then this could happen etc. I am from Pinellas County and I myself do not have any problems with any LEO I come in contact with. I will also say this I know a lot of people that want open carry and the local news is saying that if it passes the way the Association is asking for only those with concealed carry will be able to open carry. As I said I prefer to carry concealed, I want the element of supprise.

          • To all what’s happening here in Florida is the gun “feared folks” so if you are properly carrying your concealed carry handgun and for some reason reach over your head for something and your shirt pulls up, and someone sees that, they can call the police on you and because your gun was visible in public and you co have a CCW license, you can be arrested for displaying a weapon in public, Fl legislature is trying to fight this insanity and writing a public carry law so that won’t happen to our great citizens anymore . AND HERES THE BUT you must have the CCW license for this to apply. Thank you…… Americans for our Constitutional rights !
            Don’t take them!!!

          • The cops have protocols they must follow. They don’t want to be working an active shooter in a bank, church, school and then some former Seal who knows what he’s doing just happens to be at this hypothetical bank this cop made up. . It’s a nightmare for the police to do that. I believe in my heart that’s the stupid reason for his stupid statement.. Hate to embarrass the Chief…… So he lashes out without thinking …… Enough said

          • Thanks for the clarification Bill. I take it then that if you are off highway in an unincorporated area hunting, fishing or hiking around open carry is OK. The debate is about open carry in cities and towns and on the highways or in vehicles on public highways. My understanding is that certain misguided folks in FL are calling police whenever they see someone carrying concealed accidentally exposing their weapon. And that in certain jurisdictions the police are actually arresting the CCW holder for exposing his weapon in these cases. And that this new open carry law is supposed to elleviate this problem. Am I correct?

          • PS, Bill I agree with your ideas on concealed versus open carry. I don’t want every cronk on the street to know I’m armed for a variety of reasons. I prefer to run silent and run deep. If you really pay attention to whats going on, you can see that when you open carry, EVERYONE sees that gun. Up here in ID, everyone sees it but doesn’t care. In some areas, open carry is too alarming to some members of the public, especially in the current state of affairs. Finally, I don’t know of a single LE agency that permits it’s officers to open carry off duty. I think open carry is fine for rural carry but that each city should be able to say yes or no as it sees fit. I know that will probably put me in the “gun grabber” category with some folks but it’s just how I feel. Open carry is NOT sound tactically speaking when you are in an area of intense human activity. Out in the country, no one cares generally speaking.

      • I have to agree with Tim Menard completely on this. I am a retired 34 years FLEO and I will always carry concealed. I want that element of surprise on my side…..

    • Respectfully, you sir are seem out of touch with today’s reality of uniformed aggression by those we allow to carry firearms and offer protection services while the rest of our citizenry goes about being productive in each their chosen occupational fields – be that farmer or baker. Many in uniform are frightened and in many cases incompetent. The ranks must be purged and retrained to better understand the function that the masses in society believe they should be performing. If these uniforms are not protecting and serving the masses, then the masses no longer need them.

    • If the article is correct the sheriff said,
      … if good citizen with a concealed weapon walks into, say, a bank during an armed robbery, Gualtieri added, “he’s going to take one in the chest because he’s a threat.”

      He was referring to a concealed weapon not an openly carried one. He is giving his people permission to ignore the law and persecute those exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. Sheriff’s have a lot of power but they shouldn’t be able to ignore the law and override Constitutional rights.

    • The way that this sheriff is talking is not about the way an officer would interpret seeing someone with a holstered gun (I prefer concealed carry), It is another “what if” story to intimidate gun owners. There are many incidents of gun owners saving an officers bacon. This sheriff will get gun owners to ignore an officer who desperately needs help, which will result in an officer “taking one in the chest” from the bad guy. There is no reason for the rhetoric that this sheriff is using, the result can be very bad indeed. Blue lives matter, lets get along because citizen lives matter, too. Citizens carry a gun because a cop it too heavy, and some times you just cannot wait for one.

    • CT which has some of the most restricted gun laws in the USA has open carry and there has been no problem. It is under people understand that when the police tell you to drop the gun and put your hands on head do it. You can talk it over after. However no police officer should ever threaten to shoot some one because he thinks open carry is a bad thing. Because he has just stated he will to kill people because he thinks he can. If he’s having problems with the stress of the job then he needs to get help and be put on leave or be hind desk. If the average person made a statement like he has they would be on a watch list or in jail. I have had many friends who are police officers, guards or EMT and not one would make a remark like that?

  32. I am amazed that the sheriff still has a job. It has been shown that many times that the citizens have come to the aid of police officers when they were in need of help and here we have a sheriff that has an attitude about privetly owned firearms? And he pretends to be ignorant of the 2nd bill of rights, he should apply for a job in china.

  33. It would seem to me that the sheriff would be familiar with the use of deadly force laws and I know of no law where the mere possession of a firearm in a holster (in a free state) would justify aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by anyone. Police officers are not immune from these laws. I understand his concerns but his emotional responses to this proposed law is in the very least worrisome. For the top cop in the department to be so injudicious with his comments and tone cause me to wonder if he is well suited for this type of highly stressful job.

  34. Dear Mr. Gualtieri: Firstly, Sir, you took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. If you cannot in good conscience do that, you should immediately resign your office. That Constitution enshrines, but does NOT “grant” the right to self defense, a right recognized by British common law for centuries. Secondly, Sir, you do not seem suited for nor content with life in a free Republic, where you are the chosen SERVANT of your fellow citizens, not their master. Perhaps you would be happier should you resign your office and move to a nation more suited for your mindset. I would not be so arrogant as to make suggestions, but if you insist, the people of North Korea are used to taking orders from, rather than giving instructions to, their governments. Closer to home, our British cousins seem content to be sheep. Perhaps you would be happier with them? At any rate, Sheriff, you are the unfortunate combination of totalitarian and idiot that plagues American politics at present. The sooner you get promoted to “rejected dumbass”, the better for Florida, and the United States.

  35. My second amendment rights supersede your opinion Sheriff.
    Draw down on me and someone dies, after the danger is over.
    Try to throw me to the ground, good luck! I’ll just return fire.
    I have no problem just because you have a uniform, but I’ll
    try to prevent it. If you and your officers are so badly qualified
    you have a lot of explaining to do.

  36. Cool thing to say during these times when Law enforcment is always on the shit list. I fully endorse law enforcment but after your comments in now scratching my head. Enjoy your job while you have it…Im sure your superiors are looking for your replacement. maybe when your through with Law enforcment you can persue a career in security like most law enforcment fkups. lol

  37. If only Florida had more real pro gun politicians, the sheriff would help us get it passed. As I’ve commented before, he’s either 1. lying or 2. Not bothered to do any research at all, thereby disrespecting the legislature. He could easily go to handgunlaw.us and find links to the state laws. Open carry is a non issue in the rest of the country.

    • Open carry is a constitutional right. I’m from Kansas and before the permit less concealed carry passed I made sure to talk with many officers from different counties. All said open carry is considered constitutional carry. Where unless it’s posted no guns as well as the usual no gun places that there is no issue with open carrying. If you are asked to leave and put it away do so or it’s considered armed trespass. Many Missouri officers even agreed or added to the same message and they require ccw permits.

  38. Can someone fill me in on Florida law? Is it illegal to have an exposed holstered handgun on your person while you are in the middle of the woods or swamps hunting, plinking or just hiking around? Thanks.

