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Delivering the NRA its Latest Courtroom Loss, Florida Supreme Court Upholds Florida’s Open Carry Prohibition

March 2, 2017

Ruling Comes in a Case in Which Everytown for Gun Safety and the National Rifle Association Squared Off, Filing the Only Two Amicus Briefs

Citing Precedent Highlighted in Everytown’s Brief, State’s Highest Court Rules State Law Is Entirely Consistent With the Second Amendment and Florida’s Constitution

NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, applauded today’s opinion of the Florida Supreme Court rejecting an NRA-backed challenge to the state’s law prohibiting the open carry of firearms in public.

In upholding the state law, the court rejected the NRA’s arguments that the prohibition violated the Second Amendment. The court also referred to the lengthy history of state regulation of public carrying of firearms – history that Everytown laid out in detail in its February 2016 amicus brief urging the court to uphold the law. The court upheld the law under intermediate scrutiny, finding that Florida’s prohibition on open carry was substantially related to the “critically important” goal of “reducing firearm related crime.”

“The NRA leadership has failed in yet another attempt to undermine a state’s ability to protect its citizens,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “As the court recognized, state laws regulating how people carry guns in public are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment and with public safety.”

“When we take our children out to the park, school, church, out to eat or shop, their safety and security is our top priority – and all parents and families have the right to do these things without being confronted by people openly carrying weapons,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The courts have recognized, once again, that the Second Amendment right to self-defense is subject to reasonable, common-sense regulation.”

The decision is the latest favorable ruling in a number of cases in which Everytown has filed amicus briefs, including:

Feb. 21, 2017 – Kolbe v. Hogan, the 4th Circuit upheld Maryland’s assault weapons and large capacity magazine ban relying on the language of Justice Antonin Scalia in Heller to find that assault weapons and high capacity magazines are not protected under the Second Amendment because they are akin to M-16’s, which are “weapons of war” that are “most useful in military service.” Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

February 17, 2017 – In Wollschlaeger v. Florida, the 11th Circuit ruled unconstitutional under the First Amendment a 2011 Florida law forbidding doctors from making it standard practice to ask their patients about guns, record their answers, or engage in discussions about gun safety that could be perceived as harassing towards gun owning patients. Moms Demand Action amicus brief on this case

December 14, 2016 – In Silvester v. Harris a unanimous panel of the 9th Circuit upheld California’s ten day waiting period for firearm purchases as applied to those who already owned firearms and had passed a background check. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

June 27, 2016 – In Voisine v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence with recklessness as a mens rea will continue to be prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

June 25, 2016 – In Leach v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania struck down Act 192, a law allowing outside lobby groups such as the NRA to sue Pennsylvania municipalities over local gun laws and imposing onerous damages on local governments for having gun safety laws on the books. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

June 9, 2016 – In Peruta v. San Diego, the 9th circuit upheld the “good cause” requirement for issuance of a concealed carry permit, finding that there is no Second Amendment right to carry a concealed weapon. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

March 22, 2016 – In Colorado Outfitters v. Hickenlooper, the 10th Circuit dismissed a challenge to Colorado’s background check law on standing grounds. Plaintiffs promised to refile, but after eleven months have failed to do so. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

April 25, 2016 – In v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Northern District of Georgia upheld restrictions on carrying firearms on Corps recreational property. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

March 4, 2015 – In Fyock v. Sunnyvale, the 9th Circuit upheld the City of Sunnyvale’s high capacity magazine restrictions. Everytown’s amicus brief on this case

March 26, 2014 – In United States v. Castleman, the Supreme Court adopted an understanding of the MCDV restriction that applied the prohibitor to crimes with any use of force. Everytown’s Amicus Brief in this case

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