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FL Senator Steube responds to Chuck Wildzunas, Chm VSS
Thank you for writing to Senator Steube regarding Senate Bill 140 – Openly Carrying a Handgun. This issue is something that is a point of passion for Senator Steube, as he is a strong supporter of the second amendment. He believes that every American has an inherent right to self-defense.
Every day, 1.4 million concealed carry license holders in Florida carry in malls, shopping plazas, restaurants, businesses, parks, grocery stores and the list goes on and on. Why should that right cease when you walk across an imaginary boundary onto a college campus, airport terminal or meeting of the legislature? In order to obtain a conceal carry permit in Florida you must be 21 years of age or older, completed a necessary training course and submit to an extensive background check, not have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or a history of domestic violence and not have a history of mental illness.
It is well established that mass shooters target gun free zones. In fact, the diary of the "Dark Knight" movie-theater killer, James Holmes, was finally released just a few months ago. Holmes decided not to attack an airport because of what he described in his diary as its "substantial security." Out of seven theaters showing the Batman movie premiere within 20 minutes of the suspect's apartment, only one theater banned permitted concealed handguns. That's the one he attacked.
Since at least 1950, all but two public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns. In Europe, there have been no exceptions. Every mass public shooting — and there have been plenty of mass shootings in Europe — have occurred in a gun-free zone, including the recent attacks in Paris. The shooting in San Bernardino was also a gun free zone.
So why would we want to make our colleges and universities, and other “gun free zones” in Florida targets for terrorism, murderers and rapists? Is it because licensed conceal permit holders are dangerous? Quite the contrary, in fact, after 28 years of data in Florida to prove it, licensed conceal permit holders are 10 times less likely to commit a crime than law enforcement officers. Specifically, permit holders only commit misdemeanors and felonies at a rate of .0002% annually.
In today’s world, why would we strip law-abiding, licensed and trained permit holders from defending themselves from harm, just because they happen to step onto campus, or airport terminal? There is no factual, empirical, or legitimate reason to disarm them. Defending yourself and others is one of the most fundamental rights that we as Americans enjoy, why would we take that right away when there is not a legitimate reason to deny it.
Again, thank you for joining Senator Steube in starting a proactive discussion on open carry.
Link to SB 140 – Openly Carrying A Hand Gun
As Gun Sales Continue to Set Records,
Violent Crime Hits Historic Lows
Posted on December 13, 2016 by Jenn Jacques
“There have been more guns sold since I’ve been president than just about any time in U.S. history,” Obama said in June.
Over the two consecutive terms Barack Obama has served as President, gun sales have continued to rise. Over the two consecutive terms Barack Obama has served as President, gun sales have continued to rise. That may have done more in the way of criminal justice reform than his White House meetings with hip-hop and rap stars.
Background checks have hit record numbers in the past 19 months consecutively and the total number of guns sold this year already outnumbers 2015. But the sharp increase in armed Americans could also hand Obama an unintentional achievement. Could the greatest gun salesman in American history also be credited with helping the violent crime rate to decrease 16% over the past decade?
Studies compiled from interviews of felony prisoners in 10 state correctional facilities revealed that 56 percent said that criminals would not attack a potential victim that was known to be armed. So an increase in gun owners should naturally lead to a decrease in criminals.
But has it?
According to the FBI, nearly 1.2 million violent crimes were committed in 2015, a 3.4% increase from 2014. But what most people don’t realize is that violent crime is actually at historically low numbers. The 2015 numbers are only 0.7% less than 2011, however that’s an impressive decrease of 16.5% compared to a decade ago.
In fact, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports violent crime has decreased a whopping 77% since 1993 with only 18.6 victimizations per 1,000 people (age 12 or older) compared to 79.8 victimizations 23 years ago.
24.7 million criminal background checks for gun purchases have already been processed as of November 30th – that’s 1.6 million more than were processed in all of 2015. Black Friday helped to pack a bigger bang, recording 185,713 checks processed in one day – another all-time record.
With gun sales on the rise and violent crime rates at an all-time low, think the gun control agenda will finally see for themselves that Americans being responsibly armed is a good thing?
One can only hope.
CCW Weekend: Robbery, Burglary, Theft, and Understanding when to shoot in Defense of Property
By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
One of the most often repeated adages when it comes to concealed carry and self-defense is not to shoot “in defense of mere property.” There’s more than one good reason why you shouldn’t. Bear in mind that this isn’t legal advice, so please seek qualified legal advice if you should need it.
First is an ethical reason. If you shoot at someone, that is an instance of using or attempting to use deadly force. If someone is not posing a lethal threat themselves, shooting them is attempting to kill them (or actually killing them) for doing something that’s merely offensive rather than posing grave danger.