    • John E.B. Goode on

      Yes. Illegal to carry/wear as you described without a permit. You can go out shooting in an area but without a permit the gun must be secured until you get to your spot while walking and carrying unless on private property. You may not open carry.

          • Don’t forget that Fl statute section 790 also list Hiking as one of the exemptions to the ban on open carry. So it’s hiking, camping, fishing and target shooting, and while going to, engaging in, or returning from any of those activities.

  39. I don’t know where this man came from but he needs to get his fuzzy butt back to where he came from, idiots like this is why the country is in the shape it is, disgraceful

    • This sheriff has a mental.problem, his access to weapons of any kind should be restricted. He is a danger to the public.

      • This Sheriff has more than a mental problem, he himself is a danger to society. What shocks me is that he still has his job and has not been baker acted. I hope a Pschiatrist reads this and can somehow take him in for evaluation. He is a disgrace to the uniform he wears. Seems Protecting is not in his vocabulary. He should defiantly not be allowed to carry, own a gun with the comments he made. Please someone remove him from his position now. He is a real danger to society.

        • The funny thing is this man thinks only he himself is capable of protecting, or defending, does not want anyone else defending themselves because he would loose his importance, his job, lmao

        • I do NOT want to make or paint this POS sheriff in any comedic way, but, after reading many of his news items about being citizen anti-self defense, if you think of the first “Rambo” flic, that sheriff played is this POS in real life. Just Sayin’

    • As a retired US Army Ranger of 28 years. While doing raids, we expect everyone in the facility to be bad guys. If you are armed, you are considered an enemy that we must deal with . Within split seconds we have to decide is that person “on our side” Now as we enter a room and someone slipped out and has began shooting his/her way out of that situation….of course we will be screaming to get down . At that point, once you see the good guys coming in, decock and safe that weapon, or you might be a statistic. your help is not needed. The Sheriff could have explained this much better……,, I’m ashamed of him. BE SMART !

    • With a name like that he ain’t one of us!! Go back up to the extreme leftist liberal North, butthead. And a simple question before you go…if we are carrying concealed then how are you going to know??

      • Jose Velazquez on

        Upon approval of the open carry law, we should all hold a rally in his town, and have all of us Law Abiding Citizens swarm his city in the thousands, and show this POS, that we do not fear me him, yes him the little man wannabe cop.

  40. Did this guy forget his oath of office and duty to the citizens. I sure hope the citizens think real hard about him being a proper representative in the next election.

  41. Pingback: Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri threatens to shoot concealed carriers | Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

  42. I was a chief of police for many years as well as a federal agent.
    I am embarrassed for the law enforcement profession when I read comments like the sheriff has made. Had he been working for me, he wouldn’t be working for me.

  43. As a retired chief of police and former federal agent, I would like to add the following. If the sheriff had been working for me, he would no longer be working for me.

  44. I am glad I have not lived in Florida were I was born. As a teen I opened carry with no problem in Florida. I moved out in in the mid 70’s and all I can say is THANK GOD.

    What makes people think that the insane and criminal will obey laws?

    The 2nd amendment is a NATURAL RIGHT. We were born with certain “inalienable” natural rights. Natural rights are rights which are “natural” in the sense of “not artificial, not man-made”, as in rights deriving from human nature, or from the edicts of a god. They are universal; that is, they apply to all people, and do not derive from the laws of any specific society. They exist necessarily, inhere in every individual, and can’t be taken away. For example, it has been argued that humans have a natural right to life. They’re sometimes called moral rights or inalienable rights. A right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth. It is not a privilege granted to one. A privilege can be taken away, a right can not. These natural rights are guaranteed by our Constitution’s Bill of Rights that We The People can keep and bear arms WITHOUT any infringement. Meaning exactly that – NO Rules, Laws or Regulations concerning arms of any type. For is not a rule, law or regulation a infringement? Our Federal Government violated our trust in this concern some years ago and continue to do to this day. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and its rules, laws and regulations along with any other infringements our Federal Government may or has come up with concerning arms are therefore, in my opinion, unconstitutional.

    In the Supreme Courts 2nd Amendment Ruling of 6/28/2010, according to reports, Judge Alito, states: that in some instances the right to bear arms can be limited. It, is my opinion he is incorrect, as he seems to forget the last four words of the amendment-shall not be infringed. As a Limit of some type would be an infringement of some type. Nor is any limit implied. I would like Judge Alito to show me were in the amendment the word or words “limit, can be limited to, is limited to, etc appear.”.

    We must remember that the Bill Of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, protects the rights of all citizens of the United States and its territories. And puts limits on the powers of the Federal Government. The 2nd Amendment DOES NOT give the rights to the Militia to keep and bear arms. It only states that a militia is necessary to the security of a free state. A militia is a group of citizens coming together to provide defense against an enemy or its own government that has gotten out of hand. It is not the National Guard ** or the Army Reserve. The government changed (in my opinion) the true meaning of Militia in 1903. The true Militia in my mind is a group of citizens coming together to provide defense against an enemy or its own government that has gotten out of hand. If the government has control of the Militia how do the people protect themselves against the government when all else fails?

    Does it not make sense that since the government was formed by us the people that government property belongs to us the people? Its seems to me the government has no right to tell anyone they can not protect themselves by carrying arms on themselves while on government property (our property). The 2nd Amendment of course, also covers ammunition and other items the citizen needs to use the arms. For without these items the citizen can not use his arms and therefore his rights would be infringed.

    No Treaty trumps the U.S. Constitution as the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. “Treaties must be made: “in pursuance” of the Constitution’s delegated powers as well. To do otherwise is a serious usurpation of the very nature of our Constitutional Republic. To allow foreign law to trump the Supreme Law of the Land leaves the people of this nation in a precarious situation at best with their liberties.” – Tenthamendmentcenter.com

    The preamble to US Constitution states: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. In other words the government was formed by the people for the people – not for the government. We have a basic right to self-defense. Another very important reason for the 2nd Amendment was so if, our government took these rights from us, we could take them back the same way our forefathers did. If, other ways failed to do so.

      • Mr. B, this is IMHO, a posting that I will cherish for life because finally every word in your post has been implanted in my mind since I studied the U.S. Constitution, when stated in OUR 2nd states “shall NOT be infringed” and I do believe it,the 2nd Amendmen has been infringed upon over 21,000 times I just do not get this unconstitutional challenge of the Constitution. But that said ,Thanks for this post.

    • WHOA! Seems to me the sheriff is talking about OPEN CARRY not concealed carry – and I agree with him that open carry is a very bad idea in an urban area.

    • Sheriff Gualtieri sounds like an oathbreaker who only cares about the safety of himself. Maybe he should relocate OUT of the State of FL. I know for a fact most sheriffs do not agree with his views and walked away from the corrupt Michael Bloomberg who in fact has people in his little anti-gun
      group that actually consist of criminals such as Gordon Jenkins.http://freebeacon.com/issues/mayors-against-illegal-guns-mayor-charged-with-bribery/ And people such as Ray Nagin who was charged with corruption and sentenced to ten years in prison. He is another selfie who surrounds himself with armed security 24/7 because even this out of touch elite who is drunk on power and greed knows we are safer with protection.

  45. WHOA! Seems to me the sheriff is talking about OPEN CARRY not concealed carry – and I agree with him that open carry is a very bad idea in an urban area.

  46. If they do go to open carry, wld there be some way to have a marker of some sort that’s big or bright or stands out some how that shows the person is a licensed open carrier ??? Since it says all open carriers must have a holster of some sort, what would be a good way to Mark it that’s visable to show ur legal ?? And not be forged or copied ?

