At Malcolm Anthony, P.A., we support the rights of legal, gun-owning citizens of Florida. Our state has many laws supporting your right to own and carry a gun, but some gun owners still find themselves in trouble when misunderstanding state and federal laws.
We want to sift through some of that confusion and make sure you don’t end up needing our services. Let’s explore some of the most common questions about how and when you can keep or store your gun in the Sunshine State.
Can I Keep My Gun In My Car?
Florida has long held that residents have the right to keep and bear arms, including in private vehicles for the purpose of self-defense and “other lawful purposes.” Statute 790.251 codifies that policy, spelling out how and when you’re permitted to keep a gun in your vehicle in the state.
You are legally allowed to keep your gun in your vehicle in just about any place in the state with the exception of school properties where the institution has explicitly posted restrictions on school grounds. Schools are permitted to limit this pursuant to the safety of students and staff on campus.
What’s important to understand is that your employer cannot legally prohibit you from keeping your gun locked in your vehicle, even in their own private parking lots. In fact, a business cannot even ask employees or visitors about lawfully possessed and secured weapons inside private vehicles.
Even if you don’t have a license you can conceal carry inside a private vehicle as long as the firearm is secured and not readily available for use. If you do have a license then you are able to carry a long gun anywhere in your private vehicle. You do not have to tell police about guns present in your car during traffic stops or investigations but doing so may be advisable to prevent the situation from escalating.
Who Can Carry Their Guns On Them In Public?
The laws related to carrying your gun on your person in public spaces are much different. Generally, open carry (where the firearm is visible on your person) in public or private spaces is illegal throughout Florida. Statute 790.25 does provide exceptions to this for the following individuals:
- Law enforcement
- Members of the Militia or members of any state or federal military branch
- State or federal employees with authorization to open carry
- Mail carriers
- Guards and armored car carriers
- Regularly enrolled members of target, skeet, or trap shooting organizations while traveling to and from practice
- Regularly enrolled members of clubs who collect modern or antique guns while traveling to and from gun shows
- Anyone engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting
- Anyone firing weapons for testing in legal, enclosed places such as firing ranges
- Anyone transported an unloaded pistol to and from a shop to have the gun repaired
Outside of those individuals, you will be expected to conceal carry your gun when in public spaces as long as you have a license to do so. You can get a concealed weapon license from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Florida.
Do My Guns Need To Be Locked In My Home?
We want to quickly address this one because there have been concerns and confusion surrounding firearms in the home. Florida Statute 790.174 provides the answer here. Ultimately, you are not required to secure your guns in your own home unless you have a reasonable expectation that a minor could access them.
It may be advisable to do so just to be safe because we can’t predict when someone, minor or otherwise, may attempt to take these important possessions from us for their own use.
If you believe your Florida gun rights are being infringed upon or end up making a mistake and need to preserve your right to bear arms, contact Malcolm Anthony, P.A. Our team can protect your freedoms and preserve your future when things go wrong.