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Open-carry ban in Florida upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

News sources report that Florida's open carry law, which bans openly carrying firearms, has been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. The lower court's ruling was upheld by the high court when it refused to hear the case on a writ of certiorari. This means that Florida's existing ban on openly carrying weapons will remain in place.

The open-carry law was challenged by a man who had been charged with a misdemeanor offense. He challenged the law as unconstitutional, arguing that it violated the Second Amendment. By choosing to not hear the case, the Supreme Court has allowed the lower court's ruling to stand, which means that the law does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Opponents of the open-carry law argue that it is overbroad. People can be charged with a misdemeanor if they accidentally expose a gun that they are legally carrying under a concealed-carry permit. In recognition of the issue, some state representatives have proposed changing the law to make it a civil violation leading to a fine instead of it being criminally prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense.

People who are charged with weapons offenses might need to get legal help from experienced criminal defense attorneys. When people are convicted as charged, they may face periods of incarceration, stiff fines and other penalties. Having a criminal conviction on their records may also make it harder for them to find jobs, secure housing and to gain approval for loans. Criminal defense attorneys might build the strongest cases possible for their clients and then work to get the charges dismissed or reduced. If they are unable to secure favorable plea offers from the prosecution, the attorneys may litigate on behalf of their clients.

Source: NBC 2, "Supreme Court upholds Florida's open-carry ban", Dave Elias, Nov. 28, 2017.

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