A group of Sunshine State Second Amendment proponents celebrated their Independence Day with some fishing while open carrying.
Members of Florida Carry were on the City Island Park pier in Ormond Beach raising awareness about carry laws in the state. One of just five states with virtually no allowance for the open carry of handguns, Florida statute only recognizes legal open carry while fishing, camping, or hunting. One of the advocates says he was attacked while fishing and has carried a gun with him ever since.
“The more people that have weapons and can protect law-abiding citizens is only going to be beneficial to everybody across the United States,” Mike Taylor told WFTV, the area ABC affiliate.
Taylor was part of a similar group stopped last month by police on a Miami Beach pier. The armed anglers, in that case, were detained for two hours, during which they had their personal firearms seized. Florida Carry cautioned that they have been holding such awareness events for nearly a decade and one of their members was injured and taken to the hospital during the incident
“The Miami Beach Police Chief was notified of the event beforehand, per our policy, in an attempt to prevent an incident such as this,” said the group in a statement.
As for Ormond Beach, the city is familiar with open carry advocates exercising their right to bear arms while angling. Jeffrey Marcus Gray filmed an interaction with responding city police in 2014 when he was stopped carrying openly while returning from fishing.