Since 2010 Florida Carry members have been going fishing and lawfully carrying unconcealed handguns in Florida. There has NEVER been a real problem until now.
Open Carry is completely legal while fishing in Florida.
On June 13th, 2015 one of our members, George Freeman, was detained for over an hour after a Tampa Police Officer unsuccessfully attempted sneak up behind him while fishing and grab his holstered handgun. George turned immediately when he felt an unknown person grab for his gun while reaching for a concealed backup gun. As soon as he saw the uniformed officer George stopped before he drew his backup and did not resist the seizure of his handguns. He also presented his valid Florida Concealed Carry License to the officer.
This extremely dangerous and uncalled-for move by the police officer to seize George’s legal handgun didn’t end once the officer found out that Mr. Freeman was not doing anything wrong. After detaining our member for over an hour the police realized that they could not find any crime to charge him with. So they issued him an order, a trespass notice that prevents him from going to the public pier at Ballast Point for one year.
George Freeman was NOT breaking any law but he was banned from the city pier for exercising his Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms.
This happened at the same park that we have often used as a venue for our MONTHLY Open Carry Fishing Events since 2010 with the full knowledge of the City of Tampa and prior coordination with the City Attorney and the Police Department.
The Tampa Police also questioned Mr. Freeman in an attempt to determine the identities of our other members. A clear violation of their First Amendment Right to Associational Privacy and Right of Peaceful Assembly.
The State Florida preempts local firearms related policies, trespassing lawful gun owners from public property is against the law. It was also a violation of George’s constitutional rights.
This will not go unanswered. We have filed a lawsuit against Tampa to enforce Florida’s Firearms Preemption Law, the Constitutionally Protected Rights of our members, and to have Mr. Freeman’s trespass order, search, and seizure ruled illegal.
Please help us defend the right to bear arms in court once again.
Florida Carry is a Not-For-Profit Corporation incorporated in Florida. 501(c)(4) status has been applied for, membership dues are not deductible for tax purposes.
Docket Overview: Lower Court Case Number: 15-CA-005830
Lower Court Filings:
5/2/2014 Plaintiffs' Complaint
“We’re happy to partner with Florida Carry on this legal action,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This is not the first time we have had to take a city to court for violating a state preemption law. Why municipal governments still don’t understand the concept of preemption is a mystery to us”
“Clearly,” Gottlieb observed, “Tallahassee has way over-stepped its authority under state preemption. The Florida Legislature has exclusive domain over firearms regulation. When the law was passed, it nullified all existing, and future, city and county firearm ordinances and regulations.
“Mayor Marks and his colleagues on the city commission knew all of this,” he added, “but they rejected an opportunity to bring the city into compliance in February. Their stubbornness really left us no choice but to join Florida Carry in this action.”
Named as defendants in the Tallahassee case are Mayor John Marks, and City Commissioners Nancy Miller, Andrew Gillum, and Gil Ziffer. SAF and Florida Carry are represented by Jacksonville attorneys Lesley McKinney with McKinney, Wilkes & Mee, and Florida Carry General Counsel Eric J. Friday with Fletcher & Phillips.
Docket Overview: Lower Court Case Number: 37-2014-CA-001168
Leon County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Lower Court Filings:
5/2/2014 Plaintiffs' Complaint
8/4/2014 Defendants' Answer
Florida Carry files lawsuit against Broward County for blatant violations of Florida’s law that preempts local gun control.
“Since 2011, Florida Carry has prompted the repeal of anti-gun ordinances and regulations in over 200 Florida jurisdictions, including municipalities, counties, colleges and state agencies,” noted Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna. “Usually the jurisdiction is responsive to our notification that there is a problem and no lawsuit is necessary. It is a rare and unfortunate circumstance when local government leaders decide to willfully break state law, despite the personal penalties. When local officials are willing to knowingly violate the law in order to suppress the rights of law-abiding gun owners, they can expect that we’re going to make them pay for it.”
Broward County has ignored repeated attempts since 2011 by Florida Carry to gain its compliance with state law and left us with no choice but to file this case. When local officials refuse to stop breaking the law in order to deny the rights of Floridians, Florida Carry will act to demand that people’s rights be protected.
Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry is also named as a defendant in the case. Florida Carry is represented by Miami attorneys Michael T. Davis and Benedict P. Kuehne of The Law Offices of Benedict P. Kuehne, P.A. and Florida Carry General Counsel Eric J. Friday with Fletcher & Phillips of Jacksonville.
Docket Overview: Lower Court Case Number: 06-2014-CA-008532
Broward County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Lower Court Filings:
5/2/2014 Plaintiffs' Complaint
Florida Supreme Court to Decide if People who act in Self-Defense will continue to be "Guilty Until Proven Innocent".
