Justices Approve NRA Brief In Open-Carry Case

Apr 11, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday said the National Rifle Association can file a friend-of-the-court brief in a case challenging the constitutionality of a state law that bars people from openly carrying guns.

The court issued an order approving the NRA's request to file the brief in a case brought by Dale Norman, who was arrested in 2012 in Fort Pierce while openly carrying a gun in a holster. After a jury found Norman guilty of a misdemeanor charge, the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld the state's ban on openly carrying guns, ruling it does not violate constitutional rights to bear arms.

The NRA submitted a motion Thursday seeking to file a brief in the case, which is scheduled to be heard June 8 by the Supreme Court. The NRA's motion said it is "critical that this (Supreme) Court hold that the open and peaceful bearing of arms is constitutionally protected conduct."

In the motion, the NRA also noted it was "deeply involved" in supporting Florida legislation this year that would have allowed people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry firearms. That legislation was approved by the state House but died in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Supreme Court has allowed the national group Everytown for Gun Safety to file a brief in the Norman case. That group opposes the open carrying of guns and used its brief to trace a long history of restrictions, saying "Florida's law does not even implicate the Second Amendment --- let alone violate it."