Florida Carry sues the University of Florida for illegal ban on guns and other defensive weapons in cars and homes
Friday, January 10, 2014
For Immediate Release
Gainesville FL - Florida Carry, Inc. has today 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 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 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.
Read the Complaint Here
The following is the letter we sent to Broward County this morning. An almost identical letter was sent to the City of Tallahassee. Many more of these will be going out statewide this week as we continue to pursue local government and state agency violators of the Right to Bear Arms.
Florida Carry has been made aware of multiple ordinances enacted by Broward County which continue to be promulgated in violation of Florida Statute §790.33 and/or §790.06(15) and Article I, Section 8(a) of the Florida Constitution. In order to resolve this violation of civil rights in an expedient and cooperative manner, we are contacting you to ascertain the official position of the county on the matter prior to our taking any further action necessary to ensure compliance with the statutory and constitutional preemption of the right to bear arms. We hope that this continued violation constitutional and statutory rights was an oversight and we would like to see an expeditious resolution of this matter.
Recently the Florida First District Court of Appeal ruled, in relevant part:
The legislature’s primacy in [the regulation of arms] derives directly from the Florida Constitution. Article I, Section 8(a), of the Florida Constitution provides:
The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.
The phrase “by law” indicates that the regulation of the state right to keep and bear arms is assigned to the legislature and must be enacted by statute. Cf. Grapeland Heights Civic Ass’n v. City of Miami, 267 So. 2d 321, 324 (Fla. 1972) (considering the enactment clause language of article III, section 6, of the Florida Constitution and interpreting the constitutional term “law” in the phrase “authorized by law” to mean an enactment by the legislature not by a city commission or any other political body).
Florida Carry v. Univ. of N. FL, 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 19600; 2013 WL 6480789, en banc (Fla. 1st DCA 2013)
As such, any measure directed at the public regulating the possession or use of a defensive firearm, knife, baton/billie, defensive electronic device, tear/pepper gas or other classes of arms commonly used for self-defense is in violation of the constitutional preemption of the right to bear arms in addition to the possible violation of statutory preemptions in Sec. 790.06 and 790.33, Fla. Stat. We, of course, would prefer to avoid litigation and seek only to gain compliance with state statutes and our constitution.
As a Florida registered non-profit organization representing the interests of defensive weapons and firearms owners who lawfully carry throughout the state, Florida Carry has the necessary standing to initiate legal action on behalf of our membership with regard to this issue should we deem it necessary to insure compliance with state law and the cessation of the violations of fundamental civil rights. Millions of Floridians lawfully carry defensive firearms and weapons every day to protect themselves and their families. We will see to it that they not face a patchwork of regulations that are impossible for them to keep up with as they traverse our great state.
We request a prompt reply to this communication, stating any corrective action which has been, is being, or will be taken to come into complete compliance with Florida Statutes §790.33 & §790.06(15), and the Florida Carry v. UNF ruling on Art. I Sec.8(a) of our Florida Constitution. Delays or failure to respond within 15 days will be viewed as intent to continue to violate the civil and statutory rights of Floridians. In such case, Florida Carry will pursue any necessary recourse, including legal action, to secure compliance. Your earliest response is most appreciated.
Florida Carry, Inc.
This morning my wife was treated to the sight of me sitting in my Florida room with my S&W AR15 clamped to the coffee table in a vice. She rolled her eyes and started cooking bacon. I installed a new Geissele SSA-E trigger with plenty of time left over for me to clean up and put away tools before I needed to butter the toast and plate the bacon. I’ve got to say… This trigger is nice! Can’t wait to get it to the range.
If you, a layperson, mention to your Florida lawyer that you have “a constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” you can usually expect to receive a dismissive eye-roll, a chuckle, or perhaps an earnest explanation that you have conflated the Declaration of Independence with the U.S. Constitution. If this happens your lawyer has failed you and is need of remedial education on the Florida Constitution. In our constitution, these are amongst your most basic fundamental rights.
ARTICLE I - DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
SECTION 2. Basic rights.—All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, possess and protect property; except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law. No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.
Art. I Sec. 2 is also the core protection of Florida’s self-defense and property protection rights.
