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Colorado School Shootings. Do New Gun Laws Make A Difference?

1Another school shooting shocked the country during the last month of 2013. An 18-year-old student wounded a fellow student before killing himself at Denver high school. According to the authorities, he entered the building carrying a shotgun, a machete and three incendiary devices in his backpack and had ammunition strapped to his body.

The sheriff said at a news conference that the teenager bought the pump-action shotgun legally on Dec. 6 at a local store.

Anyone over 18 is allowed to buy a shotgun in Colorado; only those over 21 can legally buy a handgun.

Why Sheriffs in Colorado Refuse To Enforce New Gun Control Laws?

After mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Connecticut, the new gun laws went into effect this year and dictate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds. How effective is it?

Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County, CO and many other sheriffs are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. To illustrate the point, Sheriff John Cooke held 2 magazine rounds, one obtained before the new gun law and one after to show the audience at conference that it is very difficult to spot the difference between the two magazines.

The resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states, raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high. Source, full details.

Florida Sheriff Acquitted After Releasing A Man Arrested on Weapon Charges

In October of this year, a Liberty County (FL) sheriff Nick Finch has been acquitted of charges that he committed misconduct and falsified public records when he freed a jailed man who carried a loaded gun without a permit.

Sheriff Finch had testified that he released the accused man, Floyd Parrish, from jail because he had a constitutional duty to uphold the Second Amendment right to bear arms. At the county jail, sheriff Finch advised Mr. Parrish to get a permit soon, and let him go.

US Second Amendment

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

On June 26, 2008, in District of Columbia vs. Heller, the United States Supreme Court issued its first decision since 1939 interpreting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Court ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense. It also ruled that two District of Columbia provisions, one that banned handguns and one that required lawful firearms in the home to be disassembled or trigger-locked, violate this right.

Florida Concealed Weapons Carry Information

Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched by the FBI on November 30, 1998, NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms or explosives. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make a purchase.

Department of Agriculture Division of Licensing is the entity responsible for issuing gun permits in Florida.  The Department of Agriculture is not a law enforcement agency, and therefore cannot do the NICS check required by federal law. Only “law enforcement agencies” can access NICS, and therefore the federal exemption that normally applies to concealed weapon permits, does not apply to those issued in Florida. The permit is valid for seven (7) years from date of issue.

In Florida, it is not against the law to carry electric weapons, chemical sprays, and stun guns for the purpose of self-defense as long as they are non-lethal.

According to Fla. Stat. § 790.01, it is illegal for an individual to have any concealed weapon on his or her body who does not have a Concealed Weapons Permit. This is considered a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year of imprisonment, and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

Under this statute, it is also illegal for anyone to carry a concealed firearm if he or she is not licensed to do so. This is considered a third degree felony, and is punishable by up to a 5 year prison sentence and/or up to a $5,000 fine. If the individual has been previously convicted of a violent crime two or more times, their prison sentence can be enhanced to ten years.

Open Carry of a Weapon in Florida

According to Fla. Sta. § 790.053, it is unlawful for an individual to openly carry an electric weapon or firearm on his or her body. This is considered a second degree misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of up to 60 in jail and/or a fine up of to $500. However, if an individual is licensed to carry a firearm, it is not illegal for him or her to briefly make it visible to another person, as long as it is not displayed in a threatening way.

Weapons and Firearm Charges Lawyer

Andrew D. Stine serves individuals who are facing gun or weapon charges in Palm Beach County and surrounding areas. As a qualified defense attorney, Stine has served over 5,000 clients throughout Florida. This experience has given him the legal prowess necessary to handle many different types of cases.

Contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561-832-1170 and set up a free consultation on your gun or weapon charge. The sooner you consult with Stine, the sooner he can begin preparing pretrial motions that could potentially have your charges reduced or dismissed.

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