What to Expect Following a Defensive Shooting – Part 1

The most important thing to do is make sure you are safe from further attack or injury…

I just finished trying to reassure a member of one of the firearms groups that I belong to that you are not guaranteed to be arrested and sent to jail if you use your firearm in a lawful self-defense encounter. The member and his wife just finished attending a seminar put on by one of the companies that offer insurance for cases of self-defense with the use of force. He said that a “former police officer” at the seminar “made us all feel like criminals, and now my wife’s so scared of the repercussions of using self-defense that she’s decided not to carry at all.”The speaker went on to say “that anyone who uses a firearm for self-defense, whether it’s discharged or not, is immediately guilty of murder or attempted murder and will be arrested on the spot and sent to jail.”

That is just plain wrong, and does nothing but make people fearful. Is going to jail on a murder charge a possibility? Maybe. It really depends on the situation surrounding the whole encounter.Seminars and speeches like the one really do a disservice to the law-abiding citizens who carry a firearm for self-defense and know the law says about the use deadly force to protect themselves or others. I reminded the member that this officer was more than likely being paid by the company that put the seminar on, and that the company sells insurance. What better way to boost sales than to make everyone scared to use their firearm without insurance?

So, what really happens when you are forced to use your firearm to defend yourself or someone else? What happens after the smoke clears and the threat is gone? Situations vary, but I will try to explain the essentials from both the legal and investigatory side. I will then explain what you yourself can expect to go through.That’s a lot of information, and why this is Part 1 of a two-part article.

In this first installment, let’s talk about the law enforcement response.You are forced to defend yourself. You know the laws on self-defense, you are lawfully carrying or in possession of the firearm, and you have used it to save your life or the life of another person. You pull your firearm and shoot another person, causing them injury or death. As the fog lifts and your mind starts to wrap around the fact that you just shot someone, the police will arrive.What happens in the next few minutes is critical to what may happen to you down the road. You may be physically injured, and at a minimum you will be shaken, dazed, and/or confused.

No matter what you do, you should immediately make sure you are safe from further attack or injury. Make sure you are ready for the potential of another attack or more assailants. Once you are sure it is safe and over, take a few very deep, calming breaths. Try to calm your heart rate and breathing, and then get on the phone and call 911 as soon as you can, even if others have already called.When the 911 operator answers the phone you need to be very clear and concise.

DO NOT get long winded and start yelling or screaming. Tell the operator that you were attacked or threatened and (most importantly) that you were in fear for your life (or the life of another), and that you want to press charges against the suspect. Give them the location and your name. Then say no more. Only give identifying information, your name, and location.

When the police arrive, make sure you are no longer holding your firearm in your hand. Either lay it on the ground and move away from it, or secure it somehow. If there a lot of people around, don’t lay it down where someone can pick it up and run away with it. Follow all the directions of the officers. They may or may not point their firearms at you, they may handcuff you, depending on what the officers were told by 911 dispatchers. Regardless, when they arrive, the ONLY information you should give them is your identifying information; name, address, date of birth. There is nothing wrong with giving them your driver’s license, concealed carry license or both. Keep the information you share limited to the basics.Under no circumstances should you start telling anyone the details of the incident. When they ask you what happened, simply tell the officers the same thing you said on the phone, “I was attacked and feared for my life (or life of another) and I was forced to defend myself. I want to talk to my attorney before making any statements. I do not consent to any searches. I will cooperate fully after speaking to my lawyer.” Remember: you have the right to have an attorney present before any questioning begins. Stick to this and no more.

Unless they have enough evidence at the scene to give them probable cause to believe you committed a crime, they cannot arrest you or take you into custody. If you used self-defense in accordance with your state’s laws, you should not be arrested. If they feel they have a case at that time, then the responding officers may arrest you, but that does not mean you are guilty or will be convicted, or even held for long. Still, do not tell them what happened. Make sure you reassert your right to speak to your attorney before you are questioned about the incident.

If you are can you should call your attorney from the scene as soon as you can. Remember that the police do not know you from your attacker, and that they were not there. They can only go by what they know from the 911 call or calls, from what they see at the scene, and what they are told. Even if there are other people there that are lying about what happened, do not start getting defensive. The worst thing you can do is start telling them what you think they need to know while emotionally upset and scared, because you could say the wrong thing or mix up your words. Just focus on calming down; don’t say anything about what happened.

