The Florida Supreme Court is currently reviewing the case of Mackey v. State of Florida to determine whether an investigatory stop, and a search and seizure of a person suspected to be carrying a concealed firearm, is lawful.
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.
Atty. Gen. Pamela Jo “Pam” Bondi and the State of Florida argue that any person is vulnerable to an investigatory stop and a 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.
Yet, as clear as the sky is blue, the law says “This section [carrying concealed weapons] does not apply to a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon.” If the language is directly written in the statute, it seems that it is more than just an exception, but the rule.
Although Florida’s State Constitution and the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, the State, in its heavy handed Brief on the Merits, uses flawed logic to assume that at the rate of 95 percent, persons who are carrying a concealed weapon ought to be presumed guilty of committing a felony.
“Given the small percentage of the population that is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, the overwhelming majority of firearms, or 95 percent, are not licensed to be concealed. Thus, an officer’s suspicion that a firearm is not licensed would be reasonable because, in any given case, there would be, statistically speaking, a 95 percent likelihood of illegality.”
As succinctly pointed out by AmmoLand.com, “In order for the State’s argument to be valid, one would first have to ignore all visitors to our state from the 35 states with reciprocity. One would also have to ignore all of the circumstances where no license is required to possess a firearm, and it also assumes that every man, woman and minor child is carrying a firearm at all times.”
Assuming that any individual carrying a concealed weapon is committing a felony, gives the State unfettered and unreasonable access to search and seizure of anyone who is presumably carrying a concealed firearm. This violates the 2nd, 4th, 9th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, no? No, not if you believe Florida Atty. Gen. Pamela Jo “Pam” Bondi.
Pam Bondi is the same individual who boasted at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, “It is time to stop those who ignore the Constitution when it’s expedient!” It appears Ms. Bondi is happy to pick and choose which liberties the Constitution protects as long as it suits her fancy, but what about the rest of us little people who believe in liberty across the board?
Since Bondi wants a win for the State in the case of Mackey v. State of Florida, she will misconstrue facts, ignore state laws, and negate the Constitution if she has to, in order to receive a favorable result. Bondi pretends to be supportive of the Constitution, when in fact she is the epitome of ignoring the Constitution when it’s expedient!
Remember folks: Forceful words and flowery commentary mean zilch compared to the truth.