In a decision rendered last week, Norman v. State, the Florida Supreme Court rejected a Second Amendment challenge to Florida's "Open-Carry" law. The statute in question, section 790.053, prohibits individuals from visibly carrying firearms in public. Under the statutory scheme, a gun-owner must first obtain a license to carry a firearm in public. Even after they obtain a license, they still must conceal the firearm-for instance, in an article of clothing-when they are carrying. Failure to do so is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60-days' imprisonment and a $500 fine. The Open Carry law also contains sixteen exceptions, including one for bringing firearms on fishing, camping, or hunting expeditions.
Last week, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion clarifying the types of firearms convicted felons may possess. Section 790.23 of the Florida Statutes prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms. However, the law also exempts any firearm manufactured before 1918, or replicas of pre-1918 firearms. Weeks v. State involved a case against a convicted felon who hunted with a .50 caliber muzzle-loaded rifle. Weeks' rifle largely copied a pre-1918 firearm, but used a modern scope.
In the latest battle over gun control in Florida, the Florida First District Court of Appeal recently rejected a challenge against the University of Florida's regulations on firearms. The case, Florida Carry, Inc. v. University of Florida, held that the University of Florida could enforce its campus-wide ban on firearms in college housing. While the plaintiff alleged both Second Amendment and state law claims, the case as a whole turned on whether on-campus housing should be considered a home or part of the school under state and federal law.