Let’s assume you are not arrested, but released from the scene to go home. The officers will probably take your firearm into evidence. Make sure you get a receipt for it, because it will make getting it back later easier for you. Now what you need to do is go home and calm down. DO NOT go home and start drinking to settle your nerves, and try not to take medications to do the same thing. Instead, try sitting down and breathing slowly as you go through the events in your head. If you need to, writing down what happened in chronological order may help. In the privacy of your own home, call and speak to your attorney if you have not done so yet. Make sure you tell your attorney the truth of everything you said, saw, and did. What you were feeling, and why, and especially how you ended up feeling threatened. The idea that you were in fear for your life is the key to your reason for defending yourself.

If you are arrested, the same guidelines apply as above. Do not panic. Just because you have been arrested does not mean you are convicted. You should still not say anything about what happened until you speak to your attorney. You will be given the chance to “bond out” of jail, a promise that you will appear in court by paying a fee that will be returned to you upon your appearance. If you do bond out, you will be given a court date to appear. DO NOT miss it. Make sure you contact your attorney, let them know everything that happened, and give them the court information.

Different states have different rules for these types of things. In my state of Florida, if you are arrested and do not bond out, you have to appear before a judge within twenty four hours and have charges and bail set.

There is a system. If you are within the law, do not lose faith. The system does have its way of doing things.

Coming in Part Two: what you can expect during and after a shooting, both physically and psychologically.

Don’t Vote Your Rights Away!!

While I don’t like talking politics here but if it involves firearms ownership and firearms possession rights and just plain violating the Constitution of the United States of America, then sometimes you have to speak out.

If you are considering voting for Biden/Harris and you believe in the 2nd Amendment and the right of ALL free people to be able to own firearms and defend themselves you need to read their stance on firearms on their own website.

https://joebiden.com/gunsafety/

if that is not enough to scare you then you do not believe in the Constitution. Even though I am not a one issue voter this one issue is enough for me on this one because of how blatantly in your face they boast of violating your rights. Some of the proposals they have are just down right scary and in direct violation of the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings.

Please if you are one of those thinking of voting for them, or an undecided, and believe in the Constitution and the right to self defense, and the right to be able to defend this nation from within, you have to read their proposals! God help us if they get in…

Here just a few highlights from that plan:
“As president, Biden will pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.”

“Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

“Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities.”

“Reduce stockpiling of weapons. In order to reduce the stockpiling of firearms, Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one.”

“Require background checks for all gun sales.”

“End the online sale of firearms and ammunitions. Biden will enact legislation to prohibit all online sales of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.”

“Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs. Biden will enact legislation to give states and local governments grants to require individuals to obtain a license prior to purchasing a gun.”

“Put America on the path to ensuring that 100% of firearms sold in America are smart guns.”

“Prohibit the use of federal funds to arm or train educators to discharge firearms. We should be passing rational gun laws, not requiring educators who already have too much on their plates to also protect the safety of their students. Biden supports barring states from using federal dollars to arm or train educators to discharge firearms.”

And that is not all of them!! There are many more. Please dont vote your own rights away!!

Please share this important information!!

Eaton County Deputy Shoots Armed Attacker, Breakdown.

The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office released footage from a deputy’s body camera that shows her shooting a armed attacker in Delta Township on Tuesday morning.

The shooting took place after the Deputy stopped the suspect, Sean Ruis, 43, of Grand Ledge, after he fled the scene of an earlier stabbing.

During the traffic stop, Ruis got out of his vehicle and began advancing toward the deputy. Partial footage from the released video showed Ruis walking away from his car and approaching the deputy as she attempted to back away.

Ruis approached the deputy at an increasing speed with weapons in his hands. Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reiche said Ruis appeared to be carrying three weapons as he approached the deputy: one screwdriver in his left hand and two knives in his right hand.

The start of the traffic stop as the suspect exits armed in both hands and begins to walk back in the direction of the Deputies vehicle. The Deputy exits her vehicle and begins to back away form suspect trying to gain distance.

What can be learned from this attack? Distance is key! Do not let attackers with stabbing/ cutting weapons get close enough to cut you or charge you. Engage while still able to. This Deputy is very lucky to not be seriously injured or worse. Her clearing of the firearm was good, but from the footage it may have been over a previous malfunction that actually was cleared by the suspects striking the firearm while the Deputy fended off the attack.

Another lesson is that one or two shots will not always stop a attack. Fire until the threat is over. And shot placement is vital. Striking a attacker in vital areas will most of the time stop the attack sooner.

We need to learn from every instance like this and see what we can do to train better and learn form these attacks. Thank goodness the Deputy is alright and was able to stop the attack.

“I had a dream! That all the people gathered to let the government know, we the people still are in charge.”

During this time in our country where it seems that fear has gripped the nation and I am sure many are stressed out, I had a dream last night I have to share.