    • So you want some sort of mandatory “marking” on concealed or open carriers to show LEO’s they are checked out okay “good guys” huh? I know, how about the state requires them to wear a big yellow star on their shirt or coat lapel? Yeah, that’s the ticket, (eye roll). Oh wait, never mind, already been done by the Nazis. Sheez.

      We have a creator given, UNalienable right to keep and bear arms under the 2nd amendment. The Constitution and 2nd amendment does not GIVE us that right, they both simply RECOGNIZE and ACKNOWLEDGE that it is a creator given right that predates the Constitution and bill of rights as when the Declaration of Independence said:….”We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS”.

  47. Jose Velazquez on

    What this Piece of a poor excuse for a law enforcement officer fails to realize there are more of us then him, and we are better trained than he could ever be. I hope the people of Pinellas wise up and realize they have a POS Gang leader in public office, who decided killing Law abiding citizens is his priority and not his oath of office.
    Throw this POS trash-bag and those who support him like the mayor out with the garbage, and make them clearly understand that we do not fear crooked wannabe cops.

    • Jose Velazquez on

      Let me be clear, that my words are in no way meant to be a threat to the POS Sheriff or his deputies. As a former LEO, I spoke in anger, to see a so called leader in what is suppose to be a protector of the very people he threatens to shoot, is enough to fire and prosecute him. If our Governor does not intervene and put this bum out, then We the people should rally in Pinellas specifically at the sheriff’s office, and Mayors office, when open carry becomes law. I would love to see him come out and shoot a law abiding citizen legally open carrying as he said he would do.

      • Well said and whether said in anger or not it is still the truth, so this POS sheriff threatens legal citizens ,not only of the county he reps,but the entire state of Fl. and the U.S. in its entirety. So if anyone should be worried about saying things whether angered or not ,it should be this ,one foot in the door to being an ex-sheriff of PC POS ……

      • the sheriff in FL is a constitutional office duly elected, the gov can only remove him if he is charged with a violation of law. the citizens will have to vote him out it is a 4 year term. here in Lee co we got a corrupt one in 4 yrs later he got voted out. as for his threat and then no action at a gun show FL law preempts and city or county gun law. and city’s and counties can be charged and fined if they try to regulate legal gun usage. a sheriff should never allow a lawyer in that position

  48. I,am a retired P.O. from N.Y. and this sheriff is asking for a lot of trouble there are many retired police in the state of Florida and put there lives on the line every day and to think that they would shoot one of us maybe some day if he was in the wrong place at the wrong time he may wish that one of us was there to save his ass. He should of stayed a lawyer and let the real men serve and protect. he talks like we are the bad guys.

    • I also would like to give a shout out in thanks for yours and other LEO’s, service to all citizens. Due to those few moronic idiots who take the authority given to them when wearing badge and gun,cross that legal line thinking it is they who are above the laws of our land,unfortunately effects the thinking of most citizens towards ALL LEO’s which pisses me off for it is not the all but the few who act as such. That said and being a Florida resident and thankfully on the east coast of FL. but because I may travel to PC, I now am actually concerned about my safety as law abiding CCW permit holder in that this guy,even though a lawyer ,has his reality check up his asse, goes to show, you can get a degree in law,law enforcement, become an elected county sheriff and still not have one single bit of common sense……………………….”We the People” must take this country back and soon.

  49. I am a retired LEO. I also graduated from PCSO Academy years ago while working for another agency. I can say that I never encountered anyone from that agency who would even think of something like that. I was also a Sheriff in another state a long time ago. I imagine the Sheriff does not speak for most of his deputies, some who have been there for years. Remember, a Sheriff is elected by the people for four years. Not sure when he is up for re-election but the voters will have a chance to correct their mistake.

    • I can wait to vote Gualtieri out of office. All he cares about is himself. I have lived in this county for a long time and have been home invaded and almost carjacked. There is no time to call for help when seconds count. I remember when Hurricane Katrina hit and there was a female officer on national news who was caught looting right next to the looters with her gun flapping at her side. I am more worried about ‘them’ than I am about law abiding concealed carriers.

      • We have the same kind of “Politician first, Sheriff second” crackpot in Escambia County. Wont state a position on anything before consulting the polls and certainly has a superiority complex, regarding the residents of the county the “little people”. They both would be much better served heading up north where their Napoleonic Fantasies can be more richly realized without inconvenient interactions from a citizenry that actually thinks for themselves. Ask either one of them if they support the Constitutional Sheriffs and Police Organization, and you get crickets. So come election time, I think it will be much fun for some ambush journalism on the subject.

  50. If you read between the lines, the good Sheriff just threatened all concealed carry citizens and stated that he would shoot them. So, anyone who puts one in the front of the good sheriffs head can claim self defense ” As it appeared at the time of the shooting that the sheriff noticed that I had a concealed weapon so he was going for his gun. Knowing what his intent was by reading it in a recent article, I fired first and put one in his melon as I was in fear for my life.” That is the stage that has been set.

  51. As many of you know, Texas had the same discussions back a few months ago. The Texas Open Carry law goes into effect on Jan 1. Our law seems to be very close to the FL law and we faced the same opposition by police union (AFLCIO union). The union did force some of the same amendments to our law as it seems that FL is adopting.
    I had the opportunity to watch a real time feed of the discussion for the final hearings and votes. The opposition was entirely from liberal places and funded by union and Bloomberg groups. It appears that they could have just recorded their “the sky is going to fall” claims and just played them back in FL.
    For me, the realization that there is such a wide gap between the “appointed” police chiefs and the actual officers on the street is troubling. Here in TX, the officers on the street and the elected sheriffs support the idea of open carry and have supported concealed carry for a very long time. Here, when an officer learns that you have a CHL, you assumed to be one of the “good guys”.

  52. I don’t agree with the sheriff at all, BUT he did not say that people open carrying would be held at gunpoint or shot for open carrying. what he said ‘ that I read, was that at a crime scene anyone with a gun would be considered a threat to law enforcement officers and would be dealt with as a threat. He was expressing his views on a proposal, which anyone is entitled to do. I do not agree with his views, and I think open carry would discourage violent crime. His views could and should have been expressed in a less inflammatory manner.

    • Donald Schwartz on

      Robert, I agree with you. I don’t believe, having reread the article several times, the sheriff threatened to have his officers shoot permitted carriers. I do believe he is grandstanding and lying to his constituents. If you carry you are trained to put your weapon down as the police are arriving. He is just a publicity hound with bad judgement which is not a good combination in his position as sheriff.

    • As a card-carrying NRA member and FL CWFL holder, I am surprised at the “twisting” of words that I’ve seen in the above article. To boot, according to the article as it appears in the Sarasota Herald Tribune,
      http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20151211/ARTICLE/151219936/2416/NEWS?p=3&tc=pg
      page 3 states “Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, a staunch opponent of open carry, said the four amendments wouldn’t make the bill acceptable to him — or safe for people who openly display their guns.

      For instance, he said, if an officer arrives at the scene of a crime and sees someone with a weapon, “At a minimum, they’re going to be thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them — or worse.”

      As far as being a target during an armed bank robbery, on page 4 of the above referenced article,
      “And if good citizen with a concealed weapon walks into, say, a bank during an armed robbery, Gualtieri added, “he’s going to take one in the chest because he’s a threat.”

      That means that the perp may shoot the open carry citizen. I don’t agree with the logic, as ANYONE, that walks into a bank during an armed robbery could be targeted as a threat open carry or not.

