Marion Hammer: NRA will push again for open-carry gun laws in Florida
The National Rifle Association will seek to pass a bill legalizing the open carrying of firearms in Florida during the 2013 session of the state Legislature, renewing a crusade for expanded gun rights that faltered last year, a longtime lobbyist for the group said Wednesday.
Marion Hammer, executive director of the NRA's state lobbying organization, Unified Sportsmen of Florida, told the Tampa Bay Times that the envisioned legislation would make it legal for holders of concealed-weapons permits to carry exposed guns in public.
Hammer said the bill is necessary to protect such gun owners from harassment by police when they accidentally reveal concealed weapons in public. A 2011 compromise that tweaked existing regulations to remove penalties for those who unintentionally expose a gun has not been sufficient protection, she said. As a result, the NRA has reverted to its original goal of open carry for concealed-weapons permit holders.
"We are going to address the problem of law-abiding gun owners exercising their Second Amendment rights, because they're being harassed," Hammer said. "The goal of the new bill will be exactly as it was in 2011 — to protect law-abiding people who have a license to carry."