I dreamed that there was a call put out all over the nation on social media and by word of mouth. The call was to peacefully gather at the local and state government seat all on the same day throughout the nation. Regardless of “stay at home” orders.

The local and state governments went on the offensive, threatening to arrest anyone showing up because they were violating the current “social distancing” rules and rule against gathering in groups larger than 10. Yet no one listened to them.

People got in their cars, got in their trucks, got on their motorcycles, whatever they had and on the day that was talked about, they all showed up.

At first some of the governments tried to have the police arrest those showing up before they could get with others, but soon the numbers were just too many for them to handle and they smartly gave up. Realizing that it was pointless.

People of all ages, walks of life and races showed up. They were friendly and talked of freedom and rights. The feeling was one of quite determination.

Once everyone had gathered people stepped up and spoke to the groups. About how we the people were the true government. How while we elected officials to represent us, we actually hold the real power over our lives. Some spoke of the Constitution and how it was the highest law of the land. How our founding fathers had written out the Bill of Rights to ensure that the Government did not take away those rights. How politicians have forgotten that they do not rule the people, they work for the people.

One vivid scene I remember from the dream was a person who shouted out to one of the local politicians, “You are supposed to fix those things that are wrong not create new problems!” and another shouted out to the local police who had been trying to arrest people and given up, “You are supposed to protect and serve, we will call you when we need you.”

The general feeling was one of empowerment and hope. After hundreds of thousands had gathered throughout the nation like this, they all went back to work and the lives they had before the nation was closed by the suggestion of doctors and politicians. Busineses ere reopened and people went about their business as they had before fear had gripped the nation. They were no longer letting fear rule the actions of everyone.

Yes they knew the chances they were taking, yet they accepted that and knew the possible consequences. One citizen even remarked “I would rather live free and as I was than live in fear of the possibility of getting sick.”

Some people chose to stay in their homes out of fear of the unknown. ANd that was fine. People were at least free to choose how to react.

I had a dream last night, and it was a wonderful dream!!

What Does the Current State of Emergency mean for Gun Owners in Florida?

I have seen many posts in lots of different social media groups and threads in Florida about how the current State of Emergency order by the Governor has affected the owners of firearms and the ability to carry them legally.

There are RUMORS going around that the current SOE allows the open carrying of firearms. THIS IS NOT TRUE. While the listed exceptions in the Florida state Statutes still are applicable, nothing has changed in this regard. YOU CANNOT open carry a firearm in Florida Because of the State of Emergency order. What people may be misunderstanding with this one is that during a State of Emergency Evacuation order it is permitted to conceal carry a firearm on them during an evacuation:

790.01 Unlicensed carrying of concealed weapons or concealed firearms.—

(3) This section does not apply to: (a) A person who carries a concealed weapon, or a person who may lawfully possess a firearm and who carries a concealed firearm, on or about his or her person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to chapter 252 or declared by a local authority pursuant to chapter 870. As used in this subsection, the term “in the act of evacuating” means the immediate and urgent movement of a person away from the evacuation zone within 48 hours after a mandatory evacuation is ordered. The 48 hours may be extended by an order issued by the Governor.

The next one I have seen is that the current SOE prohibits you from concealed carrying with CWFL or even without legally during one of the exceptions. Again THIS IS NOT TRUE. You can carry a firearm lawfully just like before, nothing has changed in this regard. You may still lawfully carry with a CWFL and also still possess a firearm in your vehicle according to the Florida Statues. (F.S.S. 790.25(5) for one.) So you can still carry according to the laws just like before this current crisis.

Some counties have closed gun stores under the guise of them being “non-essential”. That is an entirely different debate, and one I think you all know how I feel. But that is currently the ability they have. I would like to see after this is all over that firearms suppliers are exempt from these closures because the items they are selling are Constitutionally protected and unless the Constitution itself is suspended, these businesses stay open. But thats for a different time.

And as we have a lot of new gun owners because people went out and panic bought a firearm, many for the first time, please become very familiar with the current FLorida laws before you get yourself in a legal bind with the police or someone else. Get some training, follow the four cardinal rules of gun safety s you can safely have a firearm. Teach yourself these rules and follow them! Make everyone in your house follow them!

You Just Bought a Firearm for the First Time, Now What?

With all the craziness going on right now I bought a firearm for self-defense, now what?

OK, you have decided to take that big step and buy a self-defense firearm for home or carry. Or you may have gotten one for Christmas or went out and bought one for yourself as a present to yourself. No matter if you already have one, or are thinking of getting one, you need to be a responsible firearm owner. What does that entail? Well, take it from someone that has owned and used firearms for more than 40 years and as part of my daily life, both as a police officer and firearms instructor, GET TRAINED!