      It’s important FOR ALL OF US to do our due diligence when dealing with these issues, gather facts and form our own opinions, based on facts.

      God Bless America and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

      • I am an NRA member and a CWFL holder also. The one thing that your comment and my previous comment failed to mention and the thing that caused this whole discussion is the title of the original article, “Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri threatens to shoot concealed carriers” was a complete misinterpretation of what the sheriff stated. As I stated before, I completely disagree with the sheriff’s stand on open carry, he is entitled to his opinion.

        • I am an NRA member and a CWFL holder also. I am also a resident of Pinellas County . Sheriiff, Gualtieri has more than likely seen his last stint in Office. Residents are mad and if Gov. Scott does not remove him the voters will. All he is concerned about is himself and money. He simply forgets the voters put him in office and can remove him.

    • I live in pinellas county ,i am e met an NRA member,concealed carry for 9 yrs. have met the sheriff a few times and i can tell you he is a good guy that i have voted for every time he has run and will vote for him again.HE is an a stanch republican and is for the second amend. he says if you walk into a bank or any crime scene with a weapon showing could end badly,no kidding ! why would anyone do that with the state were in? why would you let bad guys know your carrying that’s the one thing that gives you the upper hand on them.don’t put words into the mans mouth ,how common sense when out in public ,just because you can do something like open carry doesn’t mean you have to! and do you want people calling the cops on you every time you walk down the streets with a weapon showing ?and do you think the cops want to spend their day having to run down these people and wonder what they are getting into.if you walk down my street with open carry weapon and i don’t know you,im gonna lock and load my long gun and call the cops.

      • Dan, you are welcome to “lock and load” your long gun. However, if you use it on a law abiding citizen, that is pre-meditated murder, you see you posted your intentions here for all to see, and the citizen was acting in a legal fashion. Just so you know, here in Florida, I can legally open carry right now under certain situations. You may want to check into what the laws say before you murder an innocent. FYI, I am comfortable with an other responsible gun owner and open carrying, but your irrational comments of being a sniper, that causes me concern.

  53. Gov. Scott needs to review all of these comments and the comments of the sheriff of Pinellas County. Then Gov. Scott Should Remove the Sheriff FROM OFFICE!!! This is the opinion of a 100% Combat Disabled Veteran of 22 yrs. Service !!

    • Police individuals occasionally do make comments like this. One a while back said that he couldn’t wait to raid gun owner’s houses and “take them out.” He is no longer a police person.

  54. I can certainly understand Sheriff, Bob Gualtieri’s comments regarding anyone carrying a firearm any where. There are limits to anyone who has a concealed weapons permit any where in the United States. Law Enforcement has enough responsibilities to worry about , then citizens carrying weapons, hidden or exposed. I truly believe anyone that applies for a concealed weapons permit should be thoroughly examined and screened 100 %, then cleared by a doctor in order to be able to carry a hand gun. Second, I truly believe , if a bank was active with a robbery , anyone who does possess a firearm permit, who walks into a bank, thinking he or she can change the scene by pulling out their weapon, under any circumstances, would be endangering the lives of people, including their own. A police officer has to be thinking very quickly and is trained to do so, we as citizens who do have permits, should not make their jobs more difficult. Last, I would be against anyone who is a civilian, carrying their hand gun exposed, that itself, will cause a serious problem in many ways.
    As we live in a world with danger surrounding us, that itself has many issues that need to be resolved. lets not confuse the purpose of the privilege we have, to allow us to even own a hand gun. If anyone does posses a permit, please, I urge you to not only be careful out there in society, but to be careful in your own home. I have one for many years and have never had to misuse my privilege.

      • You are also wrong sir. The Right to keep and bear arms is not a right granted by the Second Ammendment. Rights are not granted by any man or government. Rights are inherent. The right to keep and bear arms existed before the U.S. Constitution was ever conceived. The Second Ammendment serves as a decree to the government that the right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed upon by the government.

    • Sam,
      With all do respect I disagree with your comments. Bank robbers go in to rob banks. They don’t hang out and ask for bank services while concealing a firearm. In case they do wait in line for example, it is for a short period of time and they conceal very well when they want to. Also, concealed carry permit holders maybe running errands and one of them could be going into the bank. A well trained law enforcement can easily distinguish a law abiding citizen from a purp specially in a bank.

    • Man you are a stupid lemming. Take my guns, only LE and Military are qualified to carry. We are weak and pathetic, fat and lazy and uncoordinated. We need to follow others. Please Sam enlighten us.

      • Just because YOU are unqualified does not mean others are not. You do not have to be law enforcement or military to be qualified as a matter of fact there are MANY law enforcement and military that have very little qualifications and zero ability with weapons. You are one of the mindless left wing nut bags with low intellect and information

      • Donald Schwartz on

        By the way Paul. Just as a side note, I am ex-military. As far as I know they didn’t do any work on my brain prior to my discharge therefore I remain qualified as do many ex- military, LEO AND WHOEVER else you had on your list. Literally millions of everyday citizens fully qualified too carry and use both long guns and handguns. Some of them even earn a living training lots puff law abiding citizens who don’t have the training we do.

    • Driving a car is a “privilege” granted by the state. Owning a firearm is a “Right” granted by the Constitution. Please understand the difference in terminology.

      • Jerry: The Constitution does not grant rights. Rights are pre-existing, and protected from government infringement by the Constitution.

    • Sam, what Gualtieri is suggesting is full of scare tactics and bad info. Open carry exists in 45 of 50 states today, and none of what he suggests happens in any of them.

      Additionally his threats of ‘mistaken’ physical violence against open carriers are blatant, petulant bullying from a very small man who is angry about not getting his way.

  55. The job of any LEO is to uphold and enforce current laws, not interpret or create their own. The title of “Sheriff”, although covered by sovereign immunity, no more gives one the authority to make their own rules than it does to make threats, veiled or otherwise, to the people they have been charged with protecting and serving. Were I to tell a LEO that they were “going to take one in the chest because they might be a threat,” I would immediately be arrested, handcuffed, perhaps tazed, jailed and most likely convicted of threatening a police officer. Because of his remarks, I submit that Mr. Gaultieri is unqualified to remain as Sheriff of Pinellas County, and recommend a recall election so that a proper Sheriff, one who will genuinely SERVE and PROTECT, can be chosen by the citizens.

    • It is funny you should say recall. I am unfamiliar with FL law in this regards. What I do know is that SCOPE, Orleans County (NY) chapter just elected who they think will be a Constitutional sheriff. one who promises not to arrest for laws he feels are criminal acts of the government, federal, state, or local (unconstitutional laws). Included within that are NY’s new S.A.F.E. Law which Judge Skretny said nfringed. Skretny then went on to try to make it sound as tho’ the state had reasonable cause to deny certain types of weapons to all, and to inflict further damage to their right by limiting the number of “booollets” (Cuomo) they could have in their magazines, and further intrude by making the permits now issued (unconstitutional as they are — see Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, quoting Staub v. Baxley, and Murdock v. PA) lifetime renewable every 5 years, and another fee charged for the privilege (no longer a right — note Wayne LaPierre, and Alan Gottlied, both know about these rulings, bu have been slow to act on, or use them to defend American law abiding citizens against these government intrusions, even tho’ NRA bylaw tasks them with defending the Second Amendment).
      You cans ee more on how they did this election process on SCOPE, Inc. facebook page, or the Orleans County SCOPE facebok page.

