Sheriff Gualtieri apparently threw enough of a hissy fit that somebody dug the original transcript (or at least we hope they are being honest about that) and published them
“It’s a question of whether, at 3 o’clock in the morning at the 7-11 store, when there’s a silent hold-up alarm and the deputy pulls into the parking lot, and the citizen is walking out of the store with a .45 stuck in their holster, let’s say, and a cup of coffee in their hand — it’s not going to be a good situation for that citizen,” Gualtieri said. “At a minimum, they’re going to be thrown down on the ground with a gun pointed at them — or worse.”
Nope, no improvement as far as I can see. I really do not know the type of cool criminal that hangs around Pinellas county, but I doubt that they stroll out of the store they just robbed at gun point with a holstered weapon and sipping on a cup of java. But you know who fits the profile of somebody just coolly coming out of a store with a cup of coffee at 3 am?? Cops in plainclothes on duty.
Congratulations Sheriff, your men just “threw down or worse” a fellow Law Enforcement Officer.
Law Enforcement officer are supposed to asses any situation they encounter and yes, sometimes they may have only a couple of seconds to do a life or death decision, but I don’t think the scenario pictured by the Sheriff demands that his deputies clear leather and start capping rounds no matter how bad the 7-11 coffee might be.
“Picture this. … You take as an example a 60-year-old man who is unassuming, not a threat to anybody, just your average citizen who has a concealed-carry permit and carries that gun absolutely everywhere he goes,” Gualtieri said. “And he walks into his local bank today to make a deposit, and he walks into the middle of an armed robbery. And when he walks in — unassuming, non-threatening — and he’s got his gun and it’s concealed, when he walks into that bank, there’s a good chance that that bank robber is not going to be threatened by him and is not going to shoot him because he happened to walk into the middle of a bank robbery. And you take that same 60-year-old guy, and he walks in there, and he’s got a big old .45 on his hip when he walks through that door, and that bank robber’s in the middle of robbing that bank and he sees that gun, he’s going to take one in the chest … because he’s a threat, he’s a visible threat.
OK, the sheriff manages to come up with a perfect storm scenario that makes one suspect he watched Point Break in some rerun late at night. Most bank robberies are now of the pass-a-note-to-the-teller-grab-and-go. But even if it happened, it is not his business or gets a say-so. Anybody who Open Carries will bear the responsibilities and the risks associated with it and it is not up to the Pinellas County Sheriff Office to butt in. They get to enforce the law, not to dictate it.
So, Sheriff Gualtieri, chill out. So far the only announced risk that Open Carry may bring is your attitude, not Law Abiding citizens.