The very first thing you should learn if you are thinking of or have a firearm are the four cardinal rules of gun safety. These rules apply anywhere in the world and recognized as being the basis for all gun safety and gun training. Memorize them, follow them and make others who are near you follow them also and you will never be harmed or harm anyone else with a firearm unintentionally. Here they are, they are simple and easy to remember and to understand:

  1. Treat all firearms as they are loaded, regardless if they are or not!
  2. Never point a firearm at anything unless you are willing to kill or destroy it!
  3. Always identify your target, and what is beyond it!
  4. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are on target and ready to shoot!

I make my police recruits memorize and repeat these rules before they ever are allowed to touch a real firearm in the police academy. And then we enforce these rules with no exceptions! That is why we have never had anyone injured in the 20+ years I have been teaching firearms at my academy. If a police recruit violates one of these rules, they can, and we have, remove them from the academy. Firearm safety is that important. So as a citizen learning to handle and use firearms for the first time, or even some that have been handling them but never bothered to know these rules, you MUST FOLLOW THEM!

Every case of unintentional discharge of a firearm, except mechanical failure which is exceptionally rare, can be traced back to someone violating one or more of these simple rules. SO as a new firearms owner you MUST know these and follow them all of the time. Even when you are alone or are sure a firearm is unloaded and safe, treat it like it’s loaded, never point it at anything that you don’t want to destroy, and you will never harm anyone you do not intend too!

The next important act you take as a responsible firearm owner is to secure your firearms and ammunition when it’s not in use. Especially when you have kids around the house. If you have kids in the house, you need to teach them the four rules above. If you teach those rules at a young age and they follow them, you will never be in the news as a tragedy of a child shooting themselves or a friend with a firearm. Securing them can be done one of several ways. A gun safe is probably the best (and most expensive), but not everyone can afford them. If you bought a firearm for home defense, it’s kind of defeats the purpose of locking it in a large slow to open safe. You can have a firearm secured and yet quickly available if you buy a rapid access safe. I have a Hornady Rapid Safe myself on my nightstand that has my home defense firearm in it. It opens with a RFI wristband I wear or a quick finger combination. Either way its fast and yet secures the firearm from prying eyes. I also carry a firearm on me at home most of the time. Some people wonder why and think this is over the top. Well as a former police officer and having gone to more than my share of home invasions, home invasions do not happen elsewhere. They happen in the home and carrying a firearm while in the home is one way to help protect against that. No, I am not paranoid, I am a realist. No place is completely safe these days. No neighborhood is immune to crime. So being armed while home is something that is an individual decision, but imagine if you do become the victim of a home invasion and you could have protected yourself and your family, but choose not too. You have to live with that decision; I choose to be ready even if it is a little inconvenient. I would not be able to live with myself if something happened to my family and I would have been able to prevent it but decided not to bother.

So you have memorized the rules and follow them. You have secured your firearm when not using it or carrying it. And now you are thinking of carrying it one you when you leave your home. Becoming one of the millions of citizens that have decided to carry a firearm on them while out away from home. Either openly or concealed (depending on what state you live in) is a personal choice and sometimes is decided by what activity you are doing, but regardless you have decided to take that next step and protect yourself and your family from becoming just another victim of the criminal element that is out there these days and has no regard for your life or the life of those you love. You should try to remember that it is much more tactically sound to try and fight an armed criminal with a firearm than it is with harsh words, or worse, on your knees begging for your life and that of your family!

Take a firearms course from a reliable instructor in your area. Check around and ask others that you know have been trained who they recommend. Make sure you do not take one of those hour long, gun show courses that are nothing more than a way for them to make money. You need to remember that your life and the life of your family may rely on the training you get. And are they not worth a few more hours of your time and a bit more money if needed? Check out the instructors. Google them, ask around or ask for references. Make sure you are completely satisfied with your instructor’s credentials and what they teach. There is a huge difference between a good firearms course and one that is put on by instructors looking just to make a buck. Remember just because an instructor has this or that certification does not make them a great instructor. So check them out, do your due diligence and be satisfied you have checked them out. There are outstanding instructors out there. I still take courses from other instructors when I can. You are never too old to learn, and never will learn everything there is. Training is a lifelong endeavor.

So now you have learned the rules of firearm safety. You have gotten a firearm and taken some good instruction on how to use it and do so legally and safely. Now you need to know, study and follow your state’s laws on carrying firearms. You do not want to be arrested for something you did not know about.

