Challenge To Open-Carry Law Goes To U.S. Supreme Court
Attorneys for a man arrested in 2012 in St. Lucie County asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to take up a challenge to the constitutionality of a Florida law that bars people from openly carrying firearms in public.
The petition to the came slightly more than four months after the Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-2 decision, upheld the longstanding law. Monday's 35-page petition contends the law violates the Second Amendment and conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court rulings about gun rights.
“The issue is whether a prohibition on peaceably and openly carrying a lawfully-owned handgun infringes on `the right of the people to . . . bear arms' protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,” said the petition, posted on the website of the group , which has helped represent Dale Norman, the man arrested in St. Lucie County.
A majority of the Florida Supreme Court, however, upheld a ruling against Norman.
“(We) agree with the 4th District and are satisfied that the state's prohibition on openly carrying firearms in public with specified exceptions — such as authorizing the open carrying of guns to and from and during lawful recreational activities — while still permitting those guns to be carried, albeit in a concealed manner, reasonably fits the state's important government interests of public safety and reducing gun-related violence,” the March 2 majority opinion said.
Norman, who had a concealed-weapons license, was arrested for carrying a gun openly in a holster. A jury found Norman guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor, and a trial judge imposed a $300 fine and court costs.
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