  56. I keep hearing that Sheriffs are enemy of the people. Maybe the ones saying this are Conspiracy folks…nevertheless it is an interesting statement when compared to this article.

  57. Pingback: Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri attacks the messenger, or at least makes the attempt - The Gun Writer

  58. Pingback: Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri attacks the messenger, or at least makes the attempt - 2nd Amendment Right

  59. This Sheriff is a disgrace to the uniform he wears…..police officers are part of the executive branch of government and are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States…not destroy it by using the Obama syndrome…….!

  60. Sheriff Gualtieri is a sad excuse for a Sheriff. He only cares about himself and his political ties. Having worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for almost 15 years, I can attest to the decline and low morale of this agency due to his spineless decisions. I was terminated in January of 2015 for allegedly using excessive force on an inmate. The video of the incident clearly shows the inmate resisting my efforts to escort him out of the pod. He also attempted to strike me with a cup that he was holding. According to the S.O’s General Orders, this inmate was at active resistance and I was permitted to use take down maneuvers to gain compliance from this inmate, which I did. Once on the ground the inmate continued to resist and refused to comply with my orders. I delivered 3 knee strikes to this inmates side which again I was justifled in doing, per the G.O. Once he complied, all force was ceased. He was then assisted to his feet and seen by medical personnel. At my Appeal Hearing, Sheriff Gualtieri lied and stated that I beat an elderly man, and not once did he mention the acts of the inmate that caused this incident. This inmate was a convicted child molester who had been in jail and prison numerous times. Sheriff Gualtieri cared more about his image in the media than he did about one of his veteran Deputies. He is a disgrace as a Sheriff and to the citizens of Pinellas County!!

      • Actually Dan, what actually happened is not what the sheriffs said, regardless what he says. This child molester, in fact had no medical reason to be in a wheelchair. Sheriff did not have the facts straight. This inmate was not being forced to go to sick call, he was being disruptive, so he was being taken out. He then quickly stood up, threw a liquid at Ray and tried to grab his taser. So Ray put him on the floor. This supposedly feeble person then fought with the deputy for a while. Didn’t let the deputy handcuff him, fought so much that another deputy showed up and she tased him two times!! A feeble man cannot fight for that long, and enough to be tased twice! The other deputy, by the way didn’t get in trouble! And if you did in fact watch the whole video, this supposedly feeble, wheelchair bound man walked out of the unit on his own two feet, without help, after this supposed beating!! This is a deputy who hadn’t been in trouble before! The inmate had no issues with the incident!! So should inmates just be allowed to take the deputies tasers and throw things at the deputies? This 15 year veterans firing was a media plug for the sheriff that’s it. Ray is greatly missed…

    • OMG. I just watched that video. The man was in a wheelchair. WHEELCHAIR. And you continued to plummet him and rough handle him and I saw nothing he did to invite this beating. Glad you were fired.

    • Wow bro I hope you felt good slamming that guy in a wheelchair down like an asshole. Must have been very empowering he had NO chance. Nice work dude. WWE Smackdown asshole cop POS.

    • My hats off to you sir, I wouldn’t work under this moron.
      He’s a threat to lawful gun owners his attitude is going to shorten his life, they way he talks you would think he’s Wyatt Earp. He needs to be voted out of office and the sooner the better.

    • My hats off to you sir, I wouldn’t work under this moron.
      He’s a threat to lawful gun owners his attitude is going to get Pinellas Co. Sheriff’s office into some serious legal problems. He needs to be voted out of office and the sooner the better. WAKE UP BRADENTON FL. Gomer’s back in town.

  61. “And if good citizen with a concealed weapon walks into, say, a bank during an armed robbery, Gualtieri added, “he’s going to take one in the chest because he’s a threat.” ”

    Kind of makes me wonder why the good sheriff & his deputies are going to be robbing the local bank.

      • I agree. It’s not the job of citizens to stop bank robbers or even try to. It would be foolish to insert yourself into a lethal confrontation when you have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

      • He said if a person were to enter a bank while a robbery was going on, he didn’t mention what the person was doing. Why would a police officer shoot a person carrying a holstered weapon. (The bad guys will have theirs out and pointing them at people…You know the tellers, customers and police officers).
        No one that I know that has a license suddenly feels like they are on the police force. We all are trained regarding what the law allows. During the class and in the follow up paper work it states that the permit does not make one a police officer. It’s just a lot of hot air from the sheriff of Pinellas County, Florida. I hope the voters there are paying attention.

        • I fear some of the readers and commenters have missed (at least one of) the sheriff’s points entirely. Not to come down on the side of the sheriff or to his defense, but I really believe the bank robbery scenario would be this: Robbery at gunpoint in progress at a bank or store. Unsuspecting carrier walks in at just the wrong moment, oblivious to what is going on inside. The hyped up and nervous perpetrator(s) notice the holstered weapon and immediately fire on the citizen to eliminate the perceived threat to their robbery. In truth, there are numerous and varied documented occurrences of this exact happenstance playing out. Unfortunately it is not at all unusual. Usually it is the off duty cop or patrol officer walking into the corner store for a cup of coffee or milk and a newspaper that “gets one in the chest.”

      • I think most people who carry open or concealed know that in an emergency like a bank robbery or shooting the cops who take the call will not know who the good guys are: they will assume everyone with a gun out is a bad guy. Most of us will know to lay down our weapons.

  62. I believe that a Sheriff is the only elected law enforcement official. If he is not removed then a grass roots movement come election time to have him voted out is the best bet for the folks of Pinellas County. For that matter any tyrannical Sheriff, unwilling to uphold the law must be voted out.

  63. Pingback: Sheriff Says He'll Point Guns at Lawful Citizens Carrying a Gun - 'or WORSE'

  64. Pingback: Florida sheriff warns open carry bill could lead to officer-involved shootings | Freedom Newz

  65. No Constitutionally ELECTED Sheriff is ever supposed to fight AGAINST Gun Rights!!! He swore to SUPPORT the Constitution (Bill of Rights – 2nd Amendment) !!!!

    • 44 of the 50 states in the US have Open Carry!! That means even the extremely liberal states have Open Carry. Get that Sheriff out of office next election cycle. He should be removed from office by the Governor, and right now!

  66. This Sheriff should be turned in to the Florida Bar for unethical behavior. He swore an oath to uphold the 2nd Amendment, or did he fail Constitutional Law in law school?!!!

      • He has TWO Oath of Offices, one as an elected leo and another as an attorney -at-law, I know Im an attorney as well as a FED LEo. He could mose certainly be reported to the State Bar, ut he has freedom of speech, until he acts in such a way to deny a citizen their personal freedoms or inclusive constitutional rights, he hasn’t violated his Oath of Office, even though he sounds like an asshole.

  67. This sheriff is on the wrong side of history on the issue. 45 states already allow open carry and I have never heard of an incident like he describes. Maybe it’s happened and I have heard, but it certainly is not common or I would have. We know that criminals never carry openly out of fear of arrest prosecution. Therefore you know with a certain degree of sureness that a person openly carrying has most likely passed a background check and is most likely a law abiding citizen. I would think law enforcement would be on the side of open carry if for no other reason than it’s easy to pick out the good guys. Anyway, the winds of change are growing stronger and stronger with each mass killing that we need more guns, not less. We need more armed citizens willing to stand up and fight against those who want only to destroy our freedom and kill our children.

