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Politics

Florida Carry Takes Norman Open Carry Case to U.S. Supreme Court

July 10, 2017 - 2:00pm

A Florida gun group has filed an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case dealing with how Florida regulates open carry for weapons and firearms. 

On Monday, Florida Carry Inc. filed an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dale Norman vs. Florida case, a case revolving around how Florida regulates concealed weapons permit holders and the accidental brandishing of firearms. 

It all started in 2012 when Dale Norman was found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor after his firearm accidentally became exposed outside of his house. 

Norman was walking down the street in Fort Pierce carrying his handgun, which was not covered by his clothing. When a passerby saw the gun, the police were called and Norman was arrested

A lower court found Norman guilty of violating the state’s open carry ban, even though Norman had a concealed weapons permit for his handgun.

The court slapped Norman with a $300 fine and court costs, but the legal challenges didn’t end there.

Norman alleged state lawmakers were wrong in banning open carry because it requires people looking to defend themselves to first get a concealed weapons permit if they ever want to protect themselves while outside the four walls of their homes. 

The state, on the other hand, believes that if open carry were to be legal, legislators would have already passed a bill allowing it. 

The Norman case weaved its way through the court system until it was ultimately heard by the Florida Supreme Court last year, which backed the state in the appeal. 

Now, Florida Carry and Norman are taking the case all the way to the nation’s highest court, alleging Florida has erred in its 30-year open carry ban.

Florida Carry says the ban on open carry goes against the spirit of America, which typically tends to support the right to bear arms. 

“Traditionally this Court and the State courts have viewed the right to bear arms as categorically protecting the carrying of firearms openly,” the group wrote. “Florida and the other four States that generally ban open carry are outliers in conflict with American traditions.”

The case gathered the support of pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association, which quickly hopped onboard in supporting Norman and Florida Carry in the appeals process.

"Mr. Norman is a law-abiding citizen who has a concealed weapons license and was exercising his constitutional right," NRA lobbyist and past president Marion Hammer told Sunshine State News. "Mr. Norman is being treated like a criminal because his shirt came up and his firearm was accidentally exposed to the sight of another person."

Florida is one of five states to have an outright ban on open carry, though Republican lawmakers have attempted to pass bills permitting open carry for concealed weapons permit holders for years in the Florida Legislature. 

Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, filed a similar measure this year, but the legislation was never heard on the Senate floor. 

“The Norman case is one of a litany of cases [that influenced my bill], but the way the court has defined [the law in that case] necessitated the bill we filed,” Steube told Sunshine State News Monday. 

Steube told SSN he didn’t understand the court’s rationale in charging CCW permit holders for accidentally revealing their firearms.

“Law abiding citizens who have a valid concealed carry permit shouldn’t be charged with unintentionally displaying their firearms,” he said. “It’s absurd to think somebody who has a legal permit gets arrested for violating open carry and that’s how the Supreme Court is going to file the case against the statute.”

Steube said he plans to bring back the measure up for consideration next year. 

“Everybody agreed it was an issue that needed to be addressed,” he said. 

Florida Carry said Florida Supreme Court justices didn’t fully analyze the open carry ban, alleging the state did not execute the highest and most stringent legal review in assessing the ban: the strict scrutiny test.

“If a standard of scrutiny is applied to the ban on open bearing of arms, it should be strict scrutiny,” Florida Carry wrote. “Florida’s ban does not even pass intermediate scrutiny, and the lower court did not even purport to rely on evidence that it does.”

To view the brief, click here. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.

Comments

Recind all CCW permits because only the police should walk amongst us with guns. Nationwide there are 16,000,000 CCW holders but only about 1,000,000 Police Officers; something is very wrong with this picture.

There is absolutely no logic in what you have said. Take away all cars from the public because there are 100 million citizens with cars and only 1Million police officers with cars. What? how about take away all guns from criminals? I am good with that.

