Published January 21, 2022
You have the right to be armed and to retain them. It is the second amendment to the United States Constitution and maybe the most well-known. That said, the right to carry is also one of the most contentious and regulated rights in America. As a citizen of Florida or even a visitor, it is critical to understand Florida concealed carry laws and your rights when it comes to purchasing, possessing, and carrying a gun.
Is It Okay to Carry a Concealed Firearm in Florida?
Basically, no. Carrying a concealed firearm is illegal and a third-degree felony in Florida, but it is permitted to do so after obtaining a permit through the licensing process. There are, however, a number of restrictions and laws that must be followed in order to carry them legally. To begin, you must complete the required training and then receive a concealed carry license.
Restrictions on Where One Can Carry a Firearm
Yes, even with a permit, there are numerous restrictions on where a firearm may be carried. Below are some of the most prevalent, though this is by no means an extensive list (you should receive a complete list during your concealed carry class; if you do not, request one):
- Police departments
- Detention facilities
- Polling places
- Career centers
- Athletic events
- Places of legislative or committee meetings
- Establishments whose primary purpose is to serve alcohol
Are Firearms Allowed to be Openly Carried?
No. While several states have passed “open carry” laws in response to the United States Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller ruling, which established an individual right to bear weapons in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, Florida has not gone this far. However, the legislation states that you may display your firearm “briefly and openly” in specific circumstances. This would include showing it to a buddy or displaying it for self-defense.
Additionally, exceptions are provided for travel to and from legitimate target shooting or outdoor adventures such as camping, hunting, or fishing. Because the regulations governing this subject are highly specific, you should consult your concealed carry instructor or a Florida firearms attorney with any queries you may have.
How Should One Store a Gun in Their Vehicle?
Florida concealed carry laws permit carrying a firearm inside a vehicle (private conveyance) even without a concealed carry permit if the weapon is “securely encased” and not easily available for immediate use. This requires that the weapon be carried in a holster, bag, or glove compartment with a clasp, zipper, or door that must be opened prior to use. A velcro bag, briefcase, holster with a closed snap, and a box with a lid all meet this requirement. Without a snap, a simple holster is not “securely encased.”
Can a Florida Concealed Carry Permit Be Used in Other States?
Numerous states in the United States have what is known as “reciprocity” agreements, which basically mean that they will honor your state’s gun license in their state. It is critical to note that even if your license is valid, you are still responsible for learning and adhering to the state’s specific firearms regulations. Given that more than half of the states in the union recognize Florida gun licenses, it’s more convenient to have a list of states that DO NOT recognize your permits. These are the states:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
If you ever find yourself in a legal situation involving firearms, or if you have been charged with a firearm-related offense, you need an experienced gun law attorney by your side who knows Florida concealed carry laws well.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a firm believer in the power of sharing knowledge. Having extensive experience in the prison industry, she wants to share what she knows with the world. Judy also loves to write about political and legal topics.