The one where I catch hell from other gunnies. (correction update)

Via All Nine Yards
The video shows Dale Norman from Fort Pierce being arrested for openly carrying a firearm.

As much as I hate that Mr. Norman got arrested, it is my opinion that he was breaking the law:

790.10 Improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms.If any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Was he doing it on purpose? I don’t think there was mens rea in the event. Was it a stupid way to carry a gun? In the state of Florida most certainly.

We repeat over and over that Concealed Carry means concealed, not barely covering. His choosing of cover garment was ill thought as it was a much too short undershirt/tank top and carrying the weapon in an outside-the-waistband holster sealed the deal of his arrest. It is our duty to follow the letter of the law to avoid getting into trouble and that includes making sure we are wearing the proper equipment and garments.

I told of this story before. I carry also in a OWB holster (pancake) and wear a vest any time I step outside the house. Even so, there is always a risk of accidental exposure like the day I was at a gas station and while the truck was being filled, I headed to the store to buy something. Four officers of Miami-Dade Police were coming out and a gust of wind just blew wide open my vest exposing my gun. The four officers saw me and the gun, but none of them even made a comment and one nodded at me as sort of greeting and all returned to their vehicles.

Accidental exposures will happen but it is our responsibility to keep them at a minimum and to be able to demonstrate that if they happen, we were not being careless about it. Having a good holster that will not drop a gun if suddenly bumped into, carrying inside the waistband if we a wearing some light upper body garment or wearing a cover garment that is long enough to cover the whole body of the sidearm.

That the law sucks? Oh hell yes. But we don’t go ignoring or being careless about it. We fight to have it changed in our favor. What can you do? You can begin by joining Florida Carry and help with their efforts on passing Open Carry in the State of Florida.

In the meantime Mr. Norman faces the following if found guilty of a First Degree Misdemeanor:

775.082. Penalties
(4) A person who has been convicted of a designated misdemeanor may be sentenced as follows:
(a) For a misdemeanor of the first degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year;

775.083. Fines
(d) $1,000, when the conviction is of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Add to that lawyer fees, time spent in jail plus the loss of the gun.

Don’t be stupid, Concealed means concealed. Make sure your gun is.

UPDATE: Correction needed and thanks to Sean from All Nine Yards.
Mr. Norman is being charged with violation of Florida Statute 790.053

Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device. It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.

(3) Any person violating this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

FS 775.082
(b) For a misdemeanor of the second degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days.
FS 775.083
(e) $500, when the conviction is of a misdemeanor of the second degree or a noncriminal violation.

23 Replies to “The one where I catch hell from other gunnies. (correction update)”

  1. The law is brief exposure. What is brief? It’s not defined well, and this goes to prove that the only way to protect gun owners is to legalize Open Carry fully.

    I am someone who has accidentally OC’d several times. Once I was at Wal Mart, returning something. It was cold outside (you know, under 70°) so I was wearing a heavy jacket. I get up to the counter after standing in line for 20 minutes and when I went to get my wallet, I noticed that my jacket had bunched up and I had been OC’ing the whole time.

    Another time, I was putting my daughter in her car seat. My GTI is low to the ground, so I had to bend over. My shirt rode up and my pistol was readily visible.

    One time was brief enough, the other wasn’t. Neither time did I intend to OC. That I should be covered by the current law for the second instance, but not the first, is a failure of our system.




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    1. Robb, we agree that the law as stated sucks rotten lemons and that is why, until it is changed we as CCWers have to be as careful as possible.
      I return to the concept of Due Diligence on our part. Have we tried our best to conceal the weapon (proper equipment, self checks, etc.)? Or we just drop our gun into whatever cheap OWB holster we could find and wear something that could barely cover my gun under normal circumstances.
      We need Open Carry desperately in Florida and till we do, we need to cover both our guns and our asses to the best of our ability.




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      1. I’m always surprised when I’m reminded that FL doesn’t have OC, since they usually seem to be near the head of the pack for gun rights. Especially with that heat too, that must really suck.




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  2. I agree with you 100%. As a side note however, as a CWP holder you might consider having quick access to the following statute in case of an innocent accidental exposure, and if arrested, make sure your attorney is advised:

    790.053 Open carrying of weapons.—
    (1) … it is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device. It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.

    (3) Any person violating this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    Although many officers do know the laws regarding CWP, not all of them do. There is no bright-line rule on what concealed means. Use an overabundance of caution!




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  3. Under the statute you are looking at, as interpreted by Florida’s courts, the meaning of “careless” in 790.10 means being careless about the safety of others. Carelessness about your choice of belt and covering shirt are not included in the legal standard for a violation of the FL “brandishing” law.

    This is why he is not charged with a 790.10 violation. He is charged only with violation of Florida’s open carry ban; 790.053.




