Florida Carry Inc. recently sued the Miami Beach Police for the heavy-handed way officers confronted their members who were lawfully fishing while openly carrying handguns.
Click here to read the story.
Florida law only allows the open carry of handguns under very limited circumstances, such as hunting, fishing and a few more.
Personally, I was fine with that.
Tactically, I’ve never thought much of the practice.
As one friend is fond of saying, your concealed handgun is your ace in the hole, so why would you want to show your hole card?
When I was a cop, I was constantly aware that the exposed gun on my hip was a target for the crazed and the crazy, which is why weapon retention skills were paramount.
Open carriers, I thought, were just looking for a confrontation. It was more of a stunt than a reliable tactical option, I believed.
For me, this all changed last March, when former Florida Governor Rick Scott — now our U.S. Senator — signed into law the most sweeping and comprehensive gun control bill in the history of the state.
From a Second Amendment perspective, Scott’s bill was chock-full of badness: It barred all those under 21 from purchasing firearms, imposed a three-day waiting period and it introduced unconstitutional Red Flag laws into our beloved Gunshine state.
Prior to signing this bill, Scott had been the most pro-gun governor we had ever seen. He signed more pro-gun legislation in his first term than any other governor did in two.
How did this happen? Why did he flip? While we’re still trying to figure out, conventional wisdom says Scott signed the bill because he was worried about pressure — from both the public and the media.
After all, those who would strip us of our Second Amendment rights held marches and rallies while we remained mostly silent.
The gun community quietly shifted from offense to defense.
I hate playing defense.
In my humble opinion, it’s time for gun owners to come out of our gun rooms and engage in some activism and civil disobedience of our own.
Our rights are under assault on several fronts. Bumpstocks are just the beginning. The ban will become the template for stripping us of much more, since their goal has always been semi-autos, along with standard-capacity magazines.
Therefore, we need to reinforce that we too are watching the goings on in Tallahassee a D.C., and it will likely take a few headlines and lawsuits to prove our point.
If this involves more rallies and marches, so be it.
If it involves a few highly motivated individuals openly carrying handguns while dangling lines on the end of a public fishing pier, good on ’em!
Bring on the confrontations, and kudos to the armed fishermen.