Because, as observed in Judge Schumann's thoughtful concurring opinion, the burden of proof issue was not the primary focus of the Dennis opinion, we certify the following question for consideration by the Florida Supreme Court:
ONCE THE DEFENSE SATISFIES THE INITIAL BURDEN OF RAISING THE ISSUE, DOES THE STATE HAVE THE BURDEN OF DISPROVING A DEFENDANT’S ENTITLEMENT TO SELF-DEFENSE IMMUNITY AT A PRETRIAL HEARING AS IT DOES AT TRIAL?
Florida Supreme Court Case Number: SC13-2312
|12/09/2013||ACKNOWLEDGMENT LETTER-NEW CASE||Supreme Court Florida FSC BY: Supreme Court Florida FSC|
|04/15/2014||ORDER-JURIS ACCEPT/BRIEF SCHED (OA LATER DATE)||Supreme Court Florida FSC BY: Supreme Court Florida FSC||The Court accepts jurisdiction of this case. Oral argument will be set by separate order. Counsel for the parties will be notified of the oral argument date approximately sixty days prior to oral argument. Petitioner's initial brief on the merits shall be served on or before May 12, 2014; respondent's answer brief on the merits shall be served twenty days after service of petitioner's initial brief on the merits; and petitioner's reply brief on the merits shall be served twenty days after service of respondent's answer brief on the merits. The Clerk of the Fifth District Court of Appeal shall file the record which shall be properly indexed and paginated on or before June 16, 2014. The record shall include the briefs filed in the district court separately indexed. The Clerk may provide the record in the format as currently maintained at the district court, either paper or electronic. If an electronic record, the Clerk of the Fifth District Court of Appeal should contact the Clerk of this Court for instructions on transmittal of the electronic record.|
|05/02/2014||MOTION-EXT OF TIME (INITIAL BRIEF-MERITS)||PT Jared Bretherick BY: PT Eric J. Friday 797901|
|05/06/2014||ORDER-EXT OF TIME GR (INITIAL BRIEF-MERITS)||Petitioner's motion for extension of time is granted and petitioner is allowed to and including June 11, 2014, in which to serve the initial brief on the merits. NO FURTHER EXTENSIONS OF TIME WILL BE GRANTED TO PETITIONER FOR THE FILING OF THE INITIAL BRIEF ON THE MERITS. All other times will be extended accordingly.|
|05/22/2014||RECORD/TRANSCRIPT||Hon. Pamela R. Masters, Clerk D5 BY: Hon. Pamela R. Masters, Clerk D5||Multiple|
|06/11/2014||INITIAL BRIEF-MERITS||PT Jared Bretherick BY: PT Eric J. Friday 797901|
|06/17/2014||MOTION-AMICUS CURIAE||MP National Rifle Association Of America NRA BY: MP John C. Frazer 109993||FILED AS MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMICUS BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANT BY NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA|
|06/20/2014||ORDER-AMICUS CURIAE GR||The motion for leave to file brief as amicus curiae filed by National Rifle Association of America is hereby granted and they are allowed to file brief only in support of petitioner. The brief by the above referenced amicus curiae shall be served pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.370(c).|
|06/23/2014||MOTION-AMICUS CURIAE||MP Florida Carry, Inc. BY: MP Lesley Mckinney 67976||FILED AS FLORIDA CARRY, INC'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF|
|06/23/2014||AMICUS CURIAE FLORIDA CARRY BRIEF-MERITS||MP Florida Carry, Inc. BY: MP Lesley Mckinney 67976|
|06/23/2014||AMICUS CURIAE NRA BRIEF-MERITS||MP National Rifle Association Of America NRA BY: MP John C. Frazer 109993||BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANT|
|06/30/2014||ORDER-AMICUS CURIAE GR||The motion for leave to file brief as amicus curiae filed by Florida Carry, Inc. is hereby granted and they are allowed to file brief only in support of petitioner. The brief by the above referenced amicus curiae was filed with this Court on June 23, 2014.|
|07/03/2014||MOTION-TOLL TIME||WITH MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME (30 Days)|
|09/23/2014||Order Setting Oral||The Court previously accepted jurisdiction. The Court will hear oral argument at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, December 2, 2014. A maximum of twenty minutes to the side is allowed for the argument, but counsel is expected to use only so much of that time as is necessary. NO CONTINUANCES WILL BE GRANTED EXCEPT UPON A SHOWING OF EXTREME HARDSHIP.|
Florida Carry sues the University of Florida for illegal ban on guns and other defensive weapons in cars and homes
On January 10th, 2014 Florida Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the University Florida (UF), seeking a permanent injunction to protect the rights of students, faculty, and the public from the university's illegal and unconstitutional regulations prohibiting firearms and weapons on all university property. Since 1987 the Florida Legislature has preempted firearms law and issued state-wide licenses to carry for self-defense. In December Florida Carry won a similar case against the University of North Florida (UNF). In Florida Carry v. UNF the First District Court of Appeal ruled that "The legislature’s primacy in firearms regulation derives directly from the Florida Constitution... Indeed, the legislature has reserved for itself the whole field of firearms regulation in section 790.33(1)..." No public college or university has any authority to prevent students and the public from having a functional firearm in places that are constitutionally protected or permitted under state law.
