Captain Mike Fewless of the Orange county Sheriff's office teamed up with Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson, and Major Ken Davis of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office, and went to Tallahassee to lobby against SB 234. For those who do not know, SB 234 will allow those people in Florida who have a concealed weapons permit to carry a weapon openly. This law doesn't change who carries a weapon, only how they carry it.
Fewless used his access as a law enforcement officer to research alleged members of a biker gang, take their pictures, and gave those pictures to the legislators on the Judiciary committee. He then told the judiciary that these are the types of people who would be openly carrying weapons, since these alleged gang members were CCW permit holders.
“I actually stopped by every one of your guy's offices this morning and dropped off seven photographs of some biker outlaw gang guys that have carry and concealed firearm permits,” Fewless said to the committee.
In so doing, Fewless became a criminal himself. He violated more than one law in using his police powers to search restricted databases, and then released that information to the public. If it is true that the bikers would be permitted to openly carry firearms because they have concealed weapons permits, this means one of two things: That the bikers in question have not broken any laws, or that they HAVE broken the law, and the cops themselves haven't done their jobs. It is also illegal for public employees to lobby the legislature while on the clock.
According to Florida Statute, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must suspend the licenses of those persons arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify an individual for a license until final disposition of the case, and a licensee who is under an injunction that restrains them from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence. Finally, the agency must revoke the license of a licensee who have been found guilty of, had adjudication of guilt withheld for, or had imposition of sentence suspended for one or more crimes of violence within the preceding three years. So if those men are in fact criminal bikers, they should not have permits.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Major Ken Davis told of a recent traffic stop of six Tampa Bay Outlaw motorcycle gang members. “Although the six Outlaws were certified gang members, and had histories of criminal arrests, most were also concealed carry permit [sic] holders”, he related.
Note that he was being misleading: They had a history of arrests. So what? Were they convicted? He doesn't say. I myself have been arrested. I was innocent until proven guilty, and since I was never convicted, I have a concealed weapons permit.
I would also note that Fewless' boss is Orange County Sheriff Demmings, whose wife is Val Demmings, the police chief of Orlando. She 'lost' her gun in 2009, when she left it in her unlocked vehicle in front of her house. The two agencies have had nearly a dozen firearms stolen from unmarked vehicles in the past five years, including a suppressed machine gun.
It bothers me less that a biker gang member who has never been convicted of a crime has a weapon than it bothers me that the cops carry them. Cops kill more people every year than do biker gangs. Cops have stolen more money from me at gunpoint than have biker gangs. and biker gangs are not lobbying the state legislature to grant them rights while simultaneously attempting to restrict mine. I feel safer with the bikers.