Florida Carry is asking the Supreme Court of the United States to rule on open carry outside the home via David Lee Norman v. State of Florida.
Norman is a concealed carry permit holder who was confronted at gunpoint, frisked, and handcuffed by police because the gun on his hip was visible as he walked beside U.S. Highway 1. He “was charged with open carrying of a weapon.” He appealed his conviction, which was upheld by the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida and, on March 2, 2017, the Fourth District’s decision was upheld by the Florida Supreme Court.
Norman is now appealing his case to SCOTUS and Florida Carry is funding the appeal.
According to the filing–which Breitbart News possesses–the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms “does not guarantee a right openly to carry a firearm in public.” The court therefore upheld “Norman’s conviction for openly carrying a firearm on his person.”
Justice Charles Canady dissented from the majority of his Florida Supreme Court colleagues, writing,
The Second Amendment right…encompasses “being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.” This is reinforced by the statement in McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010)…that Heller “held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.” The “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” Heller, [is] to “be armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.”
Canady stressed that the right to be armed “for the purpose of self-defense” (McDonald) must “necessarily [encompass] the right to carry arms in public.”
He also showed that “Heller explained that in Nunn v. State ‘the Georgia Supreme Court construed the Second Amendment as protecting the “natural right of self-defence,” and therefore struck down a ban on carrying pistols openly.’”
Norman is now asking SCOTUS to issue of write of certiorari, whereby the ruling upholding his conviction would be reviewed and a definite ruling on the right to openly bear arms for self-defense outside one’s home may result.
The appeal comes just weeks after Justice Clarence Thomas dissented in SCOTUS’s decision to take Peruta v California for review. Peruta revolves around California’s requirement that concealed carry applicants show “good cause” for wanting to carry a gun before the state will issue them a concealed permit. Thomas said SCOTUS’s refusal to hear the case was “indefensible.”
As it stands, Peruta only recognizes a right to carry a gun inside one’s home for self-defense. Thomas wrote, “I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch joined Thomas in Peruta dissent.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.