Pinellas sheriff is less than candid on his opposition to Open Carry in Florida

Via The Gun Writer.

“True to form, Marion takes the position that the best defense is a good offense,” Gualtieri said. “She goes after people but I don’t care what she says. I’m going to stand up for what I think is right. She needs to get her facts straight before she talks about others getting theirs straight.”

Source: Pinellas sheriff draws fire from former NRA president for stance on open carry bill | Tampa Bay Times

You read it. He has the facts in hand so he knows better.  For example:

Wearing a gun could make people a target for criminals, he said. He offered as an example a bank robber who sees a person openly carrying in a bank.

“If the guy turns around and sees that .45, he’s going to blast you,” he said.

Because that has happened countless of timesSeveral timesfrom time to time. So far, there has not been a case where a criminal has shot against an Open Carrier. If there was, you would be sure heard about from every gun control outlet possible.

Gualtieri has also expressed concern for law enforcement officers who will have trouble distinguishing law-abiding citizens from criminals with dangerous intent.

If the deputies of the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office cannot distinguish between criminal acts and people going about their business, it is a question of training and basic common sense.

But let me be the first to offer help to the beleaguered and under-trained Gualtieri. I am quoting from the movie Dirty Harry because it is illustrative of the problem you seem to be having:

The Mayor: Callahan… I don’t want any more trouble like you had last year in the Fillmore district. You understand? That’s my policy.

Harry Callahan: Yeah, well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard – that’s my policy.

The Mayor: Intent? How’d you establish that?

Harry Callahan: When a naked man is chasing a woman through a dark alley with a butcher knife and a hard on, I figure he isn’t out collecting for the Red Cross.

See? Not that difficult.

He said it’s “intellectually dishonest” to say open carry laws are working in the 45 other states because there are so many variations in the laws and the demographics. In Pennsylvania, for example, cities can opt out of its open carry law and some, including Philadelphia, do just that, Gualtieri said. Florida cities don’t have the option to opt out of a state law.

Oklahoma requires the weapon to be holstered. Florida’s bill in its current form does not.

So because there is not uniformity in the Open Carry Laws across the nation, we should not have it in Florida. Does that mean Gualtieri is also opposed to Concealed Carry because of the same lack of uniformity across the nation? Shall Florida dispense with Concealed Carry altogether? I bet he would not mind that.

As for demographics, “You can’t compare Sioux Falls, S.D. to downtown Miami or downtown Tampa or downtown Orlando,” Gualtieri said.

Ah! The Always Available “people in my city/county/state are too stupid and they need to be protected from themselves” excuse. Or when you mention demographics, are you referring about people of other pigmentation that you think should not be able to carry weapons? Sioux Falls has half or less the minorities present in Pinellas County.

“I strongly believe no good-faith permit holder who made a mistake should be charged with anything,” he said. “To me, that’s the middle ground.

Because even if the permit holder is Open Carry legally, your office will arrest him. Just like it happened with George Freeman.

If the whole goal at all costs is to allow people to walk down International Drive with a .45 in their back pocket, there is no middle ground for me.

The goal is for citizens of the State of Florida who already have a Concealed Weapons Permit to openly carry a firearm or not to be jumped by cops because he was carrying concealed and he accidentally displayed it the gun. You seem to forget that the law was changed to cover accidental displays, but it is not being applied maybe  because an arrest and conviction for Open Carry is jucier for the statistics. If you were willing to discuss in good faith. maybe something could had been worked out.

So much for “facts.”

15 Replies to “Pinellas sheriff is less than candid on his opposition to Open Carry in Florida”

  1. He is wrong about open carry in Pennsylvania, even though many of the cops in Philly are wrong about it too. I am from the Philly area and while the cops have harassed open carriers from time to time, Philadelphia cannot opt out of Pennsylvania state law.

    http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/Open-Carry-Experiment-Shows-Cops-Dont-Know-Their-Own-Gun-Laws-121989564.html

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/21/altercation-philadelphia-police-say-wont-look-way-open-carry-gun-owners/

    http://www.pafoa.org/law/carrying-firearms/open-carry/




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  2. Good morning Miguel,

    All of these law enforcement types complaining about What I refer to as “Minnesota carry” is pretty entertaining to me. When my home state passed their shall issue permit law in 2003, the requirement to conceal was deliberately left out to avoid issues such as accidental exposure. And in the 12 some years since its passage, there haven’t been any issues.




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  3. In Virginia you need a Permission Slip to carry concealed. As there is no law against it, Open Carry is the legal de facto method. While only a small number of folks carry openly as opposed to those that claim to carry concealed (hard to count them if you can’t see it) even the gun-hating liberal bastions have learned that behavior is what counts. Every once in a while some cop will try the “How do I know you are not a felon, or if that gun is legally yours” BS only to run up against state and US Circuit Court decisions telling him he would have better luck pounding sand than expecting to get away with that. The brandishing law, which depends on the feelings of the “victim” as opposed to any objective measure, is rarely used and has such a relatively poor success rate that the hoplophobes do not try to use it in spite of their “Every time I see a gun I’m calling 911” BS.