If you follow those simple steps to responsible firearm ownership, you are one of the citizens that can truthfully say they are ready to defend themselves and their family.  Good for you! I know full well that cops cannot be everywhere and sometimes take minutes to respond to life and death situation, and more often than not arrive after it’s over. Let’s hope that when they arrive you are the one still standing and you have protected your life or the life of your loved ones legally and successfully!

The Lack of Firearms Law Training is Hurting Both the Citizens of Florida and Law Enforcement.

The struggle to educate Florida’s law enforcement officers and agency heads continues and recent arrest/ events do not help with the public view of this topic!

On January 30th, 2020 my private message box started going off like crazy. This usually means one of my former students (now law enforcement officer) has a question about a particular firearms law. But not this evening.

The messages were to get me to review and respond to a Facebook post by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office about a firearms arrest they had made. Probably because many of my LEO friends knew that the circumstances described in the original post by HCSO were questionable at best and they wanted me to try and help out by clarifying the law for the HCSO. But a little background is needed first on Florida law enforcement academy training.

In the state of Florida, up until June of 2019, police recruits in Florida received no training in the police academy on Florida’s rather complicated and lengthy firearms laws. Yes you read that correctly, ZERO, none, nada, zilch training on what one would think are very important laws for both law enforcement and citizens alike. Now this does not mean that agencies did not do any in-service training (on going training that officers go through on a regular basis) on this topic. I know that my local agencies did some great training on this topic and trained every officer/deputy on the firearms laws in Florida. But sadly I cannot say this is the case for most of the larger departments.

I noticed this lack of training about 4 or 5 years ago in the curriculum being used and began to work with the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to try and get some material added to the curriculum so that all officers state wide would get at least some training on firearms laws. After several years of learning how slow this process is, this last June the CJSTC added a short lesson in the training text books and now every recruit in Florida is taught some information about the firearms laws in Florida. While I do not think it is in depth enough, I am happy they at least get some training in it now. But therein lies the problem. Officers who graduated before this addition happened did not get any training and it is beginning to show as more and more Floridians are carrying firearms for self protection. More than 2.1 MILLION people in Florida have Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licenses. That does not include those who carry firearms in their vehicles as allowed by Florida laws.

So back to the incident in Hillsborough County. From a description given by the HCSO itself:

On Thursday, January 30, at approximately 5:54 a.m. an HCSO deputy was driving onto I-75 from Fowler Avenue in Tampa. The deputy observed a white 2018 extended cab Ford F-150 pickup truck immediately behind the patrol car with high beam lights on and following too closely. The pickup truck crossed all lanes of traffic to get into the left lane of the highway and began speeding. The deputy looked over at the truck and could not see into the windows due to a very dark level five tint, which was later tested at the scene and found to be in violation.

The deputy pulled up behind the truck two separate times, both times flashing emergency lights, however, the driver did not stop or slow down. Instead, he continued to speed at a rate of 87 mph. When the driver ultimately decided to pull over, the deputy approached the pick up truck on the passenger side for safety due to traffic.

Stephen Michael Frisco (DOB 07/26/95) was in the sole occupant in the vehicle. The deputy did a visual sweep inside the pickup truck and noticed a rifle wedged between the passengers seat and the center console, rifle end down. The deputy asked Frisco for his driver’s license, where he was coming from and going to, if his rifle was real and if he had any other weapons in the truck.

Frisco told the deputy he was coming from a residence in Pasco County and headed to his place of employment in Bartow. He said the rifle was real and that he had several other weapons in the truck. Frisco said he does not have a concealed carry permit.

𝐅𝐑𝐈𝐒𝐂𝐎 𝐖𝐀𝐒 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐆𝐎𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐇𝐔𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆, 𝐖𝐇𝐈𝐂𝐇 𝐖𝐎𝐔𝐋𝐃 𝐇𝐀𝐕𝐄 𝐁𝐄𝐄𝐍 𝐇𝐈𝐒 𝐎𝐍𝐋𝐘 𝐋𝐄𝐆𝐀𝐋 𝐄𝐗𝐂𝐄𝐏𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐓𝐎 𝐇𝐀𝐕𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐇𝐈𝐒 𝐑𝐈𝐅𝐋𝐄 𝐎𝐔𝐓.

At this point, the deputy asked Frisco to exit the vehicle due to probable cause for an arrest. The deputy searched Frisco’s vehicle and found three loaded handguns — no cases and ready to use — in addition to loaded magazines beneath the center console. Additional loaded magazines were found in the glove box. In Florida, open carry is unlawful (2nd degree misdemeanor).

