The Florida Attorney General's (AG) office is attempting to scuttle the appeal in the case of Norman v. State. The Norman case is the only viable case in the country arguing for recognition of the constitutional right to open carry firearms in the State of Florida. Today, June 19, 2014, Florida Carry is urging its membership and those in favor of preserving gun rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution to contact Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to end the state's prosecution of Floridians exercising their rights.
The issue could bring voters away from Bondi and to pro-gun rights candidate, Bill Wohlsifer. Wohlsifer states on his campaign website, "While recognizing the evolution and mandate of present law, Bill is of the opinion that concealed carry law in Florida, particularly sections 790.06, 790.25 and 790.053, Florida Statutes, is vague and ambiguous. It defies logic that the mere brief or accidental exposure of an otherwise lawful carry subjects a peaceful armed citizen to arrest."
Since the appeal was first brought, the West Palm Beach Office of the Attorney General has repeatedly attempted to derail the case based on procedural arguments that the lower court did not properly certify its questions of great public importance. The AG's office even appealed the case to the Florida Supreme Court in an attempt to keep the Fourth District Court of Appeals from hearing the case. They want the case heard by a Circuit Court where a recognition of the right to carry will not have state-wide effect and will be decided by only one local judge.
A request was sent to the Assistant Attorney General in Palm Beach asking them to consent to the lower Court amending its judgement to include the certified question in the order of Judgement and Sentence to correct the AG's claimed procedural defect that may exist.
Their response: 'We (the Attorney General's Office) will take "no position"...'
If the AG's office wanted to take a pro-Second Amendment position and was truly trying to correct an alleged procedural error by the lower court it, would have consented. Instead, they punted.
No credible organization could question the pro-gun record of Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi who has signed on to support many important federal amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court that were filed by other state's AGs, but her own office is apparently in need some deep house cleaning. The ruling and intent of the lower court is clear, that this case be reviewed by a panel of appellate court judges as a matter of great public importance that impacts thousands of law enforcement officers and millions of gun owners.
Florida concealed carry licensees and others who lawfully possess firearms are being arrested and prosecuted at an alarming rate.The problem is not only with the Attorney General's office. In two cases that we are involved with, State Attorney Angela Corey's office is wrongfully prosecuting lawful gun owners.
In the first case, a man was arrested on his own front porch for having a handgun in a closed bag while finishing moving. Corey's office claims that it was no longer his home, since he was moving, and is prosecuting him for a felony. In the second, a CWFL licensee has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for an open carry ban violation after his shirt rode up over his holster in a store exposing his firearm.