Thursday, August 16, 2012

Norman v. State of Florida

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A St. Lucie County Judge has denied all constitutional arguments to dismiss the case against Dale Norman.

Norman v. State (FL) is the case of a law abiding concealed carry licensee who was arrested and prosecuted in Fort Pierce, FL for violating Florida nearly complete ban on Open Carry after his otherwise lawfully carried handgun unknowingly became unconcealed while walking.

The denials were based, in part, on the court's findings that the statute is facially overbroad and is facially vague, but was not necessarily improper “as applied” in this case. This turns the standard for statutory review on its head by applying it in reverse.

The judge also did not fully consider the Second Amendment or FL Art.1 Sec. 8 question; denying it because the question of the right to bear arms "is for someone above the level of this court."

The prosecution, having already been notified of our intent to appeal, took the unusual tactic of stipulating to the court that withholding adjudication and just imposing a fine would suit the State’s interests after the Judge explained his grounds for dismissal of the constitutional challenges.

The Second Amendment question is fairly straightforward; Florida courts have clearly acknowledged that the carrying of a concealedfirearm is a privilege subject even to being banned completely, not a right protected by the constitution. Florida appellate courts have held that the “Retroactive application of (new Florida Statutes), is not unconstitutional because a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm is a privilege and not a vested right.” Crane v. Department of State, 547 So. 2d 266 (Fla. 1989).

The Florida Legislature and Supreme Court have long recognised that there is a right to bear arms outside of the home. The “privilege of a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm” recognized in Crane cannot replace, or substitute for, the fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. and Florida Constitutions.

Florida Carry is providing for the continued defense of Dale Norman and seeks to clarify what the right to bear arms is in Florida. Please help us win this fight for your RIGHT to Bear Arms by joining Florida Carry or donating to our cause.

Lower (Trial) Court Docket: 

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