Frisco was arrested for Open Carrying of a Weapon and Carrying a Concealed Firearm (3 counts). He was also cited for failing to dim headlights 300 feet behind a vehicle and received only a warning for speeding and the tinted windows violation.

We want to reiterate that in 𝐍𝐎 𝐖𝐀𝐘 were Mr. Frisco’s rights violated. As a law enforcement agency, we just ask that anyone who chooses to exercise their rights to carry a firearm does so within the law.

http://bit.ly/37UcsJC

If you know Florida firearms law you may immediately see the issue with this incident. First in Florida is legal to have a long gun (rifle or shotgun) anywhere in the passenger compartment of your vehicle. F.S.S. 790.25(5) covers this:

(5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.

This is legal under Florida law (F.S.S. 790.25(5), but not very secure.

So let’s break down the incident as described by the HCSO itself and I will attempt to explain the issues I see. First the stop itself was made for a traffic infraction, a civil issue and not a criminal one. The description then goes on to say that “The deputy did a visual sweep inside the pickup truck and noticed a rifle wedged between the passengers seat and the center console, rifle end down. The deputy asked Frisco for his driver’s license, where he was coming from and going to, if his rifle was real and if he had any other weapons in the truck.” It is important to note that at this point Mr. Frisco has not done anything criminal as far as the Deputies know since the carrying of the rifle in that manner is legal, AND they do not know if the handguns are being carried in a legal manner or not yet since they cannot see them. In Florida you may carry a handgun in your car if you have a CWFL or if you meet certain criteria under F.S.S. 790.25(5).

This is where things went wrong because of the lack of knowledge of the Florida firearms laws: “At this point, the deputy asked Frisco to exit the vehicle due to probable cause for an arrest. The deputy searched Frisco’s vehicle and found three loaded handguns — no cases and ready to use — in addition to loaded magazines beneath the center console. Additional loaded magazines were found in the glove box. In Florida, open carry is unlawful (2nd degree misdemeanor).” Now since the rifle was carried legally there actually was no probable cause (legal term meaning a strong reason to believe) to arrest Mr. Frisco at this point and the “search incident to arrest” is therefore improper. The handguns were located during the search incident to the arrest and the arrest was not proper. In addition there needs to be a little more clarification on where the handguns were located.

The description says they were located: “The deputy searched Frisco’s vehicle and found three loaded handguns — no cases and ready to use — in addition to loaded magazines beneath the center console.” What is “beneath the center console”? Do they mean inside? My center consoles on all of my vehicles have a lid and open and close. If the handguns were inside the center console, and the lid closed, the handguns were then being carried legally. The law in Florida makes it legal to carry a handgun in your vehicle without a concealed carry permit if you do one of two things:

“it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use.”

http://bit.ly/2uPMFDI

One must then look at the definition of those two terms “securely encased” or “not readily accessible for immediate use”. Lucky for us those terms are defined in the laws. F.S.S. 790.001 (16) and (17) define these:

“(16) Readily accessible for immediate use” means that a firearm or other weapon is carried on the person or within such close proximity and in such a manner that it can be retrieved and used as easily and quickly as if carried on the person.” and

“(17) “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.”

This is where the description of where the handguns were found “under” and center console is not helpful. I can’t place anything under my center console, only inside it. If inside of it, it has a lid which requires opening and meets the definition for (17) above. So if the handguns were inside of the center console with the lid closed, they were legally being carried under Florida law. If that was the case then Mr. Frisco did not commit any violations of Florida’s firearms laws and the arrest was for charges that do not exist. I would like for HCSO to clarify where the handguns were located.

But where the handguns were may be a moot point in that of the Deputies removed Mr. Frisco from his vehicle based on arresting him for the rifle (which turned out not to be a crime at all) then the discovery of the handguns is tainted and not usable for charging him either. Additionally if the Deputies suspected Mr. Frisco of a crime (Specifically a firearms crime) and after knowing or thinking this they asked him questions about that crime, Miranda issues may also come into play. But that is another subject entirely.

I have offered to assist the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office with some free in-service training to help bring their deputies up to speed on the firerms laws. This is a sincere offer in that it helps to protect the deputies and citizens alike. It helps to prevent things like this from happening.

Training our law enforcement in Florida on firearms law is vital to community relations, officer safety, and most importantly citizens rights. This incident should never have happened and could have been prevented by a little education. I hope some deputy or officer somewhere reads this article and it prevents the next incident like this from happening. This is not the first of these types of incidents, but we can strive to make it the last.

