Pam Bondi Challenging Search And Seizure Rights of Concealed Weapons Permit Holders

The Florida Supreme Court is currently reviewing Mackey v. State of Florida to determine whether an investigatory stop, and search and seizure of a person suspected of carrying a concealed firearm, is lawful. Atty. Gen. Pamela Jo “Pam” Bondi maintains that any person is vulnerable to an investigatory stop, search and seizure because carrying a concealed firearm, in and of itself, is illegal. In addition, having a permit is an affirmative defense, or excuse for a crime, so the stop and search is reasonable.

Unless one has a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP), carrying a concealed firearm in Jacksonville other than on one’s own property or the property of one’s business is a third degree felony in Florida punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

Conflicting case law lands this matter at the highest court in the State. By statute 790.01(2), the Florida legislature has deemed carrying a concealed firearm a felony crime in the third degree. Statute 790.01(3) says, however, carrying a concealed firearm is permissible with a valid permit. The petitioner asserts that a police officer conducted an illegal investigatory stop and a search of his person without consent and without probable cause because there was no indication that he did not have a valid permit, and no other evidence of criminal activity.

One of the most significant exceptions to the crime of carrying a concealed firearm occurs when one is in a private vehicle, so long as one is 18 years of age, or older. In that case, Florida law usually allows the weapon or firearm to be legally kept “securely encased” in the vehicle. This means that the weapon is in a holster or gun rug that is snapped, zipped, or strapped, or in a box or container with a closed lid or top so that the lid or top must be physically opened in order to use the weapon. Having the weapon securely encased would also allow the firearm or weapon to be placed inside a closed glove compartment or closed console of a vehicle. The firearm may be fully loaded at the time, but cannot be concealed on oneself unless one also has a CWP.

Bondi argues that the relatively small percentage of the population that is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, the overwhelming majority of firearms, amounting to around 95 percent, are not licensed to be concealed. Thus, a law enforcement officer’s notion that a firearm is not licensed would be reasonable because, statistically, there is a 95-percent likelihood of the weapons being illegally concealed.

If one has been in a situation where one was arrested for “legally” carrying a hand gun, knife, or some other type of weapon because the arresting officer is misguided in the law, one should obtain an experienced Jacksonville gun crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected.

The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source:Florida AG Bondi fights against gun rightsRaquel Okyay, Human Events Magazine

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