    Now for the cherry on top – FBI reports have historically indicated that crooks, robbers, and other Bad Guys do not Open Carry.

    stay safe.




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  4. After open carrying my firearm for over a decade, just outside the liberal bastion of Seattle (and sometimes in it) I have yet to have a negative encounter. In my experience, most folks are too oblivious and self self absorbed to even notice.




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    1. Ditto. I’ve been open carrying here in Maine for ten years or so. Never had a negative comment, but a double handful of positive ones. Of course, I sometimes see tourists from Massland point and whisper among themselves, but that’s about all they are good at.

      I just smile at them.




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  5. “‘As for demographics, “You can’t compare Sioux Falls, S.D. to downtown Miami or downtown Tampa or downtown Orlando,’ Gualtieri said.”

    As a resident of the Sunshine State for 18 years and a resident of the Rushmore State for 6 years, I think I’m more qualified then the sheriff to comment on the demographics.

    Other than the weather and availability of good Cuban food, Sioux Falls is a lot like the community of Kendall, near Dadeland. It’s the largest and most populated city in SD. It is the commercial hub of SD, and with a population of 160,00 in the greater metropolitan area, it is about the same size as Kendall, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, and South Miami, combined.

    But like most coastal, big city residents, he assumes that the Dakotas are a wasteland of teepees and soddies, stuck in the 1880’s, that have yet to see electricity or indoor plumbing and that open carry is still a bunch of cowboys with six guns on their hips.

    This man is an idiot.




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  6. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is ill informed and needs to get his own facts straight. He is “intellectually dishonest” about his Pennsylvania examples in many of his statements, given recently.

    “Gualtieri said. Florida cities don’t have the option to opt out of a state law,” Neither do Pennsylvania cities.
    In Pennsylvania, cities cannot opt out of open carry laws, or, any firearms law.
    The only city “exception” in PA law, was written into PA law for all firearms in Philadelphia.
    PA law code (PA 18 § 6108. & 6109.) requires an individual to have a License to Carry Firearms, to carry in Philadelphia, and this includes both open or concealed carry. The city is also described as a “City of the First Class” in some portions of the code. (A city description for which “only” Philadelphia qualifies).

    He also is quoted in one piece as saying “Take Pennsylvania — their statute is very, very narrow.”
    This could be a true statement, taken the opposite of what was reported and considering what Pennsylvania prohibits. “Open carry” is never mentioned, and what is “not prohibited is legal”.




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  7. If the deputies of the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office cannot distinguish between criminal acts and people going about their business, it is a question of training and basic common sense.

    I made a similar statement in the context of data queries and search terms recently: If your query isn’t producing the data you want, the problem is not the data. (i.e. redefining the data won’t fix the problem, it just ruins the usefulness of the data)

    So to paraphrase myself: If Pinellas County deputies can’t tell the difference between criminals engaging in illegal behavior and law-abiding citizens going about their business, the problem is not with the law-abiding citizens. Treating them like criminals won’t fix “the problem”; it just ruins their trust in your office and your authority.




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    1. If they cannot distinguish between criminal and innocent behavior, THEY SHOULD NOT BE SHERIFFS!

      Sorry, I had to shout that axiomatic truth. These morons need to turn in their badges immediately.




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  8. “If they cannot distinguish between criminal and innocent behavior, THEY SHOULD NOT BE SHERIFFS!”

    That brings up a subject that I’ve been meaning to ask this group about. Has anyone in Fla (or in the nation for that matter) checked on the CC stats for how many CC permits that have been revoked of permit holders that have actually assaulted an LEO? I’m assuming here that given the durth of wailing from the Cults to Prevent Gun Ownership that the incidents of such are ZERO.

    LEOs keep defending their actions of taking firearms from permit holders during encounters (for whatever reason) based on the statement that “it’s for the officer’s protection”.

    Is there ANY evidence that a CC permit holder has EVER assaulted an LEO? EVER?




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    1. The remarkably inaccurate VPC lists two such events. Humberto Delgado Jr., who from what I’ve seen was at one point charged with carrying a concealed weapon, though the VPC claims he had a North Carolina permit. Not sure how that works,
      The other, James Wonder, is still wending its way through the courts, and though the person killed was a Federal Officer, the officer wasn’t acting in his official capacity at the time.




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  9. This is just more of their jump to conclusion mentality and false claims that so many are good at,they see everything as a negative,unless it was their idea.Prove has no reality to the anti’s,it’s just what they say is right and what the others say are wrong,just that simple.




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