Today Florida Carry Lead Counsel Eric Friday filed a supplemental authority in Norman v. State based on our recent victory in Florida Carry v. UNF in the Florida 1st DCA.
These seemingly unrelated cases are actually quite complementary within our litigation strategy.
The dissent also argues that the university has the power to regulate otherwise lawful activities in the context of student conduct, i.e., consuming alcohol in a classroom or smoking in a dorm room. While true in certain contexts, restricting recreational activities is a far cry from restricting a fundamental, constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
There is a lot more in the decision that we will be using in some of our other cases soon.
Nobody should expect an attorney to be an expert in every area of the law. There are just too many laws, which each and every one of us must follow to the letter, for any attorney to fully understand them. There are all kinds of resources out there for lawyers who want to get up to speed on an area of the law but, as you may expect, few resources on Florida gun and weapon laws. Unfortunately the Florida Bar has not seen fit to create a board certification in Firearms and Weapon Law despite it being such a complex and prevalent legal topic. So, we’re putting together a series of resources that we will publish to try to help fill in the largest and most important knowledge gaps this year. Should be an interesting and informative project.
New Gear for a New Year
Win a Florida Carry Custom AR-15
Our new custom AR-15 could be yours! Just register as a Florida Carry Supporter at: https://www.floridacarry.org/emaillist
No purchase or donation is necessary. (However, we do appreciate your membership or donation to support Florida Carry’s gun rights work.)
When you win, you’ll just have to pay whatever fees your local Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer (or FFL) charges to lawfully transfer the firearm to you. ($25 to $30 at most Florida FFLs.)
Tech specs below:
- Forged Upper Receiver with M4 Reed Ramps and Rail T-Marks
- 16″ 5.56mm NATO Chambered M4 Profile Barrel with 1:7″ twist
- A2 “Birdcage” Compensating Flash Hider*
- One Piece Free Float Handguard with Monolithic Top Rail*
- M16 Type Bolt Carrier Group
- M16 Type Charging Handle*
- Magpul AFG (Angled Fore Grip)
- Magpul MBUS Front and Rear Sights*
- Magpul RSA (Rail Sling Attachment)*
- Larue Tactical Index Clips
- A2 Style Pistol Grip*
- Forged AR15 Lower Receiver
- Single Stage Mil Spec Trigger*
- Magpul Aluminum Enhanced Trigger Guard*
- M4 Style Mil Spec Adjustable Stock*
- Tapco Ambidextrous End Plate Sling Adaptor*
- 1x 30 Round Polymer Mag and 1x 20 Round PMAG*
*Specs Subject to Change – Parts may be replaced with upgraded components at the sole judgment and discretion of Florida Carry, Inc.
We do not share or market your information. Protecting the First Amendment Associational Privacy Rights of our members and supporters is a responsibility Florida Carry takes very seriously.
Any applicable taxes or fees are the responsibility of the winner, residency restrictions apply where prohibited by law. Winner to be selected by random drawing on or about April 1st 2014.
Any Florida public college or university that fails to notify all students and the public that prohibitive policies regarding the storage of firearms, or other defensive arms, in the personal vehicles of its students and visitors are void and unenforceable by the first day of Spring semester classes will be subject to being sued by Florida Carry for violations of 790.33 Florida Statutes and/or Article I, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution. Colleges and universities who do not work in good faith to expeditiously revise or repeal such unlawful policies will also leave Florida Carry no choice but to demand compliance in the courts.
Recently the 1st District Court of Appeal reaffirmed, in Florida Carry, Inc. v. Univ. of N. Fla (Fla. 1st DCA 2013), that adult students have a right to keep and bear arms in their vehicles under our constitution and Florida law. This case set binding precedent statewide that Florida Carry will seek to enforce for the protection of law abiding Floridians.
Students and members of the public are encouraged to notify Florida Carry of violations of Florida’s Firearms Preemption Law by emailing details to [email protected].
Sig M400 with Birdcage A2 Comp – S&W M&P 15 with FSC556 – Bushmaster with VG6 Gamma and heavy buffer.
My new VG6 Epsilon was shipped today. I’ll be putting it on my new rifle build and doing a full review of it including a head-to-head comparison vs. the Primary Weapons Systems FSC556.
