HB 163 (Open Carry) and HB 4001 (Campus Carry) could be voted on the floor by the full House this week. HB 163 and HB 4001 have cleared all their committee stops and they are both on the “Special Order” calendar for Tuesday February 2nd. Special Order means HB 163 and HB 4001 will have their second reading and then will be rolled over to third reading and the final vote for both bills could happen later this week.
HB 163 provides that a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm or weapon may also openly carry such firearm or weapon. 45 states allow “Open Carry”, Florida is one of only five states that prohibit open carry: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina. It is time for Florida to separate from New York, California and Illinois and join the rest of the country to recognize our natural right to defend ourselves and that bearing Arms is a right that cannot be infringed upon in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
Open Carry creates more of a deterrent to criminals, just carrying a concealed weapon does not alert a criminal that you have a firearm. Many studies report criminals will avoid an armed person or home when selecting a victim. According to the Department of Justice 2012 report; Murder rates are 5% higher in non-open carry states, Aggravated assault rates are 23% higher in non-open carry states, Violent crime rates are 23% higher in non-open carry states and Robbery rates are 36% higher in non-open carry states.
HB 4001 will repeal the law that prohibits citizens with a concealed weapons permit from carrying their weapon on Florida Campuses. Our Colleges and Universities are now "Gun Free Zones" and there is no one entry point with metal detectors and armed guards performing pat-downs and bag inspections. Colleges cannot guarantee safety and should not deprive people of the ability to protect themselves. Despite unproven claims from the anti-gun rights groups, eight States have “Campus Carry” including Utah for the last ten years and Utah University officials report no improper incidents on campus in that 10 year time period.
CALL TO ACTION
The anti-gun crowd will be applying heavy pressure on legislators to stop this bill. We need you to make phone calls and e-mails to ensure that legislators understand that bearing Arms is a right that cannot be infringed upon in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
Call and e-mail your state Representative today! CLICK HERE TO FIND THE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR YOUR REPRESENTATIVE