    • Check out comments by Floridians on FB. Thid moron must think he’s the only one with a trigger finger. That kind of nonsense he spits could keep him from collecting social security. How can a police officer be so careless and dumb at the same time. I carry for this same reason to protect myself from this kind of stupidity. Does he think he has the authority to deny 2nd Amendment Rights and Florida Conceal Carry laws. He should be fired and disbarred.

      • This sheriff would have had a seriously difficult time holding his office in the 1870s when people routinely carried firearms on their daily business.

        Something like more than 75% of street cops support lawful carry by citizens. The police (especially their chiefs) are going to have to get used to the idea that they are not the only ones allowed to have guns in a public place and that the mere presence of a gun is indicative of a lethal threat to officers.

    • I forgot to mention that permit holders are also by law trained in the use and safe handling of firearms. Those who I know are expertly trained way beyond that required by law because we recognize the huge responsibility that goes along with carrying a lethal weapon. I suppose some are less trained and take it less seriously, but those are the ones who won’t survive a lethal encounter and will find themselves in trouble with law enforcement rather quickly.

    • Barbara Hunter on

      I think that anyone that gets a license should be able to do whatever they want with their guns. I doubt they are going out to shoot anyone. But it is a good idea for self defense.

  68. If a “regular” person threatened to shoot some one, they would be up on charges for “making a terroristic threat” and in Texas that means:

    § 22.07. TERRORISTIC THREAT.
    (a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
    (1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
    (2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
    (3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building; room; place of assembly; place to which the public has access; place of employment or occupation; aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance; or other public place;
    (4) cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;

    and on and on…

    It also sounds like his statements could be considered as “Oppression under the color of authority” :

    Sec. 39.03. OFFICIAL OPPRESSION. (a) A public servant acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he:
    (1) intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he knows is unlawful;
    (2) intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, knowing his conduct is unlawful; and on and on…

  69. After reading most of your responses I think that the Sheriff engaged his mouth before his brain could provide what he was wanting to say. In the putting a carrying citizen on the ground or worse response . He didn’t say he was shooting anyone , he implied it could happen . In the bank heist I believe he meant that if you walk into the bank open carrying your big old hog leg the bad guy will see you as a threat and stop you with one in the chest. Before you start bashing me for my opinion on the article please go back and reread the article much slower and think before reacting.

    • I tend to agree with your assessment of the bank scenario. But that is a risk one would take walking into the local grocery store, a pharmacy or restaurant. Any establishment could be experiencing a robbery when we enter, armed or not.

      His other statement is more troubling, however. He mentioned officers arriving at a crime scene which might make some sense. Except the authors of the bill will be including a requirement for a holster to be worn. We can picture an open carrier wearing a high ride belt holster at a crime scene, perhaps kneeling to comfort the victim or trying to contact 9-1-1 while others do so when police arrive. Despite posing no immediate threat or making any move for the firearm the Sheriff is suggesting that forcing him into the prone position at gunpoint is somehow justifiable? I think not.

      I’d ask the sheriff if his comment applies to the armed open carrier performing CPR or rescue-breathing on an accident victim. Would his deputies point their guns at someone involved in a rescue attempt to free a pinned driver or trying to restrain a resident from re-entering a burning house? Whatever the crime scene is, will they point their guns at a parent holding the hand of their child? Or even holding an infant in his/her arms? Where will he draw a line?

  70. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will be in for a surprise when law abiding C.C.W.’s will shoot back, for being shot at for no reason. These kinds of threats toward non criminals should call for a mandatory psych evaluation and treatment or disbarred from law enforcement. We have a lot of great officers in law enforcement. They don’t need bad apples or hot heads like this “mudding up the water”.

    • It’s one thing to be the duly elected sheriff of your county and stand up for the constitutional rights of your citizens. Things like refusing to arrest people for expressing an opinion on, say Islam or criticizing the Q’ran promote the protections of the 1st Amendment. But when an elected official says they will threaten to use deadly force on someone for merely exercising a constitutional right it is time for people to demand his ouster from office. If nothing else he opens up himself and the county to numerous lawsuits that could cost taxpayers dearly.

    • Me thinks the Sheriff just painted a big target on the chest of LEO. If I know a deputy is going to shoot me for exercising my GOD given Right to be armed, do I not have the right to defend myself from being summarily executed by that LEO?

  71. I think it is time to have a peaceful demonstration at his office asking him to resign from his office immediately. It is very apparent that he is not fit to be a Sheriff, and he is a danger to society. He needs to go.

  72. I think we need to put together a peaceful demonstration at his office and ask for his resignation. He is a danger to our society.

    • If we have a Sheriff who threatens to shoot concealed carriers then he needs some serious help and he has no business at all being in the position he is in. Man, talk about anti American

      • You’d be charged with Public Exposure and Destruction of Public Property..(possible attempted Murder…in case he thought you had HIV/AIDES [exposure to body fluid]) and this man would shoot your penis off…..in self defense of course…

    • Diane Sutton, USCCA Training Counselor, NRA, USCCA & TWAW Certified Instructor and NRA Chief RSO on

      I agree with most of the comments that have been made. I would like to participate in a peaceful demonstration at his office. Please let me know if one is organized and I WILL be there. I have never been at a protest in my life, so this shows you how little I respect this man.

      Also, since he is an elected official, he IS able to be recalled. I am not certain but I believe the process is through beginning with a petition. If anyone is certain about this, or can suggest where I can read or who I should contact for verification, I will be happy to help with this endeavor as a Pinellas resident.

      I am happy that Sheriff Ivey’s video has gained far more national attention than the statements by our Pinellas sheriff. I think & hope that the spread of Ivey’s video is popular as the language and logic is starting to make sense with the masses that were either “on the fence” or anti-gun before. Nothing like the fear of terrorism at home, or BECOMING A TARGET OF YOUR OWN SHERIFF, that makes people want to protect their families.

      I saw it first hand in a gun store Tuesday night Dec 8th, when a scared young adult male, who never thought he would buy a gun, purchased a 9mm handgun. When the clerk asked which type of ammo he would like (HP? Grain?) the young man had NO IDEA! He looked so scared, I whispered the answers to him, with my back to the clerk. Talking after his purchase, he explained his desire to protect his family, mentioned terrorism, and OF COURSE mentioned the fear that if he didn’t buy a gun now, his right to purchase might be taken away through executive order at any time. I suggested he also learn to use it safely, gave him my card and suggested a few other places close to the store we were in.

      Then, at some point after training, he can worry if our own county sheriff is going to shoot at him….

  73. I fear some of the readers and commenters have missed (at least one of) the sheriff’s points entirely. Not to come down on the side of the sheriff or to his defense, but I really believe the bank robbery scenario would be this: Robbery at gunpoint in progress at a bank or store. Unsuspecting open carrier walks in at just the wrong moment, oblivious to what is going on inside. The hyped up, nervous, violent perpetrator(s) notice the holstered weapon and immediately fire on the citizen to eliminate the perceived threat to their robbery and ability to escape. In truth, there are numerous and varied documented occurrences of this exact happenstance playing out in nearly every state of the nation. Unfortunately it is not at all unusual. Usually it is the off duty cop or patrol officer innocently walking into the corner store for a cup of coffee or milk and a newspaper that “gets one in the chest.” I can’t speak for him, but the sheriff more than likely is in this case not talking about a robbery that even has law enforcement present yet, let alone drawing and shooting anybody. People that choose to openly carry need to be aware of this very legitimate and constant threat to their continued existence. OK, all that said, if this sworn public servant is into violating the rights of those he is employed to defend, removal is the very least that should happen to him.

