In honor of the Armed Fisherman, Mr. Michael Taylor

For those of you who don’t know “Soloyaker”, he posted several videos of him open carrying while fishing in Florida.

I heard him once share that he considers himself an activist. I realize he’s controversial. I think he’s got a lot of guts and has sacrificed a lot, in the name of “rights”.

I believe there’s debate about his methods and some might argue their effectiveness or efficacy.

I also read that he is a husband, father, and chef at a restaurant at farm fresh direct to restaurant venue.

I read that it’s a unique loophole in FL law, as they’re normally not an open carry state, unless fishing. Of all his vids I’ve seen, he’s been fishing. I notice that for some in the public who see him, they are surprised, and no doubt, due to their fear or unfamiliarity with the law, they call the police.

In another vid, not one he posted, but from an officer’s cam, we hear the police say, “maybe he’s either fishing or it’s a suicide by cop situation”. I worry for him, not to mention, the headaches he must suffer. I’ve also seen segments of persons asking to take a photo with him and for an autograph, I know I would ask him.

On the one hand, I do worry, that opposers might get ruffled to the point they change the laws and we might no longer be able to “carry” while fishing.

But I also think he’s a very hard-working advocate and a celebrity, I thank him.

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I’ve heard of him. I do hope he stays safe and doesn’t encounter a scared, jumpy cop with an itchy trigger finger. It’s bad when the LEO doesn’t know the law. The FWC officer was cool and knew what he was doing. I have big respect for the FWC officers. Everyone of them I’ve ever had an encounter with struck me as first class.

Edited to add, I think he should be a little more balanced in one area, though. He started railing on the FWC officer for wanting to check his bag. By getting a Florida fishing license, you are agreeing to inspection by FWC officers for fish in your possession to determine if they’re legal. The officer wasn’t violating his 4th amendment rights. It costs him credibility.

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Cool post Joseph488. I agree, IMHO, he can come off upset, but darn "I feel like I sit on my a _ _ ", but this gentleman – “Ain’t no grass growing under his feet”. Tons respect. Luv.

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It’s sad that people have to look for loopholes to be able to exercise their 2A rights. But I am curious about what the initial argument for passing this law was? Why do fisherman in Florida have their 2A rights protected while others do not?

I could see if this was a place like Alaska where fishermen regularly run into bears. Don’t think that happens very often in Florida though? Plus in Alaska you can open or conceal carry your firearm whether you are fishing or not.

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I live in Florida and have wondered the same thing. The statute lumps hunting, fishing, and camping all together. Maybe the intent was defense against Florida wildlife like alligators, snakes, black bear, or panther. Or, maybe the intent was defense against pirates? It would be interesting to know.

The law goes further to allow open carry while going to and from fishing. That makes it sound like a person should be able to leagally open carry in Florida in the bait shop, buying ice, drinks, and snacks at the grocery store, filling up with gas, i.e. anywhere along the way to and from fishing. If you extend this a little farther, then a person should be able to legally open carry in Florida as long as you have fishing equipment in your vehicle.

I’m not going to be the one to test the waters to find out, nor have I ever seen anyone open carrying under these circumstances other than Michael Taylor did organize an open carry day at the inlet near my house a couple years ago. The local news covered it and showed about half a dozen fishermen open carrying mainly Glocks, but one nice looking 1911, while fishing.

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Depending on where you’re fishing in Florida, you can run into gators, water moccasins, diamondbacks, wild boars, or bears; any one of which could ruin your day. The statute specifically says anyone actively engaged in hunting or fishing, or on their way to hunt or fish, so to me it makes sense. Personally, I’d like to see the whole state open carry, but that’s just so I can open carry in the woods even when I’m not hunting or fishing.

I live on a natural lake with gators and snakes. I open carry when I’m working on the property down near the lake shore (or fishing from my own shoreline). In fact, I often open carry when I’m doing any kind of brushwork or anything that could disturb a dangerous snake.

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I carry OWB when on a boat both inshore and offshore. I pretty much aways pull a shirt over it as I approach the dock. Even though I am probably printing, no one ever seems to notice. I definately would not risk open carry while cleaning fish at a public cleaning station as both hands are fully occupied.

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I do the same. On my property I carry a revolver with a mix of wadcutters and snake shot. On the boat I carry a plastic M&P in an OWB fobus, so it’s more immune to the saltwater and a quick draw if I need it. If I’m going offshore, I also have a rifle in the cabin.

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That would make a little more sense if it is a general outdoor activity thing. Though the law discriminates against hikers, birders, etc. who would be facing the exact same threats as hunters and fishermen.

Though I personally would be a lot more worried about running into Florida Man out there then alligators or snakes😉

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A very real risk. A similar thing happened in CA, it used to be legal to open carry an unloaded gun, so activists would get together and open carry an unloaded handgun in an OWB holster with a loaded magazine right next to it. Yeah, that law got changed.

For how ‘gun friendly’ some Floridians seem to talk about their state…it sort of isn’t. I’d be afraid FL will get rid of the exception and just ban all open carry, after all it wouldn’t be any more unconstitutional than the current scenario

And agree, the interaction with the FWC officer about the license and the bag and all that doesn’t come across smoothly

“You win more friends with honey than with vinegar” is a lesson some may need to learn

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