Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lets Count The Mistakes, Shall We...

Subtitled: Never, ever, ask a law enforcement officer anything about the law

Question: "May I carry a handgun on my boat?"

"Any citizen of Florida can obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon providing he's not a convicted felon or mentally ill. It's a felony to carry a concealed firearm on or about your person. "About your person" has been interpreted to mean in a nearby area that's easily accessible, such as under the driver's seat in your vehicle or in the center console of your vehicle.

The same interpretation would apply to a boat. If you obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm, you must also decide if you could take a person's life when you shoot. If you shoot to kill, your actions would come under extreme scrutiny, making you possibly the subject of an arrest.

You may only fire your weapon if you fear for your life. It would be a felony to point a firearm at anyone unless you feel the subject intends to do you great bodily harm or kill you. Your actions again would be examined under a microscope.

Other states and other countries have gun laws that are more restrictive than Florida.

I am not an attorney, but I did spend 30 years as a police officer. If you have any questions about Florida's law call the Florida State Attorney's Office at 533-1000.

I really don't think it's necessary to have a gun aboard your boat, even though the law permits you to have one if you don't violate any other Florida laws. If you cruise the high seas, maybe.

Quite a few citizens and even police officers are shot with their own guns.

— Bill Jefferson is a former commander of the Cape Coral Power Squadron.

No, you do NOT need to be in fear of your life, but anyone else's or when at the scene of a felony in progress. You therefore CAN point your firearm at someone for any number of reasons.

No, you do not need a permit to carry a weapon on your own boat, as it is a personal conveyance and the same rules apply as for an automobile. Simply keep it out of plain sight and reasonably secured.

Yes, it CAN be necessary to have a gun onboard a boat, but at the end of the day it is up to the INDIVIDUAL to decide, and not an elitist pig of an officer who feels more entitled than the average person.

The last sentence should read: "Quite a few police officers and even those who are not police officers are shot with their own guns."

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