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Old September 14, 2011, 11:30 AM   #1
Tom Servo
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 12,130
Florida Training Requirement?

You may have heard about this little snafu. John Crewdson has an article at Bloomberg, in which he's very upset about the implications of HR 822.

Apparently, this represents such an existential crisis for Mr. Crewdson that he applied for a Florida concealed weapons license. By his own admission, he appears to have lied on the application:

I’ve never touched a handgun and I haven’t been to Florida in decades, yet this month Florida officials mailed me a permit to carry a concealed gun. (…) Florida, which granted my permit after I viewed a half- hour, online safety video, now says it made a mistake.
(Yep, and this guy once won a Pulitzer.)

Florida Statute 790.06(h) has a clear list of approved courses, and whatever video he watched does not appear to satisfy the requirement. More than a few folks have called shenanigans on Mr. Crewdsen for lying on the application.

This morning, a response came from Bloomberg:

John Crewdson received training under the law. Under section (h)(1) of the Florida statute, an education or safety course approved by another state is acceptable for a Florida permit. Moreover, John contacted the state of Florida after the permit was issued to verify the online training he received was sufficient under the law. It was at this point that the state said it had made a mistake.

We have reviewed the statute and don't believe John made a mistake in reading it the way he did. Even if he did, there is no rational basis upon which to allege that he knowingly filed a false statement and committed a crime. This allegation is wholly false and defamatory.
So, Florida experts: who's right?
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe

Last edited by Tom Servo; September 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:47 PM   #2
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 56
Looks to me like he simply exploited a "loophole", in that he skated around what is probably the "legislative intent" of 790.06(2)(h) which contains the ways in which one can "demonstrate confidence with a firearm". As far as I can tell his "online course" falls under #3:

"Completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or the Department of State;"

I looked at the MD Firearm Safety Training Site and it simply calls the online video (which I could not get to start up) its "Firearms Safety Training course". It's indeed a 30 minute video, and completion of the video entitles the viewer to a nice certificate of completion.

Clearly Florida didn't have this "training course" in mind. Hell, even at the bottom of the Maryland training page it states:

"Keep in mind, successful completion of the Firearms Safety Training course is only one of the requirements that must be satisfied before a Maryland resident can legally buy, rent, or otherwise possess a handgun or regulated firearm in Maryland."

I'm not familiar with Maryland law but it appears this 30 minute video is just the tip of the iceberg to even HANDLE a handgun, let alone carry one concealed.

In Maryland's eyes this is only part of the full-on gun training regimen, but because they called the video what they did, and issued a certificate for watching (i.e. completing) it, it turned into something different when translated to Florida's "language".

I'm sure someone else figured this out and tipped the author to it. Did he follow the letter of the law? Seems so. Did he follow the spirit? Not by a long shot.

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Old September 14, 2011, 09:59 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 9,684
Florida statutes say that:

Originally Posted by 790.06
(2) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall issue a license if the applicant:


(h) Demonstrates competence with a firearm by any one of the following:
1. Completion of any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a similar agency of another state;
2. Completion of any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
3. Completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
4. Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
5. Presents evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service;
6. Is licensed or has been licensed to carry a firearm in this state or a county or municipality of this state, unless such license has been revoked for cause; or
7. Completion of any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor;

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes; or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization, or group that conducted or taught said course or class attesting to the completion of the course or class by the applicant; or a copy of any document which shows completion of the course or class or evidences participation in firearms competition shall constitute evidence of qualification under this paragraph; any person who conducts a course pursuant to subparagraph 2., subparagraph 3., or subparagraph 7., or who, as an instructor, attests to the completion of such courses, must maintain records certifying that he or she observed the student safely handle and discharge the firearm;
Note the end. Regardless of whether or not the "instructor" in the video is accredited by one of the agencies listed in the statute, watching a video does not involve live fire, and by definition the "instructor" cannot observe the student safely handling and discharging the firearm. Our hero did NOT comply with the law, and issuance of his license by the State of Florida clearly was an error.
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