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  4. Sucks. We own a home in Florida and carry there, but it is easier during the winter months where it drops below 70 on the gulf. We are heading down again for a half-month soon, and it’s slightly warmer there now. It’s hard enough concealing when it’s 75/80 degrees by day, but when it’s over 90? Real hard. The wife has a harder time with little sundresses and the lack of waistbands. We’re looking at a thigh holster for her.

    We need OC in Florida. The recent laws are handy, but still not enough when it gets hot. Maybe next year.

    This guy made a mistake, but it wasn’t the kind of mistake that calls for criminal sanction. Hopefully people like us gets on his jury and nullify the hell out of the case.




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    1. Agree… Hope he gets some menial slap in the wrist.

      Good punishment would be to let me have a nice “talk” with him… OK a nice yell at him. I promise to be loud and profane.




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      1. And then the Media is aghast that we want protections from overzealous prosecution, as if that could never happen.




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  5. Great post Miguel! I agree 100%. I’m in a state loaded with stupid gun laws, and I want them ALL scrapped. This of course doesn’t mean I don’t comply with them.

    This is also a great example of why we are ALL Open Carry, weather we intentionally carry openly or not.

    Shit happens, and you gun can get exposed. Obviously in the video he was simply walking down the street, minding his own business, and doing nothing hostile or threatening. The fact that he’s being charged with a crime is HORRIBLE.




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  6. Why did you think we would be upset about this video?

    While I am one of the more vocal proponents of open carry, the unspoken (perhaps I should speak it more often?) caveat to all such posts are, “Know the laws of your areas and obey them… unless you want to kiss concrete.” Civil disobedience is certainly one way to attract attention to an unjust law, but it also comes with its own bevy of complications and problems that most people probably are unwilling to deal with, so until you can change stupid laws legislatively, it is incumbent upon all individuals to be aware and mindful of those laws.

    In this case, there was nothing “accidental” about his exposure – the bottom hem of his shirt was at the same level all the way around his waist/hips, and that level was too high to adequately conceal his OWB holster. He should have checked that arrangement before he left the house, and not doing so is no “accident” on his part. As such, I concur – he was breaking the law.

    That said, Florida’s is a particularly stupid law, especially given the environmental conditions of the state. Hopefully you all will get that straightened out in the near future.




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      1. I think Linoge has a “Radical Wing OC” Membership card in his wallet! 😉

        and +1 it looks like a REALLY shitty choice for a cover garment. Accidental or intentional it doesn’t look like he put much thought into it.

        Still doesn’t mean he did anything WRONG…does mean he did do something ILLEGAL.




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  7. Seems like the only solution in the meantime is to carry some fishing line and a lure everywhere you go…

    Well, officer, I was just on my way to (wherever) to do some fishing.

    Unless I’m mistaken about Florida law.




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  8. I was in law enforcement for 32 plus years. Unless there was another reason to lock that guy up, those officers, in my opinion, wound up wasting their time and the tax payers’ dollars by making an arrest in that situation. An investigative stop, even cuffing the guy all okay. Some questioning while another officer does criminal history and wants/warrants checks. Then, if the guy seems legit, release him with a good verbal warning to make sure he wears better concealment next time.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    I live in NY where my pistol has accidentally been exposed several times over the years and many times that cops have seen it. I have gotten remarks from ” “Your girdle is showing…” all the way through “POLICE – Do you have a license for that…”” but I never once had police aproach me with guns drawn and ordering me into a kneeling position like they were trying out for Bruce Willis movie..

    The video, with the immediacy of the arrest mode (no reason for officers to even approach until the guy had complied with them, the police should have been giving commands over loud speaker from behind cover of their cars), the first officer ordering him to put his hands up when they were already up, the first officer pointing his pistol at the suspect after the suspect had already shown he was being compliant by stopping then putting his hands up then kneeling, the seeming disregard for officer safety due to the second officer’s approach with weapon drawn while creating an absolutely classic cross fire situation putting the first officer in danger, officer one going hands on before holstering, all make me think there was a sense of urgency and thus maybe another reason, other than just an exposed handgun, that made the officers act as they did. Such a reason could have been police familiarity with this guy and possible priors by him. Of course, racisim, gun rights antipathy or merely over zealous officers could of all had the same result.




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  9. http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2012-08-09/nra-takes-aim-florida-gun-law

    The National Rifle Association will seek to pass a bill legalizing the open carrying of firearms in Florida during the 2013 session of the state Legislature….

    Hammer said the bill is necessary to protect such gun owners from harassment by police when they accidentally reveal concealed weapons in public. A 2011 compromise that tweaked existing regulations to remove penalties for those who unintentionally expose a gun has not been sufficient protection, she said.




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