While I may not agree with some of the current firearms laws, until they are changed through legislation, they are still the law and we should know them. Plus one minor point to all my LEO friends out there. You do have the discretion to not enforce misdemeanor violations. Sometimes when in doubt or you feel the law itself is not proper, discretion is the better choice.

Why “Universal Background Checks” are Pointless and Will do Nothing to Stop any Crime.

Recently the anti firearms group Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety (both funded by Bloomberg) have been in full press mode in several states. One of those states being Florida where I live.

They have of course been pushing for any kind of anti firearms legislation they can get but in Florida they say all they want is “universal background checks”. Well let’s address that very issue with some interesting myths verse facts. You know those things you can verify and check to see if they are true are called facts, those things that are just made up by someone can be a myth (or an outright lie depending on intention).

First myth, you can by a firearm over the internet without a background check. The answer is actually yes, and no. What it really boils down to is who you buy it from and where the seller and buyer live.

If the buyer and seller live in different states then you must go through a FFL (licensed to sell guns, and requires a background check to transfer it). This is from the ATF website FAQ:

Under Federal law, an unlicensed individual is prohibited from transferring a firearm to an individual who does not reside in the State where the transferee resides. Generally, for a person to lawfully transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person who resides out of State, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) within the recipient’s State of residence. He or she may then receive the firearm from the FFL upon completion of an ATF Form 4473 and a NICS background check. More information can be obtained on the ATF website at http://www.atf.gov and http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unlicensed-persons.html.

https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/docs/0813-firearms-top-12-qaspdf/download

If the seller is a FFL (regardless of location) then you have to have it shipped to a local FFL holder and a background check must be run.

If the seller and buyer are in the same state and are not FFL’s then you can buy it without a background check, BUT, if you sell a firearm to someone who lives in your state you are responsible for knowing they are not a prohibited person. This is federal law:

“18 U.S.C. § 922(d) makes it unlawful to sell or otherwise dispose of firearms or ammunition to any person who is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.”

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/identify-prohibited-persons

If you do sell to a prohibited person, you not only violate federal laws but most of the time also violate state laws and they are serious crimes and felonies.

Second myth: Criminals get guns from Gun Shows or Private sales. This also is true and false, except that the numbers that get them from these transaction is less than you think and most criminals get them from illegal transactions.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, Survey of Prison Inmates from 2016, a survey of over 1.3 million prisoners in US Prison found some very interesting facts. Only 1.2% of ALL prisoners who used a firearm in a crime got them from a “flea market” or “gun show”. That supposed “gun show loophole”. Now of that number we do not know how many required a background check since the majority of sellers at those locations are FFL (licensed and required to run background checks on sales) holders. What is really eye opening in the study was that 85.9% of criminals reported getting the firearms from illegal means. 9.1% got them legally and had background checks run.

So what this all basically says is that criminals either get the guns illegally or legally, but background checks did not stop any of the hundreds of thousands from committing a crime with the firearm.

So what would requiring private sales do to help curb crime? nothing of course. Criminals will just get the firearms through illegal means. What will requiring these background checks do to those that follow the law? It will just make it harder and more costly for them to acquire a firearms for self defense. What most who support UBC’s (Universal Background Checks) do not even think about (or worse do not care) is that the segment of society that are the most preyed upon by criminals and who need self protection the most are the lower income, sometimes minority groups. So by placing additional cost of background checks and making private sales (which are sometimes cheaper) out of their reach the proponents of UBCs are actually hurting the most vulnerable demographic section of society.

Now of course this does not take into account that they are trying to place more restrictions on a Constitutionally protected right. The one and only in the Bill of Rights that has the words “Shall not be Infringed” as the emphasis in it.

So to all of those out there that support Universal Background Checks you may want to rethink your priorities. It is kind of like the people that want to ban those nasty scary assault rifles. Those kill far fewer people each year than even hands and feet (The Ban Assault Rifle Movement is Misled, Lied to and Down Right Manipulated), yet there is such an outcry about them. It all comes from an ignorance of the subject matter. Maybe we should be looking at those things that cause violence and mental health issues in our society. Maybe we should use actual research and numbers to direct our efforts.

So to Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety and Michael Bloomberg and the like, you really are misinformed and misdirected. Maybe just maybe you might think abot those you are going to hurt the most, law abiding citizens who want nothing more than be left alone and defend themselves, and those you will affect the least, criminals.

FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE ALERT! ANTI-RIGHTS BILLS TO BE HEARD ON 01/28/2020 IN SENATE COMMITTEE! WE HAVE 2 DAYS TO ACT!

