Carrying a Firearm in a Car with a CWFL!
Concealed is Key
Carrying a firearm in a car is perfectly legal whether or not you have a valid Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License (CWFL). In previous article we have written about carrying a firearm in a car without a CWFL, so today we will focus on those who have a CWFL. Anyone who possesses a valid CWFL may carry a handgun on their person or anywhere in their vehicle so long as the handgun is concealed. Unlike individuals who do not possess a CWFL, there is no requirement that the handgun be either securely encased or not readily accessible in the vehicle. This also applies to out of state visitors who possess a valid permit or license to carry a concealed handgun from a state with Florida reciprocity.
So How Does Florida Law Determine if Your Handgun is Concealed?
“For a firearm to be concealed, it must be (1) on or about the person and (2) hidden from the ordinary sight of another person. The term ‘on or about the person’ means physically on the person or readily accessible to him… The term ‘ordinary sight of another person’ means the casual and ordinary observation of another in the normal associations of life.” Ensor v. State, 403 So.2d 349, 354 (Fla. 1981). Ordinarily whether or not a firearm was concealed will be a decision for the jury to make based on the facts and circumstances. Dorelus v. State, 747 So. 2d 368 (Fla. 1999).
Are Under the Steering Wheel Magnet Mounts for Handguns Legal?
Many people seek ways to make their handguns readily accessible for emergencies, especially while seated behind the wheel of their car. As a result under the steering while magnets that holds a handgun by its slide have become popular. Although this way of carrying a firearm in a car is convenient for quick access it is not necessarily legal under Florida law. The actual magnet mount is perfectly legal, but the problem arises when the magnet is used to store a handgun. The magnetic mount alone does not conceal your firearm from the ordinary site of another person. For example, an officer who approaches your car during a traffic stop. The magnet mount might be a great tactical option but unless there is something that completely covers the handgun from the ordinary sight of others, it is a no go in Florida.
Are Dark Tinted Windows enough to Conceal your Firearm?
What if your car has dark tinted windows that do not allow people to see clearly in your vehicle? Does this allow you to use the magnet mount to hold your handgun? The Florida Supreme Court provided an answer years ago that is still good law today. In State v. Teague, 475 So.2d 213 (Fla. 1985), the court held that “… tinted motor vehicle windows by themselves do not make a … firearm a concealed firearm under section 790.01(2).”
What are Some Ways to Conceal Your Firearm?
Possessing a valid CWFL or an out-of-state permit or license recognized by the State of Florida makes carrying a firearm in a car simple. The only thing one must worry about is concealing the handgun. There are a variety of ways this can be done including but not limited to: storing the handgun in a closed compartment in the car (e.g. glove box or center console), completely under the seat, under a towel in the passenger seat, on your person concealed by clothing, in a briefcase or purse, in a holster that completely covers the entire handgun, etc. Just make sure the handgun is not visible to the ordinary sight of people!
Want to learn how to carry a firearm in a car without a CWFL? Click Here!
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