Palm Beach Mayor, Police Chief Push For Change In FL Open Carry Law

Many people in the gun rights community believe that it’s somehow a good idea to carry long guns in public. My understanding of the reasons for this is that it’s both their right to do so (which I don’t disagree with, it is their right to do so) and that it somehow helps to normalize the sight of rifles being carried by law-abiding citizens.

I don’t agree. I think it creates needless alarm. I think it does nothing more than give lawmakers an excuse to try and take away those rights in the name of keeping the public calm or whatever other reason they cook up.

Despite that, I will not ever stand for changing the law. I don’t have to agree with how you exercise your rights for me to be willing to die for your rights.

Apparently, the mayor and police chief of Palm Beach, Florida doesn’t share my line of thinking on that.

Palm Beach Police Chief Nicholas Caristo and Mayor Gail Coniglio are urging the state senate to change the wording of the Florida Weapons and Firearms statute.

They have written a letter to State Sen. Bobby Powell prompted by the Town Council at its April 23 meeting after the gun group Florida Carry, which supports President Donald Trump, stopped at a bridge within the Town of Palm Beach openly displaying firearms.

In the letter dated July 23, Caristo and Coniglio express concern with the “Lawful Uses” section of Florida Statute 790.25 (3) (h) which allows the “use and possession of a firearm while engaged in fishing, camping, target shooting, or hunting or going to and from lawful hunting, fishing, target shooting or camping expeditions.”

They are requesting that the language in the statute be expanded to say a lawful activity “may not be conducted within 1,500 feet of the real property comprising any school, house of worship, government building, or guarded beach.”

Caristo said at last month’s meeting of the Public Safety Commission that he didn’t think it was asking too much to have the statute amended to prevent people from openly displaying firearms within a certain distance of schools, government buildings and places of worship. “I just don’t think it’s appropriate in this day and age,” Caristo said. “I don’t want to violate people’s Second Amendment rights, but this group (Florida Carry) walked by Palm Beach Atlantic University, a college in session, with semi-automatic weapons across their chest. They also walked past our public school while it was in session and government buildings.”

Well, what you think is appropriate is irrelevant. What people have a right to do, however, is. That includes carrying firearms in public.

While I disagree with what Florida Carry did and I don’t feel it accomplished much of anything but spur on Coniglio and Caristo to try and infringe on people’s rights, it doesn’t change that it was their God-given right to do so.

That said, folks, be advised that your stunts to carry long guns out in public for whatever reason will elicit this kind of reaction from many public officials. When you’re scaring the normies, you’re going to get the normies calling for regulations to stop you from doing it. It’s inevitable. If that’s the goal, then good job.

If not, well, you’ve got a fight on your hands either way. Anti-gunners are going to call for gun control regulations anyway, so now they have an excuse.

Either way, though, they’re still wrong for it.

Oct 24, 2021 2:30 PM ET