The topic of gun rights is a hot discussion right now, especially after rioters and looters showed what they can do. What about you? Do you know your gun rights? It's important to check gun laws by county as these laws differ from one place to another.
Gun Laws by County | Check What Applies to You
In the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 25, 2020, Americans have filled the streets of both cities and suburbs to protest police brutality and racism.
In many cities, especially Minneapolis, where the crime occurred, peaceful protests have become violent riots. With police forces targeted by those involved, calls to 911 are going unanswered and whole neighborhoods have been left to fend for themselves.
Armed citizen guards formed in Minneapolis, Washington State, and Idaho, successfully protecting shops and restaurants from being looted or burned to the ground.
But in some states, the declared States of Emergency amid the unrest is actually stripping citizens of their rights to protect themselves with firearms.
States of Emergency Limit Rights
As we learned all too well during Hurricane Katrina and again during the Coronavirus lockdowns, government officials can tread on your Constitutional rights by declaring a State of Emergency – especially your 2nd Amendment right.
The limitations allowed by a State of Emergency can include closing businesses, seizing property, imposing a curfew, and banning the sale of firearms, just to name a few.
Government officials can include any and all limitations regardless of the reason for the State of Emergency and can extend and renew the limitations for months at a time.
States of Emergency can be declared by the President, Governors, Mayors, and Sheriff’s departments, allowing for wildly varied laws within a small geographical area.
Florida Offers Up a Variety of Approaches
Florida is the perfect example of a State with such varied laws. A statute in Florida allows for the ceasing of firearm sales when a State of Emergency is declared due to civil unrest.
In West Palm Beach, Mayor Keith James declared a State of Emergency on May 31 that included prohibiting gun and ammunition sales for 72-hours. At a time when law-abiding citizens and their businesses are targets, they were unable to legally arm themselves in defense.
However, 150 miles away in Polk County, Sheriff Grady Judd encouraged locals to shoot anyone trying to loot their homes or businesses.
“The people in Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded,” Judd said.
“And if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns, so leave the community alone,” he added.
Florida has gained attention in the past for allowing concealed carry without a permit during a state of mandatory evacuations, due to a hurricane.
Know Your Rights
You should always know your rights based on your location, and be aware of updated legislation. This includes temporary bans and restrictions due to current events like civil unrest.
While some states have embraced the arming of citizens to support overwhelmed police forces, others will be quick to remove your right to protect yourself. It’s best to stock up before polarizing events occur and can limit your access to guns and ammunition.
What is your take on this current situation? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!