TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – A nationwide debate is underway on whether gun control laws should be strengthened in the wake of the mass shooting in Arizona in which six people were killed and U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was critically injured.

But one Florida senator has proposed loosening the state’s current gun law by allowing licensed gun owners to openly wear their handguns in public view.

The proposal was made last December by Senator Greg Evers, R-Crestview.  Senate bill 234 would make openly wearing firearms legal in Florida for the first time in decades.  Under Evers proposal any licensed gun owner over the age of 21 would also be allowed to “open carry” their firearm on public university and college campuses, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Its an issue that even divides those at the Patriots Gun Club in Homestead. “Personally I am for it,” said Matthew Oakey, a firearms instructor and NRA recruiter. “My point of view is to let the bad guy know that I’m a good guy and I’m carrying legally, They can see it.”

Jorge Coronado supports others right to carry their guns out in the open, but he said it’s not a practice he would like to do. Even though he carries his gun with him every where he goes, everyday. “I would not want to carry a weapon openly,” said Coronado. “It kinda makes you a target to some people. If somebody wants to do some harm to you and they carry a gun.”

Evers said not only would it be a crime deterrent but people who have concealed weapons permits would not be punished if their guns are accidentally exposed.

Currently 43 states have “open carry” laws which do play limitations on where a weapon can be worn; schools and such are off-limits, according to the website opencarry.org. Florida makes the list of seven states which prohibit “open carry” except in circumstances where the gun owner is going to directly to or from target shooting, hunting or camping excursions.

The Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has firmly opposed the bill. South Florida spokeswoman Dana Sanchez said if the bill passes, legal firearms could easily be taken during robberies.

“To me its ridiculous that in the 21st century we’re returning to going to fear mongering because i have this gun at the side of my holster my hip,” said Sanchez.  “You need to respect me and don’t cross me. We should be further along in human relations.”

But Oakey said most holsters have several security locks that would prevent a gun from being quickly jacked from its owner.

Florida is not the only state debating “open carry” legislation. Brian Malte, with the Brady Center, said Texas is also considering a bill that would allow it and in California, where there is no law on the books for or against it, a bill was introduced earlier this year to ban it.

Source: The Palm Beach Post

Comments (9)
  1. BanditZeroThree says:

    Say what you like but open carry would sure make for a very polite society.

    1. Michael Weatherly Jr says:

      Amen B03

      1. L.Miller says:

        Yes it does, I’ve lived in Montana where most have rifles openly displayed and carry handguns on the dame hip as their knives.
        The difference is in attitude. They understand that guns are serious business, not to taken lightly. It seems to lead to mutual respect for citizzens who carry. I’ve got one, you’ve got one, we respect the gun and each other.
        The chldren are raised to respect the weapon, it’s the rule, not the exception. It’s normal and part of life.

  2. Buz Bowen says:

    The only reason I wouldwant this law to pass is so I may carry my weapon anywhere consealed and be legal. Do you thing the that scum bag in AZ or anywhere else cares or cares about gun control laws? If you think they do you need to have a lobotomy your already brain dead why not do it right. I do not want the bad guy knowing I am armed, Why? because he will see my weapon and I’ll be the first guy he shoots.I want the element of surprise.

    1. Perez says:

      I concur with your opinion. Either way, I carry my gun everywhere I go. If the law is concealed carry in FL, let it be. Is there a NEED to open carry? NO. If your argument is that it makes society a more polite society, you need some anger management courses and should leave your gun at home. Why do you carry in the first place? For self defense? or to make a statement? People like this are the exact reason the government attacks the right to carry, and the 2nd Amendment. They are fanatics.

      For example, most people are not against homosexuals per say, but most ARE against homosexuals waving around rainbow colored flags everywhere they go and making out in public. They same stands with carrying a firearm. They more you stir feces, the more it smells. Like I said, I carry my gun everyday everywhere I go. Do I NEED to open carry, NO. WHY? I dont NEED to make a point and tell everyone I am carrying.

  3. danpass says:

    I’m all for having options

  4. C. oakey says:

    how could someone be a “target” when you are wearing a “deterrent”???

  5. J. Coronado says:

    I am Jorge Coronado, Firearms Instructor and also appeared on this report. My comment about “becoming a target” is shared by 98% of the patriots gun club in homestead where they filmed this interview. If you read the online story, it clearly states I am NOT against open carry, and it is only a method of carry I will not practice. This is nothing but my own subjective opinion, which CBS 4 omitted. I beg to differ with your opinion as a firearm arm being a “deterrent”. That mentality is what will get you killed with your own weapon. As there are reports of police officers being killed with there own firearms, in full uniform, for no apparent reason. If you feel you have the need to display your weapon in order to gain leverage in some sort of dispute, whether it be physical or verbal, you need to leave your firearm at home. The notion of carrying a gun and it “DETERRING” crime or violence is extrapolated. When you display your protection, you are letting criminals know you are armed, some care, and some dont, and those who dont will either tell you to drop your weapon or take it themselves at gunpoint; they got the drop on you. An action is always faster than a reaction. Therefore you are left unarmed and at the gunman’s mercy. While concealed, the gunman does NOT know if you are armed or not, he is focusing on one thing, your wallet, or watch, whatever item he has in mind, therefore he is more at ease, thinking he has the advantage. At that point, you have the option, engage, or give them the wallet.

    In the end, opinions are all subjective, and I will continue to believe that openly carrying displays your protection to all who care, and those who do not. I do not want to be the one standing in line at a gas station when a crack addict comes in and tries to rob the clerk and I am the only person in there with a gun on my hip, thinking that my Glock is going to scare the gunman into running away. The reality of the matter in that particular scenario would be, you are the only thing standing in between a crack addict and his $2 fix. What are you options now?

    C. Oakey, that is how someone becomes a target.

  6. Noel Temple says:

    The 2nd amendment as our fore fathers wrote is still in effect. The major exception is the people who sell illegal and buy illegal. Stop that federal government and all the other BS will subside.

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