    • Wow, Steve! As an open carrier myself (legal by default in Idaho, no permission slip required) you hit the nail on the head! Why, I was shot three times and had my gun stolen twice just last week! Perhaps you might be able to cite and provide links to some of those “numerous and documented occurrences” that you were talking about. I can’t seem to find any.

    • Steve,
      Please provide sources and/or links for the “numerous documented” episodes. Both my current residence (Arizona), and former (Idaho) are open carry states and the scenarios you provide are absurd! My husband is a deputy that carries everywhere, never with a problem. You’ve been asked for your sources by at least two readers…please provide

    • With that being said, how easy or encouraged would a bank robber be if he knew he was walking into a bank where everyone has a firearm at their side? I would say it is more likely the robbery will not take place because the calculated risk is too high, escape is no an option guns in the bank guns outside the bank….ijs

    • It’s unfortunate one must state the obvious in this circus: open carry in 45 states has resulted in this scenario exactly how many times? Exactly. Stop making stupid points Sheriff Fife

    • Except this sherif has history of saying stupid stuff, never get re-elected, I’ve lived here 55 years, he’s an ass…

  74. “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same […] They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section […] they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”
    -The US Code, Title 18, §241, “Conspiracy against rights”

    -BETTER THINK IT THROUGH FELLA!

    • the sheriffs comments specially state a concealed carry person, not open carry. I think this sherriff needs to be retired fast.

      • I think he said “Concealed Carry” because only those that have concealed carry permits will be able to open carry. Either way, it’s past time for him to retire to a rubber room at Chattahoochie loony bin!!!

  75. Maybe if I walk into the bank robery and the person who tries to throw me down might get thrown down himself. Then too, if the police somehow had been overpowered and I walked and had a chance to help them I just turn around and walk out. I wonder if the guys of Wyatt Earp days had idiots like this sherriff?

  76. Every person dissenting here against Sheriff Bob Gualtieri simply doesn’t know him nor the facts. You have taken the word of a blogger without doing any research whatsoever. Shame on you!

    Bob Gualtieri is a man of impeccable character. As a political figure and target of fallacious accusations, he has to constantly defend himself personally as well as the “Office” of the Pinellas County Sheriff. This is but a part of the 16 hour workdays he puts in 7 days a week. In addition to warding off malfeasance in the media, Bob Gualtieri has to run a nearly 3,000 person organization, each with their own concerns, issues, wants and desires.

    I have personally known Sheriff Gualtieri for 33 years. And, no, we don’t agree on much these days. As a matter of FACT, I supported former Sheriff EVERETT RICE in the 2012 election cycle. So you can dispense with the perceived nepotism thinking that I “drink the Gualtieri “Kool Aid””!

    This is an abomination and personal assault on a just and decent man. Comments calling for Governor Scott to dismiss Gualtieri are execrable and made with unwarranted malice by people whom decided by a knee jerk reaction to engage their mouths before inquiring even one iota with their brains. What a bunch of juvenile hypocrites you are. For two days I’ve watched the uninformed electorate follow each other like lost sheep in their nonsensical condemnation of their Sheriff whom works tirelessly everyday protecting ALL of you.

    I’ve been retired from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for 12 1/2 years. So “I have no horse in this race”! I don’t even live in Pinellas County anymore. So again for the simple minded: Don’t play follow the leader in denouncing your Sheriff. Especially in the days of the left wing “lame street media”, you should realize just how jaded and corrupt the free press has become. Just because they have the freedom to write/blog in a manner unbeholden to no one, doesn’t make it accurate, fair nor true. It’s so hideous to suggest that Bob Gualtieri, who’s worked with absolute distinction in Law Enforcement since 1982, and who was one of the most sought after detectives in the country before going to Law School, would engage in nefarious behavior, defies any and all logical argument or meaningful debate.

    And, while Sheriff Gualtieri and I have serious differences of “opinion”, I’m never going to let this asinine rhetoric stand without proper rebuke. He’s also an Officer of the Court, sworn to uphold the very Constitution this “blogger” wrongfully accuses him of insidiously trying to discard. This “blog is filled with impropriety and is without ANY MERIT.

    I would adamantly advise anyone of you who still believe any of the feckless information published in this “article”, to re-consider your assumptions. You have a Sheriff who’s more dedicated to “doing the right thing” than you’ll ever realize. And, if you still have questions or concerns, simply make an appointment to see your Sheriff and intelligently voice your concerns to him. At least extend the Sheriff that courtesey. He never asks you for anything. But I would humbly suggest you speak with Bob Gualtieri before condemning the man whose dedicated police officers provide selfless service to you each and every day. Be just be a bit pragmatic in your thinking before jumping “off the deep end” and joining others in thir obtuse hyperbole. Bob Gualtieri certainly doesn’t need anyone (including me) to tell him how to be effective and efficient. Your Sheriff has vehemently worked to justly earn your respect. Now it’s your turn to be reasonable.

    • Look, YOU say how WRONG our take is on this guy…..You chastise us for jumping to conclusions and being gullible to the leftist media. You personally vouch for this man’s integrity.
      HOWEVER, not anywhere in your writings did I see you DEFEND HIS WORDS, or try to clarify his sentiments.
      So he works 16 hour days, 7 days a week….. WHO CARES about the hours he puts in if he’s using that time to ADVOCATE the bogus positions he espouses… Are you saying that the quotes and words attributed to him are FALSE? Did the media make up those words, create them out of thin air and unjustly tie them around his neck? Did he NOT utter those words? Are they not HIS words?
      If they ARE indeed his words, then i’m sorry….. But your friend needs to go. Creating an antagonistic environment between law enforcement and the citizenry they serve was a bonehead move in the extreme. Many LEGAL gun owners can NO LONGER view their county deputies with complete confidence and trust. He UNDERMINED that!
      Look, don’t get me wrong…. I’m as staunch a 2A advocate as they come. But I have some serious reservations about open carry. Perhaps it’s a protected right, but I question the wisdom of those that undertake it in MOST scenarios. It is overly and unnecessarily provocative in the extreme. There is NO advantage to be gained by scaring the p*ss out of soccer moms…. Especially when they have young children in tow… That does NOT win converts to the cause.
      I’ve seen open carriers clear out restaurants and businesses with lightning speed! I remember one cat, on a family reunion in Williamsburg, VA, come into a Cici’s pizza restaurant with a big old .45 swinging from his hip. Kinda grungy looking, dirty baseball hat on, worn holster. You should have SEEN the exodus OUT of there in record time.
      Another fellow here in NW Georgia had a shoulder holster on with no jacket covering it, standing in line at McDonald’s awhile back. Now, said holster was the kind where the pistol rested HORIZONTALLY into the holster, NOT the kind where the barrel is pointing downward. SO, basically, the barrel sticking OUT of the end of that open holster WAS POINTING at everyone in line BEHIND HIM! Cleared the line out in a REAL hurry…..
      There was a cop eating his lunch in there at the time, who engaged the fellow, and the guy had the nerve to get belligerent! The cop called for backup on his radio, and had to threaten the guy to go outside immediately, or face arrest, or worse if he wanted to make an incident of it….
      Some of these open carry advocates are quite counter-productive to the pro-gun movement. Again, wisdom is not always engaged in terms of public perception. And let’s face it… REALITY DOESN’T MATTER. Because perception is more important than reality, especially with a subject as publicly touchy as open carry…..
      Just because someone has the RIGHT to do something, doesn’t mean they SHOULD do something.

