Saturday, March 20, 2010

And the word for the day is FLORIDA!

I hope the weather is pleasant where you are this Saturday. We have a plethora of things to share with you today.

Before we go through the day's entries, I present to you these articles to consider concerning issues with state databases, namely missing data and differences in permit approval. It's disturbing that continuing cuts in state budgets and irregular handling of background checks could once again allow those with criminal histories or mental illnesses to slip through the cracks and purchase firearms.

I appreciate Sheriff Bob Fletcher's attitude "I think in Ramsey we set the bar really high... With good reason; it's a huge responsibility, carrying a handgun in public."

And now, back to your regularly scheduled crimes.

March, 2010 - Crime: Impersonating a police officer
Orange County, Florida: Rickey Heath appears to be the type of person who like to hold onto the past. It seems that he was a police officer who then went on to have a security company and a CCW. Problem is, all that's in the past as he hasn't worked as a police officer for ten years, his security company's license was revoked in 1998 and his CCW permit was revoked in 2002.

But that didn't stop good old Rickey. He went right on running the business without the license, carrying his .40 handgun and telling people he was a police officer. (He attempted to use the 'I'm a police officer' to get a restaurant owner to cut his bill in half.)

And he didn't just claim to be any police officer. No, Rickey told other police officers that he was the chief of police first of Orange Co. and then of Orlando. Problem is, Rickey is 60 years old while the police chiefs of both Orange Co. and Orlando are much younger. And Rickey is Caucasian while both the police chiefs are black. And Rickey is male, while the police chief of Orlando is female.

This is the second time in a month Rickey's been arrested.

I'll continue with the others as soon as I stop laughing.

March, 2010 - Crime: Aggravated assault, extortion, money laundering, drug trafficking and attempted murder
Miami, Florida - Roberto Settineri's story should have been the quintessential American success story right out of the movies. Man comes to America from Italy, becomes a naturalized American citizen and starts a successful wine wholesaling business.

Roberto, a CCW permit holder, was arrested for getting into an altercation with a private security officer, telling him, 'I will put this gun in your f___ing mouth. I know where you live. I'll go to your house and kill you and your family.'

And if that wasn't enough, Roberto, who was reported to have ties to the reported Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, has been arrested by the FBI on obstruction of justice and money laundering. He is also accused of being connected to the Mafia's Colombo and Gambino crime families.

I guess it was an American story, except instead of being Frank Capra, it was Francis Ford Coppola.

March, 2010 - Crime: Possessing a firearm on school property
Boca Raton, Florida - FAU student and New Hampshire CCW permit holder, Ryan Beauchamp, didn't understand why police came to see him while he was at work. It seems that he had ordered ammo to be delivered to his on-campus apartment. They asked him if he owned a gun and had ordered ammo for the gun. He said yes to both and that the gun was stored in his apartment.

Problem is, he lives on campus and it's against state law to possess a firearm on school property, so police took him in.

Now I have no reason to think this young man is anything but a hardworking student working to keep up his grades and support himself working as a valet. That said, if you plan to move to a new state or new situation you have to be responsible as a gun owner to check out the laws where you are going to live to see where they differ.

Ryan considered lying to the police, but didn't which is a definite point in his favor. He recognizes that he made a mistake, another point.

Times will tell as to whether this lapse in judgement will have a negative effect on his criminal record.

Now this story doesn't have much Florida in it:

March, 2010 - Crime: Possession of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, misconduct involving weapons and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Yuma, Arizona - Florida CCW permit holder, Dwayne Carter, has a bench warrant for his arrest for failing to appear on charges of possession of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, misconduct involving weapons and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

But he has a very legitimate reason for missing his court date, he's locked up in New York for a year on a weapons charge.

Carter's occupation is entertainer. His stage name is Lil' Wayne.

And this one has absolutely no Florida in it. But it does have a real laugh.

March, 2010 - Crime: Failure to notify police of concealed weapon
Fairbanks, Alaska - Local gun-rights advocate, business owner and CCW permit holder, Schaeffer Cox, belongs to a 'Liberty Bell' network that sends out a distress call whenever a member feels that their 2nd Amendment rights are being violated. And when a fellow member called, Cox came a running wearing a bullet-proof vest and brought his .38 with him.

Now there were several problems with this situation:

It would seem that the Liberty Bell member who called shouldn't have worried as much about the gun they had in the home, they should have been more concerned with the marijuana being grown in the home that the police found after searching the home after receiving a hang-up 911 call.

Cox, by law, has to tell the police upon encountering them notify them immediately that he is carrying a concealed weapon for the police's protection. He didn't.

And should a man who was charged only weeks ago with choking his wife and plead guilty of a lesser charge of reckless endangerment be allowed to continue to have the permit.

Conceal carry laws are supposed to allow lawful citizens to carry firearms in order to protect themselves from drug dealers and violent individuals not the other way around.

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