Second is a practical reason. Shooting in defense of mere property is discouraged because it can land you in prison. Prosecutors can charge you with attempting manslaughter, or if you actually kill someone, with actual manslaughter.Granted, this depends on the law of your state and the disposition of local police and prosecuting attorneys, as some are more forgiving than others. There may be laws that allow more leeway in the case of defense of mere property. Texas, for instance, has a provision at law for applying deadly force in defense of property, though it is in limited circumstances.
But what about people who shoot armed bank robbers or people holding up convenience stores? A bank robber or convenience store robber is, after all, only looking to take property, though it would be in the form of currency.
There’s a distinction between robbery, burglary and mere theft. All three are property crimes, as they involve a person taking something that belongs to someone else without permission. It’s how the deed is done that makes the difference.
A robbery is taking something by force. The convenience store, liquor store or bank robber accomplishes the deed by pointing a gun or some other weapon at the clerk or at least implying that they have a deadly weapon and will use it if not given money or other valuables. A robbery, therefore, is a property crime but is also a violent crime.
Burglary, by contrast, is where a criminal illegally gains entrance to somewhere they would not otherwise have permission to be – say a home or a business – and takes property belonging to the legal resident. They may pose a threat to the homeowner, they also may not.
Mere theft is simply taking something known not to belong to the person who takes it. Shoplifting, of course, is theft from a retail store.
Since the laws of nearly every state allow a person to defend themselves with force against a person using force on them, interceding in a robbery or a clerk shooting an armed robber is not usually going to result in charges being filed.
Shoplifters, on the other hand, do not pose a threat per se.
Take, for instance, the case of the Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez. She was the permit-holder who fired at shoplifters fleeing an Auburn Hills, Mich., Home Depot in 2015. The story became a news item, went viral and in the meantime, she was convicted of reckless use of a handgun and stripped of her concealed carry permit.
In late November of this year, a store owner in Mobile, Ala., shot at thieves who had made off with beer from his convenience store. He hit the driver of the getaway vehicle in the shoulder. The driver and the actual thief (whom police are still searching for) are facing misdemeanor theft charges whilst Rakeshkumar Patel, the store owner, is facing two felony charges, according to Mobile NBC affiliate Local15tv.
On Dec. 12, Amy Brewer of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., heard noises outside her home. She armed herself with her .38 Special revolver and went outside to find the source of the disturbance. Two young males attempting to break in fled the residence into a neighbor’s yard, at which time she fired two shots. One was struck in the leg. Brewer called 911 and was cooperative with investigators, but because there was no imminent threat – the two men were fleeing – Brewer is now facing Assault with a Deadly Weapon charges, according to Norfolk, Va., ABC affiliate WTKR.
In these instances, a minor crime – shoplifting in the former two examples and an aborted break-in in the latter instance which would amount more to mere trespassing – was responded to with deadly force. The disparity precipitated the charges.
Burglary, on the other hand, is firmly in a gray area. Some home invasions involve a threat to a homeowner, others do not. Castle Doctrine states don’t impose a duty to retreat or de-escalate if threatened in the home, but what if you find a burglar in your home and they immediately attempt to flee? A self-defense claim can become tenuous when the “assailant” was shot in the back. People have been convicted and jailed for shooting a fleeing burglar and people have not only been exonerated, but never charged in the first place.
In short, it is not a good idea to shoot in defense of mere property, unless the threat to said property includes a threat to life and limb.
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Republican Congressmen Form the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus
Posted on December 8, 2016 by Ammoland
Republican Congressmen Form the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a group of U.S. Representatives, led by Congressman Thomas Massie, launched the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus.
“The recent election results present us with a new opportunity to advance pro-gun legislation and reverse the erosion of the Second Amendment that’s occurred over the last few decades. I look forward to working with the new President and this determined group of conservatives to promote a pro-gun agenda,” Massie stated.
“Preserving the right to keep and bear arms is essential to maintaining freedom and liberty in our country,” said former Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA), who chaired the caucus from 2009 through 2013. “I’m honored that Representative Massie will build on the foundation that I established with this caucus.”
“With so many laws disarming the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society and others who face real threats to their and their family’s safety, it is reassuring to know that the Second Amendment Caucus is there to ensure people’s safety,” said John Lott, economist and author of The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies.
“While many of us lawyers are working to secure pro-gun reforms in the courts, it’s reassuring to know that the Second Amendment Caucus is doing the same in the legislature,” said attorney Alan Gura, who successfully argued McDonald v. City of Chicago and District of Columbia v. Heller before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The following congressmen are founding members of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus:
In addition to drafting and sponsoring pro-gun legislation, members of the Second Amendment Caucus will invite firearm experts, constitutional scholars, and pro-gun groups to speak to the caucus.
Eligibility for membership in the Second Amendment Caucus will depend on a U.S. Representative’s voting record and his or her commitment to the caucus’s founding principles.
The Second Amendment Caucus, which operated from 2004 through 2008, was originally formed by former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado. In 2009 the caucus was reformed and renamed the Second Amendment Task Force by former Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia.
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