The University of Florida has failed to comply with the court's ruling by doing nothing more than adding an "Intent" footnote to one of its illegal policies. Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna reached out to UF President Bernie Machen in an attempt to avert the need for legal action. Mr. Caranna's call was returned by the university's General Counsel who refused to take our concerns about UF's illegal policies and regulations seriously and was dismissive of our plea that they work with us to craft a legal set of regulations. Florida Carry was left with no choice but to file this case.
Any public college or university which attempts to restrict the statutory and fundamental right to keep and bear arms in Florida is subject to enforcement actions by organizations such as Florida Carry. In addition to enforcing the clearly established right of students to lawfully store functional firearms in their personal vehicles on campus, Florida Carry seeks to protect the right to possess firearms and other defensive weapons in the home. In the landmark 2008 Heller case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bans on the possession of functional arms in the home are unconstitutional. Nationwide, millions of adult university faculty, students, and their families live in university owned or managed housing. The fact that state housing facilities run by Florida Universities continue to deprive law abiding adults of their fundamental right to keep and bear arms in their homes, years after the clear decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that such bans are unconstitutional, is unconscionable.
On Wednesday July 30th, 2014 Circuit Court Judge Toby S. Monaco granted motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in favor of his alma mater and granted sovereign immunity to UF President Manchen. The lower court Judge ignored the plain language of multiple Florida firearms laws, multiple binding court cases, turned to blind eye to university policies that are in continued violation, and refused to conduct any analysis of the right to keep and bear arms. This is the same failure to follow the law and uphold the fundamental right to keep and bear arms that we saw from the lower court in our case against the University of North Florida prior to winning the landmark Florida Carry v. UNF case in the 1st District Court of Appeals late last year.
As before, Florida Carry will appeal to the First District Court of Appeals in this case to protect the rights to keep and to bear arms.
Docket Overview: Lower Court Case Number: 01 2014-CA-000142
Alachua County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Lower Court Filings:
01/10/2014 - Plaintiff's Complaint
01/31/2014 - Defendants' Motion to Dismiss - Standing
02/21/2014 - Plaintiff's Amended Complaint
04/02/2014 - Defendant Manchen's Motion to Dismiss
04/02/2014 - Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgement
07/16/2014 - Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgement
07/24/2014 - Hearing on Motions
07/30/2014 - Circuit Court's Order:
08/11/2014 - Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration
08/11/2014 - Plaintiff’s Motion for Rehearing
08/13/2014 - Defendants' Response to Motions for Rehearing and Reconsideration
09/05/2014 - Circuit Court's Order Denying Rehearing/Reconsideration with Clarification
10/06/2014 - Plaintiffs' Notice of Appeal
Docket Overview: Appellate Court Case Number: 1D14-4614
Florida First District Court of Appeal Docket
Appellate Court Filings:
|10/07/2014||Lower Court Order Appealed||2 orders|
|10/07/2014||Notice of Appeal Filed||Eric J. Friday 797901|
|01/26/2015||Plaintiff’s Initial Brief||01/26/2015||Eric J. Friday 797901|
|02/24/2015||Defendants' Answer Brief||02/24/2015||Barry Richard 0105599|
|04/29/2015||Plaintiff’s Reply Brief||04/29/2015||Eric J. Friday 797901|
[W]hile section 790.25(3)(n) provides that possession of firearms in a home is a lawful use, the statute also now provides that possession of firearms on school property is not authorized. ... the Legislature made no exception in section 790.115 pertaining to university housing.
While the Legislature may choose to one day amend the current law to permit firearms in university housing, our interpretation of the pertinent statutes leads us to the conclusion that it has not yet done so.
We agree with [Florida Carry] that the trial court erred in granting the motion to dismiss on the basis of [sovereign immunity].
|Pending||Motion for Rehearing/Rehearing En Banc||11/16/2015||Eric J. Friday 797901|