It seems that Florida’s public records laws were a little too much for NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun Mayors Against ilLEGAL Guns to bear. At the end of her one year contract, the former Orlando city employee who actually worked for MAIG became a direct employee of MAIG.
Our latest sunshine law request resulted in the disclosure of many thousands of emails. It also did not include documents that we have obtained from other sources that should have been included. Yes, we’re prepping another lawsuit now.
One phrase is notably missing from the vast majority of MAIG’s communications… “Self Defense” – The topic of Self-Defense is like kryptonite to the gun-banners. They don’t want to be in the same room with it, much less touch it.
They talk about ergonomic features such as pistol grips that empower crazy drug addicted gun owners to accurately spray mass murder. They lament that only Federal Gun Control will work in Florida due to firearms preemption and a Legislature that isn’t buying the BS they’re selling. Then they turn around and rail against federal interference in state concealed carry laws that would be cause by federally mandated permit reciprocity. The cognitive dissonance of MAIG employees who actually take a moment to ponder this must cause blinding migraines.
They laugh that gun rights groups typically put out emails with so much text while they employ snazzy graphics and few words in theirs. Style Over Substance! Perhaps this sums them up best.
I think we all want the right to survive despite the evil that others would do upon the innocent; the gun prohibitionists just can’t figure out that limiting or banning legal firearm ownership is not going to keep criminals from victimizing people.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked to comment on quite a few anti-gun “news” articles. It is notable how many have not been published after talking the writer through the logic of the situation or dispelling a false premise. In one case a reporter asked what could be done to keep a person from possessing a firearm who has not been convicted of any crime. My response was simple…
“A person charged with a violent or felony crime can be prohibited from possessing arms as a condition of bail. If someone is to be permanently deprived of a civil right, they must be convicted of a crime or found mentally defective by a court. Due process of law is a cornerstone of our justice system.”
Often an article is completely revised or just never published once you convince the writer that their initial premise is faulty.
We have met the enemy, and he is an idiot… Something new for the Hay Hoe Files.
Rubio stirs debate on Obamacare, gun control – Sun Sentinel.
“I certainly don’t want someone convicted of identity theft to have access to my private medical data,” said Sean Caranna of Daytona Beach, executive director of Florida Carry, a gun-rights group. He went through a background check before working for a software company that serves hospitals.
But [Arthur Hayhoe, executive director of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.] and some fellow gun-control advocates have other worries.
“I’d be more concerned about whether these people [navigators] have concealed-weapons permits,” he said. “They shouldn’t be hired if they do. Of course, the NRA would scream and holler if that came about.”
I can honestly say that I make some pretty good ribs. My friends and family ask me to make them all the time. But I don’t know if I’m ready for this.
City of South Daytona: / Document Center / Inaugural Backyard BBQ Competition.
My brother-in-law calls me yesterday needing backup for a BBQ competition that will drag my sorry arse out of bed at o-dark-I-haven’t-woken-up-this-early-since-the-Army. One team, two pit-masters… I may be in over my head this time.
By now there aren’t too many people who read this blog that aren’t aware of the anti-gun playbook that was exposed a couple of months ago. Buried in the emails that Florida Carry was able to obtain from Orlando and Cleveland’s MAIG operatives were clear ties to the firms that authored the anti-gun rights messaging manual. There is a gun control playbook versus Washington gun owners – Seattle gun rights | Examiner.com.
We have new public record requests submitted and more will be coming to light soon.
Springfield Armory ReCall Registration.
Looks like my XD-S is going back for some more love from the factory. Sounds like there have been some slamfire malfunctions.
What a great use of tax dollars to pay for taking 10 officers off the streets!
Amazon Price = $3.50
“Kicks for Guns” Police & Sheriff’s “Gun” Buy Program Value = $50.00
taking in 54 “guns”. About 10 officers, including Clermont Police Chief Charles Broadway, participated in the buyback.
Tallahassee State Rep. Alan Williams (D) filed a bill, HB 4003, yesterday to repeal Florida Statute 776.013. This irresponsible legislation would take away the right to defend yourself at the outset of a home invasion or carjacking. It would eviscerate the castle doctrine protections in Florida statutes. The bill would also repeal part of the “stand your ground” law that allows a person to defend themselves anywhere they have a right to be with a requirement that they attempt to outrun their attacker first.