Well well…. Sen. Perry (who has now voted twice for anti-rights, anti-firearms bills) has more Anti-rights bills in his Criminal Justice Committee (he is the Chair) now! Wonder if they will all vote unanimously on these also?

On 01/28/2020 at 1:30pm the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice will hold a meeting:


MEETING DATE: Tuesday, January 28, 2020
TIME: 1:30—3:30 p.m.
PLACE: Mallory Horne Committee Room, 37 Senate Building


And on the agenda for that meeting to be heard and voted on are a couple of Anti-Firearms Bills! That means we have 2 days to let them know we do not support and do not want them to support these anti-rights/ waste of the TaxPayers Money bills!

The first is SB 652: Urban Core Gun Violence Task Force by Sen. Pizzo. This bill creates a task force at taxpayer expense to investigate:

“… system failures and the causes of high crime rates and gun violence incidents in urban core neighborhoods and communities. In addition, the task force shall develop recommendations for solutions, programs, services, and strategies for improved inter-agency communications between local and state government agencies which will help facilitate the reduction of crime and gun violence in urban core neighborhoods and communities.”

This Bill is full of problems and will do nothing to reduce violent crime or help ALL of Florida citizens be safer. Why do our legislators continue to try and divide us into groups? Why can’t they just focus on all of Florida’s citizens?

This bill will not help the vast majority of Floridians if anyone. How many “task forces” do we need to tell us that violence is not good and how to combat it?

The second Bill on the agenda of Sen. Perry’s Committee is one I wrote about before. CS/SB 728.

This bill makes it a crime to threaten to use a firearm to make a threat (that is already illegal and called Aggravated Assault, 784.021) or “future threat” whatever the heck that is, and makes it a felony of the Second Degree. Now I hope people see that if you already have something against the law, why are you making it part of another law? Why is this an issue at all other than to put just one more anti-firearms law on the book? The Bill did not have an exception for self-defense (that was added later by amendment) but now it does. Still, this is unnecessary and stupid to waste time on something that is already illegal.

What should be of concern is the term “future threat”, which does not get defined in the proposed law. What in the world does that even mean? Without definition that could be used in many ways if you think about it.

We need to write to ALL of the Committee members, of course including Sen. Perry and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 652 and CS/SB 728. We do not need more regulations, task forces or other waste of time and money. We need them to start focusing on real issues and the bigger picture. Mental Health screening and treatment. Early intervention for young violent offenders, harsher punishments for already existing violent crimes (and actually doing that), caring for our natural resources and so much more.

Here are links to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee members’ pages and emails. Please take the few minutes it requires to do this. If you stay silent you are part of the problem and why our rights are being eroded a little at a time. Do not remain silent, become a voice for your rights and those of all Florida Law Abiding citizens!
Committee on Criminal Justice

Members
Chair: Senator Keith Perry (R)
http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S8
Vice-Chair: Senator Jeff Brandes (R)
http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S24
Senator Randolph Bracy (D)
http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S11
Senator Anitere Flores (R)
http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S39
Senator Jason W. B. Pizzo (D)
http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S38

Sen. Perry recently said he is pro-firearms rights and pro-second amendment. Ask him to prove it.

FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE ALERT! BAD BILL WARNING!

FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE ALERT! This Bill has been scheduled for a hearing!!! Your Florida Representatives think they are better than you!!

01/24/2020 4:05 PM Added to Criminal Justice Subcommittee agenda, for meeting on 01/28/2020 8:00 AM, at Sumner Hall (404 HOB).

This Bill is a perfect example of what is wrong with the Legislature. They think they are above the very laws they make for the rest of us citizens. This Bill would allow Legislators and County and City officials to carry concealed firearms in a meeting of those bodies, even though the rest of the “citizens” (servants) are prohibited from doing so. So they say they are better and more law-abiding than you!

You need to make sure that you let the members of this Committee know that you do not want them to support this Bill and if they do they are doing nothing more than proving that they think they are above the very laws they want the rest of us to follow! SHAME ON THEM! Email them, call them or do something to make sure they know your feelings!!

You can find links to each Committee Members page in the link below! Click on each one then click on email!! Make sure they know how you feel about this!

HB 183 –
Prohibited Places for Weapons and Firearms
General Bill by Ponder
Prohibited Places for Weapons and Firearms: Authorizes elected member of a specified governing body who holds a license to carry concealed weapons or firearms to carry concealed weapon or firearm to a meeting of governing body of which he or she is a member.
Effective Date: July 1, 2020
Last Event: Added to Criminal Justice Subcommittee agenda on Friday, January 24, 2020 4:05 PM

Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Subcommittee