Ah of course. 1 million police officers can protect nearly 400 million. Ummm try again...

“Traditionally this Court and the State courts have viewed the right to bear arms as categorically protecting the carrying of firearms openly,” the group wrote. “Florida and the other four States that generally ban open carry are outliers in conflict with American traditions.” Being an outlier is hardly worthy of a SCOTUS review. Our state constitution gives the manner of bearing arms to the legislature's determination. This is sovereign state law. It sucks, but until changed by the people of Florida, there is no need to run to the federal government as the liberty referee. They violate the federal prohibitions on RKBA in the 2A daily with FFLs NICS ATF and the national firearms act. Keep this in Florida. We will sort it out and if gun people are as serious as the marijuana people (doubtful so far) the state laws will be reformed, and the federal laws nullified within our state.

It is straight BS what happened in this case. He should have never been arrested, nor charged under the law.

Why not make it that if you are a valid Concealed Carry Permit holder, you have the option to conceal or open carry? You're the one liable if anything happens anyway. So it should be upto that person anyways. You'd still have to follow all the rules set about where you can carry or not, but if you are questioned about you're firearm by police or anyone and fail to produce your card, then you can be assessed a fine. I understand that the 2nd amendment gives us the right to carry. BUT I also don't have an issue with having to get your CCP to carry.

Since the bearing of arms is a right, not a licensed privilege, for what other rights would you okay with a license requirement? Free speech? Voting?

Hi

US Supreme Court Justices have expressed bewilderment as to why lawyers file so many cert petitions which argue that the petition should be granted because the lower court was wrong, which the Supreme Court rules say is not a reason for granting a cert petition, instead of arguing that the lower court issued a decision which conflicts with other Federal courts or which conflicts with decisions regarding Federal law issued by state courts of last resort and why SCOTUS must resolve the split(s). There are two stages in a case before the US Supreme Court. The first stage is known as the Petition Stage. This is the stage where the cert petition makes the argument as to why the Supreme Court should grant its petition. If the petition is not granted then the case never makes it to stage two. Stage Two is the Merits Stage. This is where one’s argument focuses on why the court below got the law wrong. The “cert petition” filed in this case would have made for a fine Amicus brief on the merits. But that is exactly the wrong kind of brief to file at this stage of the proceedings. The Florida Supreme Court in Norman v. State created a #SCOTUS Rule 10 split with every #2A case decided. The cert petition doesn't mention even one split. Cert petitions can also be granted under Rule 10(c) but, you guessed it, the petition does not argue that it should be granted pursuant to that rule.

I'm sure Dr. Halbrook knows what he's doing, since it's not his debut in the Court.

People who let others do their thinking for them should likewise abstain from expressing their views. US Supreme Court Rule 10 plainly states what is expected from a cert petition. I suggest that you read Rule 10 and then ask yourself where in his cert petition does he argue that the petition should be granted to resolve a split? Where does he argue that this is a case of national importance? The answer to both questions is nowhere does he make those arguments.

Good luck getting the Supreme Court to accept certiorari.

Antires Flores a RINO back doored us she ran with NRA support then f'd us and let all the bills die in committee she is a real C WORD

What she did was hypocritically jumped on the Pulse bandwagon. Pulse shooting was June 12, 2016. Flores writes Marion Hammer on July 6 to affirm her support of 2A rights. https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2017/03/robert-farago/florida-republican-gun-rights-turncoat-flores-motivation-revealed/

I thought Rick Scott signed into law that an accidental brandishing by a CCW holder is NOT illegal. No?

The law signed by Scott used the term "brief exposure", without defining "brief". Therefore it can be 5 seconds or 5 minutes or whatever the arresting officer decides.

"...an issue that needs to be addressed..." (Inadvertent exposure of a "Concealed Carry firearm") [Especially here, where Florida's 'T-shirt weather" could make EVERY CC Permit holder a potential "criminal" at one point or another.]

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