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Florida Considers Legalization of the Slung Shot (No, Not Sling Shot)

Florida legislators are currently considering a bill that will make it legal to carry a century old weapon that is gaining new popularity. Slung shots are small masses of metal or stone attached to flexible string or strap. Historically, they were used as boating tools to cast line from one area to another. As a weapon, the weighted end of the tool is used to strike out at someone. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln reportedly launched the successful defense of a man accused of killing a person with a slung shot. Carrying the weapon is considered a felony in four states, including California, Oklahoma, Massachusetts and Michigan. Now, The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Florida lawmakers are considering the seriousness of this weapon.

The Pending Legislation

In the state of Florida, it is currently illegal to carry slung shot in a concealed manner. According to the article, Senate Bill 1000 was unanimously approved by the Criminal Justice Committee. Its sponsor explained that an increasing number of women are carrying these weapons in their purses for self defense. He further stated, “If you had this little item in your pocketbook, it could be considered an illegal, concealed weapon.” Debate over the issue reportedly included consideration about the elevated level of crime within the state, but lawmakers explain that users of the slung shot must still defend their actions in the criminal justice system.

Florida’s Concealed Weapon Laws

Under Florida Statute 790.01, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon or device about the person. The law is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with a possible sentence up to five years imprisonment. The charge increases to a third degree felony if the concealed weapon is a firearm. In determining what constitutes a weapon, the legislators included a number of guidelines:

  • Self defense sprays, like pepper spray, are not included;
  • Non-lethal stun guns are not considered weapons;
  • Tear gas guns are classified as weapons;
  • Destructive devices, like grenades, pipe bombs and explosives are classified as weapons;
  • Certain knives are classified as weapons, according to their size and usage;
  • Pocket knives are not considered weapons; and
  • Slung shots are specifically listed as concealed weapons.

If the bill passes, slung shots will no longer be included in the state’s definition of a weapon.

Individuals who wish to carry a concealed weapon within the state must apply for a permit. It is classified as a “shall issue” state, which means that the issuing authority has no discretion to grant or deny a license, as long as the statutory requirements are met. Licenses are granted to residents, as well as non-residents, for a reported fee of $112. After a 90-day processing time, the license remains valid for 7 years.

If faced with charges of carrying a concealed weapon, contact an experienced lawyer. Our Miami lawyers are prepared to help you fight these charges. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.

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