Open Carry in Florida
Today we’re going to talk about firearms. I want you to know that this entire book, which is Florida Firearms: Law, Use & Ownership, is some 346 pages long. So, it’s not a subject I can give you every answer to, but I will try to give you some important tips.
The first is that in the state of Florida, there is no open carry rule. You may not openly carry a firearm. That means long-gun or handgun, you may not carry either. However, there are some exceptions for certain sprays (self-defense sprays) that you can openly carry.
Talking about guns: There is no provision for open carry. What does that mean? Well, most of us drive cars, but that doesn’t mean you can just toss your handgun in the passenger seat and ride along. You can’t leave your gun exposed in the backseat. Those items must be put in a position where they cannot be readily accessed. You may keep your firearm in your glovebox (loaded, round in the chamber, safety on, or completely ready to go). Also, you can keep it in the armrest. In my mind, that’s accessible and based on the law, you can carry it there. In my car, beneath the front seat on both sides there’s a small glovebox and I keep my firearm there. There are places in a car to store them, as long as you don’t have instant access to it. Now, you can do that with or without a concealed weapon permit.
I encourage you, if you’re going to carry, you need to make certain you understand the law.
Let’s talk about another aspect of this. You can keep it in a zipped case for a long-gun or a handgun. There is some case law which supports the proposition you can keep it loaded in a holster and clipped so it’s not readily accessible. Candidly, carrying a gun in a vehicle presents another problem.
By the way, if you are an employer, you must allow employees to bring a weapon into the parking lot. The problem occurs if some criminal breaks into your car, opens your glovebox, and now becomes armed. Right? Therefore, I encourage you to get a floor safe of some sort for your vehicle.
Again, if you’re carrying a weapon in a car, you are subject to certain restrictions. As a general rule, there is no open carry in the state of Florida.
However, that’s not entirely true as there are some exceptions. You can open carry if you are in your house, on your curtilage (which is the area just outside your yard fence), camping, hunting, and fishing. I don’t recommend that personally because people will know you are armed. If they know you are carrying, they have an advantage over you.
Every gun owner needs to know what they are permitted to do and what they aren’t permitted to do.