Cowboy Up

On September 19, Gerald Deaguiar risked his own life as well as the lives of other motorists as he raced his 2007 silver Jaguar at speeds of up to 90 mph against a motorcyclist. To make matters worse, Deaguiar was drunk and carrying two handguns, one on each hip. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrested Deaguiar and gave him a breathalyzer test at the Hernando County Jail. Deaguiar registered a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .309-almost four times the legal limit. He was so drunk that he had to be hospitalized before being taken to jail.

After posting $1,250 bail, Deaguiar was released early the next morning. He has since been charged with driving while intoxicated, racing, and possessing a firearm while intoxicated.

Deaguiar holds a concealed carry permit that was issued by the state of Georgia. The state of Florida has a reciprocity agreement with Georgia, meaning that anyone who possesses a valid concealed carry permit in that state may carry a concealed weapon in Florida. Florida has an extremely liberal reciprocity policy that recognizes concealed carry permits from 33 other states.

An individual in Georgia only has to pay $15 dollars, show a photo ID, and submit to a basic background check to receive a concealed carry permit valid for five years. Applicants are not required to demonstrate proficiency with a handgun or knowledge of firearm safety as there is no written test or training requirement. Florida €™s requirements aren €™t much tougher. Florida prohibits applicants from obtaining a permit if they have two or more drunk driving convictions in the previous three years (one, apparently, is fine). The Sunshine State also requires applicants to take a two-hour firearm safety course or present evidence of military service.

There is no word yet on whether Deaguiar €™s concealed carry permit will be suspended or revoked due to his criminal behavior.

Commentators are increasingly comparing America €™s liberal concealed carry policies to the frontier days of the €œWild, Wild West. € In this case, such a comparison seems particularly apt. Deaguiar acted as the quintessential €œWild West € gunslinger-as if he were The Man With No Name in €œA Fistful of Dollars, € riding through town with a pistol on each hip after taking shots of whiskey at the saloon. Armed, drunk and dangerous, he displayed a reckless disregard for public safety that belied the gun lobby €™s best arguments about €œlaw-abiding € behavior and responsibility.

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