IS A CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT ALWAYS REQUIRED?
You do NOT need to have a CWP to transport firearms legally. You can have a firearm in your car if it is securely encased, which means kept in a closed container like a covered container or zippered gun case. Many people refer to a “three step rule” – meaning you need to go through three movements in order to reach the firearm. This so-called rule does not exist in Florida but it’s a good rule of thumb to use as a guideline. The most common definition of “securely encased” means it is in a holster or gun rug that is snapped, zipped, or strapped, or in a box or container with a closed lid or top so that the lid or top must be physically opened in order to use or fire the weapon. The container does not have to be locked.
Most people don’t know that you can always keep a firearm in the glove compartment, with or without a CWP. In Florida, the glove compartment is an exception to the “securely encased” law. You can keep your gun loaded and ready to go without the need for a holster or case and without a permit. Again, the glove compartment doesn’t have to be locked.
But remember, in Florida, if you are carrying a firearm on your person, purse, or bag (within reach) in public, you MUST HAVE a CWP.