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An Interview with a Florida Open Carry advocate


Accomplished Advocate
Aug 17, 2006
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

2019 is shaping up to be a battleground year for firearms rights not just in Florida, but throughout the country. Among other things, in Florida we are fighting to maintain, and expand the recognizance of our right to openly carry firearms, beyond the narrow exception as defined in Florida Statute 790.25. At the forefront of this fight is Florida Carry, Inc, and at the tip of this spear is Michael Taylor…

At almost every open carry fishing expedition in Florida, Michael is there. Equipped with fishing tackle, sidearm, and AR-pattern rifle, he’s rapidly becoming one of the more prominent fighters for our rights. Here at RGG, I recently had the chance to (virtually) sit down with him and pick his brain on the Second Amendment, open carry, fishing, and more…

An interview with Michael Taylor of Florida Carry
Q: How did you get into firearms?

A: I am a new gun owner as of November 2017. What made me get my first firearm was right after the Parkland shooting in South Florida. When David Hogg, March for our Lives, and Mom’s Demand Action were on their crusade trying to ban assault weapons I saw it then and I still see it now how they want to come up with so called common sense gun reform. After the end of 2018 I now own a few. Now is not the time to get complacent.

Q: How did you get into openly carrying while fishing? Did you see others doing it?

A: After purchasing my first firearm I started to learn all the laws on firearms. How I could carry it legally, how I must store it in the vehicle, etc. I was very limited on how I could carry in the public without a concealed Weapons License. Not having the money for the class and the fees to purchase the license I had to put it off. While on YouTube and the Internet I was learning everything I could about Florida Gun laws, when I ran across the Open Carry Statute in Florida but was not to comfortable carrying like that at the time. So I continued fishing without my firearm until one late at night in Fort Pierce a couple of guys were hiding under the bridge that I was fishing. I never heard them or saw them till they were close behind me. I turned around and they were within 15 feet of me yelling in Spanish dinero, pronto. My Spanish isn’t that great but I knew they wanted my money. I did what I could and swung my fishing pole at them and took off running. I was in a real bad situation that night and if they would have had a weapon I was done for. From that point on I open carried every time that I went fishing. How I got introduced to Florida Carry is a fun story. As I was doing research I started calling LEO agencies of places I had fished and started asking questions about 790.25 (3)(h). I had posted one not sure if it was facebook or youtube, but Eric Friday of Florida Carry’s general counsel reached out to me and ask me if I had heard of FC and how I learned of the law and so forth. From that day forward I found FC would be the organization I would grow to love and trust. Not taking away from the NRA but Florida Carry is looking out for us here in Florida.

Q: From my basic research, you have twice been harassed by law enforcement in the State of Florida while legally, within the definitions of Florida law, exercising your right to openly carry a firearm. Can you briefly detail those two incidents?

A: I have had 4 police interactions 2 went pretty smoothly, and the other 2 went very wrong very quickly. The Miami Beach, FL incident was with guns drawn and detained for 2 hours and they injured my shoulder. Most recent was in Port St. Lucie, FL. I was trying to explain the law and they just put me in handcuffs, and then proceeded to take my firearms away from me as well as my GoPro off my head.

1st Interaction Stuart

2nd Interaction Miami Beach

3rd Interaction Fort Pierce

4th Interaction Port St. Lucie

This is probably all I can say at the moment about this.

Q: How did it feel, being targeted and harassed by the government for exercising your rights?

A: I do feel for LEO because they do have a tough job, but that does not give them the right to violate me or any other persons rights when they are following the laws that were given to us in Florida. Both interactions had parts that scared the shit out of me. Miami Beach I had several guns pointed at me. Port St. Lucie they were so hell bent on being right that no matter what I said to help them understand the law they were ready to take me to jail.

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