Appeals court overturns concealed weapons conviction for former Wal-Mart employee

An appeals court struck down the concealed weapon conviction of a former Wal-Mart employee who pulled out a gun he had a permit for and shot a man while trying to break up a domestic argument. The employee was trying to come to the aid of a female co-worker who was arguing with her boyfriend outside the store, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The boyfriend then punched the man in the face and the employee pulled out a gun and shot several times, hitting the boyfriend once in the leg, the newspaper reported.

The employee was charged with, and convicted by a jury of, second-degree attempted murder and carrying a concealed firearm. He was convicted of both charges and sentenced to 25 years on the attempted murder charge and to five years on the concealed weapons charge. He was facing up to life in prison on the attempted murder charge under Florida’s 10-20-Life law because he fired a gun and hit someone. The judge allowed the man to serve both sentences at the same time, so his total sentence is 25 years. The appellate court upheld the attempted murder conviction in this 2011 Jacksonville Gun Crimes Case and the man will remain in prison on that charge. So this appellate ruling does not change the sentence one bit in this Florida Gun Crimes Case, though it does clear up some of the ambiguity of an employee’s rights to have a firearm while at work. Employees are legally allowed to carry firearms at their place of business, as long as they have the proper permit. That right includes parking lots and other areas surrounding a business, which is the piece of the law that applied in this Jacksonville Gun Crimes Case. In this case, the defendant kept the firearm in the glove compartment of his vehicle, the newspaper reported.

Appellate courts are an integral part of the criminal justice system. In many cases, these rulings are what can keep prosecutors from overstepping their bounds and charging people with crimes they shouldn’t be charged with. In this Jacksonville Gun Crimes Case, the concealed weapons charge should not have ever made it to a jury. Second Amendment rights to protect oneself are very important and must be respected by the court system. Our Jacksonville Gun Crimes Attorney knows the legal rights of people who own firearms, including if a person is forced to use a firearm when he or she feels threatened and fears for his or her life. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate any charges to ensure the state is not infringing on a person’s Constitutional right by charging him or her with a crime.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Gun Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.