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Justices Will Not Reconsider ‘Open Carry’ Ruling

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A divided Florida Supreme Court said Thursday it will not reconsider a March ruling that upheld a longstanding state ban on people openly carrying firearms in public.

Dale Norman, who challenged the constitutionality of the law after being arrested in 2012 in St. Lucie County for openly carrying a gun in a holster, requested reconsideration of the Supreme Court's March 2 ruling. But the court, by a 4-2 margin, rejected the request Thursday.

As is common with such orders, the court did not explain its reasoning. The majority was made up of Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince — the same majority that upheld the law last month. Dissenting Thursday and last month were justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston.

Justice Alan Lawson, who joined the court at the end of December, did not take part.

In last month's decision, the majority found that the ban on openly carrying guns "regulates only one manner of bearing arms and does not impair the exercise of the fundamental right to bear arms." But in a March 16 motion for reconsideration, Norman's attorney argued, in part, that the Supreme Court "misapprehended points of law and made erroneous conclusions of law in reaching its decision."