Pro Tip: If you want to open carry while fishing in Florida, make sure you bring a fishing pole

Florida has very strict, and some would say very stupid, requirements for open carry.

Basically, you can only carry a handgun openly while camping, fishing, hunting or at the range — or while heading to any of these activities.

A 49-year-old Sarasota man found this out last week.

According to police reports, Sarasota officers noticed that Leif Montgomery Causey had a pistol “tucked into his underwear” inside a 7-Eleven convenience store around midnight last Wednesday.

Two officers disarmed him as he was walking out.

“I informed him that it was illegal to openly carry a weapon, and he replied that it was not illegal if you are going fishing,” SPD Officer A. Bearden wrote in his arrest report.

Causey told police he had tackle and fishing poles in his vehicle, which was parked about a mile from the convenience store.

He told officers he was being “harassed by several unknown people,” which is why he parked and walked to the store.

Police searched the area for the vehicle, but were not able to find it.

“Based on a lack of evidence supporting Causey’s claims of going fishing, I placed Causey under arrest for violation of F.S.S. 790.053, Openly Carrying a Weapon,” Officer Bearden wrote.

Causey also had an active arrest warrant accusing him of robbery, aggravated battery, possession of Fentanyl, possession of Oxycodone and possession of a firearm during a felony.

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About Author

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

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