The U.S. Supreme Court handed a loss to a Florida gun group on Monday when it declined to hear a case surrounding the state’s open carry law. 

The nation’s highest court refused to hear the appeal in the Dale Norman vs. Florida case on Monday following a lengthy legal battle which has weaved its way to Washington after several years.

In July, Florida Carry Inc. filed an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dale Norman vs. Florida case, a case revolving around how Florida regulates concealed weapons permit holders and the accidental brandishing of firearms. 
 
It all started in 2012 when Dale Norman was found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor after his firearm accidentally became exposed outside of his house. 
 
Norman was walking down the street in Fort Pierce carrying his handgun, which was not covered by his clothing. When a passerby saw the gun, the police were called and Norman was arrested. 
 
A lower court found Norman guilty of violating the state’s open carry ban, even though Norman had a concealed weapons permit for his handgun.
 
The court slapped Norman with a $300 fine and court costs, but the legal challenges didn’t end there.
 
Norman alleged state lawmakers were wrong in banning open carry because it requires people looking to defend themselves to first get a concealed weapons permit if they ever want to protect themselves while outside the four walls of their homes. 
 
The state, on the other hand, believes that if open carry were to be legal, legislators would have already passed a bill allowing it. 
 
The Norman case weaved its way through the court system until it was ultimately heard by the Florida Supreme Court last year, which backed the state in the appeal. 
 
Florida Carry and Norman took the case all the way to the nation’s highest court, alleging Florida has erred in its 30-year open carry ban. A federal judge who denied the appeal had no further comment on the ruling.
 
Florida Carry said the ban on open carry goes against the spirit of America, which typically tends to support the right to bear arms. 
 
“Traditionally this Court and the State courts have viewed the right to bear arms as categorically protecting the carrying of firearms openly,” the group wrote. “Florida and the other four States that generally ban open carry are outliers in conflict with American traditions.”
 
Florida is one of five states to have an outright ban on open carry, though Republican lawmakers have attempted to pass bills permitting open carry for concealed weapons permit holders for years in the Florida Legislature. 

Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, filed a similar measure this year, but the legislation was never heard on the Senate floor. 

 

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


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