Carrying a concealed weapon is perfectly legal in Florida – provided you have all the necessary paperwork in order, of course – but that didn’t stop one concerned shopper from taking the law into his own hands and tackling another shopper who was legally carrying a concealed weapon, WTSP is reporting.
Clarence Daniels is a legal, concealed-carry permit holder who was exercising his right by carrying a concealed gun – in his holster – as he was getting out of his vehicle in the parking lot of a Walmart in Brandon, Florida, on Tuesday. Forty-three-year-old shopper Michael Foster saw Daniels getting out of his vehicle with his gun.
According to the Tampa Tribune, Foster followed Daniels into the Walmart and kept close behind him as he shopped. Then, rather than call 911 or alert store security about the gun – or, ignore the matter entirely since Daniels wasn’t breaking any laws – Foster took the law into his own hands and grabbed the 62-year-old man from behind, via a choke hold, then pulled him to the ground, all the while shouting “He’s got a gun!”
During the struggle, Daniels protested that he had a permit to legally carry the concealed gun.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene to sort the matter out. Once they determined that Daniels was legally carrying his concealed gun, they arrested Foster on charges of battery.
Florida has some of the most permissive gun laws in the country, according to USA Carry, including the right to carry a concealed weapon. Private entities in Florida – such as a retail store like Walmart – are free to set their own policies regarding guns on their property. If you carry a gun into a Florida business that has declared itself a gun-free zone, you are not committing a crime per se; however, you can be asked to leave, and you are trespassing if you don’t leave when asked.
“Properties that display a No Gun sign do not have the force of law in Florida unless that property is specifically mentioned in the State Law as being off limits to permit holders. If you are asked to leave a property then you must leave. Refusing is breaking the law and you can be charged.”
As for the scuffle at the Florida Walmart over a legal, concealed gun, neither the assailant nor the victim were injured.
Do you believe the concerned shopper was right to tackle first and ask questions later when he saw a man enter a store with a concealed gun?