      • Sir,
        Just a token response to your treatise: I retired from Law Enforcement after 27 years. I’ve lived in many different states and cities. I now live in the Arizona mountains under the very laws you disagree with.

        We have no licensing requirements to carry a firearm concealed or not, long gun or sidearm.
        We are given great freedom with firearms, with severe penalties included for misuse.

        According to FBI statistics as of 2014, some 95% of all violent crimes are committed by gangs and cartel members, primarily in our large cities. The remaining 5% of these crimes are so rare BECAUSE nearly everyone is armed.

        Early in my career I was refueling a marked cruiser when a citizen from New Jersey told me about a nearby pickup with “assault weapons” in it. I turned to look and saw a .22 bolt rifle and a pump shotgun in the window rack. When I turned back I said, “He is just a local farmer, don’t worry.”

        The citizen was shocked at my apparent lack of concern. I explained that that farmer would come voluntarily to my aid if I needed it, and no, I didn’t feel threatened.

        Very few violent criminals would advertise their intentions by carrying openly. So, no, I don’t feel threatened.

      • In reply to AK Johnny1

        In referring to legal open carry, you said: “Just because someone has a right to do something doesn’t mean they should”.

        Here is why you are wrong on that.

        The short answer:… A right not exercised is a right lost.

        The longer more inclusive answer:… Law follows culture. Whenever a culture becomes used to NOT seeing its citizens exercising their creator given UNalienable 2nd amendment right to bear arms, naturally it is a culture shock to people like “soccer moms” and others who do not care about the constitutional right to BEAR (on or about one’s person) arms. So that when enough “soccer moms” and anti 2nd amendment activists lobby their legislators, UNconstitutional state laws are passed that violate our 2nd amendment. Now how and why did that happen? Simple. Because those “soccer moms” and anti gunners all their lives grew up in a culture that indeed DID have the constitutional right to bear arms…..but citizens did not exercise that right, and thus anti gun individuals grew up never seeing other citizens openly carrying arms like they used to over 100 years ago. So it became the established societal norm for them all their lives to not see a citizen openly carrying arms in public. So then when a citizen DOES exercise their right to bear arms for example in Florida where it IS legal under state law to open carry while fishing, hiking, camping or at a shooting range or going to, engaging in, or returning from any of those activities (Fl statute 790), it is a culture shock to them and their hair catches on fire and their panties get in a wad and they need to go to their sissy “safe space”….which of course is to lobby against that open carry and to get unconstitutional state laws passed to infringe upon that constitutional right. All of which proves that whenever the people of a culture do not exercise their rights, those rights become forgotten by some citizens and it becomes the societal norm for those rights to not be exercised and then when they ARE exercised, it is a culture shock to those who do not understand those rights nor care about them and since law follows culture, once that culture become acclimated to non one (or few) openly carrying arms, it is not long before unconstitutional state laws are passed that reflects the societal norm of that culture.

        Thus disproving your statement of: “Just because someone has a right to do something doesn’t mean they should”.

        The exact opposite is true if they want to retain that right, otherwise the culture and society will become used to that right not being exercised so that when it is, the person exercising that right will appear to the uninformed to be a dangerous threat, even though they aren’t. All because that society was not used to seeing that over a long period of time and became used to not seeing it all their lives.

    • Hmmmmm…….”I’ve been retired from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for 12 1/2 years. So “I have no horse in this race”! I don’t even live in Pinellas County anymore.”

      Being a retired member of the PCSO does not conjure up feelings of neutrality.

    • So you’re his mouthpiece then? ANYONE who supports restrictions like that needs to go away! Thank god we don’t have fuc%tards like him in Louisiana!!

  77. Pingback: Florida Open Carry Gains Momentum

  78. Pingback: Florida Open Carry Gains Momentum | Freedom Newz

  79. “A county sheriff who’s threatening to shoot his constituents for exercising their Second Amendment rights is a worrisome situation, one which I hope gets whispered into the ear of Gov. Rick Scott.” Don’t hold your breath for that to make a difference. Scott is the reason Gualtieri is sheriff. Gualtieri’s predecessor, Coats, tired a couple of tactics to quit early and have Scott appoint Gualtieri as his replacement. Since both men served on Scott’s transition team when he became governor, who do you think got the job. It also doesn’t bother Scott one bit that Gualtieri hired Coats to lobby for the department a few months later, even though Florida law requires a two year wait. And the other strange thing about that lobbying position? It would have Coats spending time in Tally. The reason he said he quit his job was to stay home with his cancer stricken wife. That was the second reason he gave after an unsuccessful honest approach a few months prior, saying he wanted to quit early and ask Scott to appoint Gualtieri so that G would be in a strong position come election time. Nope, I don’t think Dick gives a rat’s patootie who the sheriff wants to shoot.

  80. Here is a “What If” for the sheriff-
    What if a man walked into a bank intending to rob it and every one of the 20 people inside the bank had a weapon on their hip in clear view?

  81. Pingback: Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's out of context quotes lead to misinterpretation and harsh responses - Florida Politics

  82. Pingback: Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's out of context quotes lead to misinterpretation and harsh responses - SaintPetersBlog

  83. Reality Seeker on

    Bob Gualtieri is another one of those goons who thinks the only people who should carry guns are people like him. The rest of us should be disarmed.

    Somebody needs to give that ignorant fool his walking papers, because he doesn’t seem to understand that the Second Amendment applies to each and every citizen. And if any cop doesn’t like working among a well armed citizenry, then they should find another line of work. Get the f*ck off of the peace force, you control freaks, and let real peace offers take your place.

  84. Bob Gualtieri should do some reading before making statements about throwing people on the ground or worse before he and his deputies are sued or worse. Here is a place to start Bob “Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306” don’t start there much is available to you and I recommend you read it. You may have lost touch with these things since you haven’t been a practicing attorney in some time.

  85. He said, “he’s going to take one in the chest because he’s a threat”, does he mean from the Robber or the Sheriff? Very misleading, ya think? I support the 2nd amendment.

    • Someone should inform the illiterate Sherriff that he should obey the law. One of those laws allows a CHL carrier to defend themselves from LEO who are attempting to put one in their chest.

      These kind of idiots will be the first ones buried when they do finally muster the courage to come after us.

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

  87. Its time the good sheriff was trained in his duties as an elected servant of the citizenry. As such he is required to uphold and obey all laws whether he likes them or not. His open public threat, which was exactly his intention whether veiled or not, of shooting law abiding citizens for lawful open carry if passed is criminal to begin with. His deputies who choose to follow such criminal instructions should be arrested and charged with felony 1 murder.
    Wilfully vioolating his oath of office should have some legal recourse as well.

    Quisling, lawbreaker, traitor.. time to find a new sheriff of American heritage.
    Yank

    • Home address?
      Phones?
      Wife and kids names?
      Where does she work?
      Where do they go to school?
      Cars they drive?

      They know this about you.

    • I’m afraid this man has mental health issues. He will kill without reason. I feel he should be fired and restricted from owning firearms for the rest of his life.

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  92. Ljn. YOU and others like YOU make me sick!!!! Go live in France, where citizens CANNOT carry guns! As you saw that worked soooooowell for them!!!!! Drink the Koolaid, watch MSLSD (MSNBC) some more, and enjoy that nice warm sand that surrounds your thick head!!!!!!

  93. I hope the man walking out of the store with a concealed weapon and cup of coffee is an undercover cop, FBI, off duty cop or Under cover DEA or ATF.

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