|Region 4 Representative|
Libertarian Party of Florida
Ryan Ramsey is the current Libertarian Party of Florida ("LPF") Region 4 Representative, serving his second term in the position. He is also the founder and current Chair of the Bradford County Affiliate, and a 2018 candidate for Florida House of Representatives, District 19. He is a US Navy Veteran and founder of the national LP Veteran's Caucus. He is the singer and guitarist of the liberty oriented band "Lovecrime", hosts a podcast, and posts extensive writings at his website LibertarianHeathen.com. Outside of the LPF, he has been involved in a number of liberty oriented civic activist organizations.
Early life and military service
Born in Southern California in 1977, Ramsey was raised in the Los Angeles area. He alleges frequent harassment and assault for being white in a majority Hispanic area. This led to his involvement in the "skinhead" (white nationalist) subculture and conflicts with ANTIFA. He states he later repudiated these connections.
Ramsey enlisted in the US Navy in June, 1995. He chose to be a Gunner's Mate, and attended US Naval Gunnery School and Mk-13 Missile Launcher Technician School in Great Lakes, Illinois. He served on the USS Underwood, FFG-36 based at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida, from September 1996. His serving on the boarding party in drug interdiction operations in the Gulf of Mexico caused him to begin questioning the drug war. In 1998 he was wrongfully arrested on a misdemeanor firearm charge, later dropped. He was Honorably Discharged in June 1999, attaining the rank of Second Class Petty Officer. After his enlistment ended, he enrolled in a 4 year electrician apprenticeship program, graduating in June, 2003.
Gun rights activism
Because of his firearm charge, he grew hostile toward government, initially choosing to distribute materials from the Fully Informed Jury Association to potential jurors in Jacksonville in 2000. He joined a successful white nationalist effort to rid North Florida and South Georgia of gang presence.[Dubious claim that needs mainstream sourcing.] He began gravitating towards libertarianism, listening to talk show host Neal Boortz and reading works by various classical liberal and libertarian authors. Influenced by Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential Campaign, Ramsey participated in the early "Tea Party" movement, but saw the movement co-opted by Republican Party operatives.
In 2010 Ramsey founded Jacksonville Open Carry, joining with Florida gun rights activists in a series of demonstrations called "fish-ins". Under threat of arrest, Ramsey led Jacksonville's first demonstration with a small group. Exploiting a loophole allowing open carry while fishing, activists in multiple cities in a coordinated manner. These monthly events led to the creation of Florida Carry Inc. In 2010 Ramsey helped push open carry firearms legislation through committee hearings, compiling data showing police are 22 1/2 times as likely as a Florida CCW permit holder to commit crimes resulting in loss of gun rights. A bill providing licensed to carry a concealed firearm briefly and openly under certain circumstances became law in June, 2011. In 2016 Ramsey successfully shepherded another open carry bill through the Florida House with help from his local Sheriff. The bill was killed by GOP Senate leadership.
Ramsey is a co-founder, with Brandi Hicks, and current Director of the non-partisan "Florida Liberty Project" which focuses on state legislation. Current projects include the "Jason Westcott Body Camera Bill" named after the victim of a 2014 SWAT team raid. Ramsey has worked with Wescott's mother on the bill which mandates body cameras on Florida LEO's[Explanation of "LEO" needed.] and implements uniform standards. He also is working on a repeal of Florida's "Paramilitary Training Act", contractor licensing reform designed to create more entrepreneurship in construction trades, as well as various gun rights bills.
Libertarian Party activism
Ramsey became active in the Libertarian Party of Florida because Republican and Democratic party officials had little interest in Jason Westcott Body Camera Bill legislation. He continued to work with Patti Westcott who sued Tampa police over her son's murder.
Hoping that electing libertarians would move his liberty agenda in Tallahassee, Ramsey and Hicks started a Libertarian Party affiliate in Bradford County in the fall of 2015. They recruited at the University of Florida where Ramsey had significant connections. At the 2016 LPF convention Ryan was elected the first Region 4 Representative. He organized volunteers and events in support of Gary Johnson's 2016 campaign for President around the University of Florida. He successfully recruited volunteers to form the Alachua LPF affiliate which worked on the 2016 elections. The affiliate was officially recognized by the LPF Executive Committee later that year.
In May, 2017, Ramsey was elected as Regional representative again. Ryan helped another group of libertarians to form a third state-recognized affiliate in Columbia County.
Ramsey is in a personal relationship with Brandi Hicks.
- Region 4 Representative (2016—present)
- Chair (2015—present)
- Slideshow of Jackson Open Carry at Florida Times Union Jacksonville edition, January 2014.
- Florida open carry protesters exploit ‘loophole’ at Jacksonville pier (VIDEO), Guns.com, May 15, 2014.
- Florida Carry website.
- PoliceMisconduct.net, The Cato Institute's National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, Cato Institute.
- SDL Biography, Co-Founder Ryan Ramsey, Chapter 1 includes the audio of those first speeches before the Florida Senate; at The Sons and Daughters of Liberty Florida Youtube Channel, April 5, 2016.
- Text of Firearms Law passed 2011 at the Florida Senate website.
- Bradford County Not a Gun Free Zone, Bradford County Libertarian Party of Florida, March 13, 2017.
- Kyle Munzenrieder, Open-Carry Bill Is Officially Dead in Florida, Miami New Times, February 17, 2016.
- "Florida Liberty Project"
- Peter Jamison, Confidential informer blows whistle in fatal Tampa SWAT raid, Times December 27, 2014.
- Police Jacob Sullum, Police Informant Says His Lies Killed a Harmless Pot Smoker, Reason Magazine, December 29, 2014.
- Michael Paluska, Mother sues Tampa police for son's death during botched drug raid; Lawsuit alleges police negligence, excessive force, WTFS Tampa, May 25, 2016.