By Danielle Wall
Not everyone wants to get a concealed weapons license, but some people do want to be able to have a firearm with them in case of an emergency or to partake in target practice and things of that sort. So, how does one, in the State of Florida, carry a firearm without a concealed weapons license?
If you do not have a concealed weapons license, you can still carry a firearm in your vehicle lawfully under Florida law pursuant to Florida Statute 790.25(5). To do this legally, the firearm must be securely encased (which means snapped in a holster off your person, in the glove compartment, in the center counsel, a gun case or a closed box or container – Florida Statute 790.001(17)) or not readily accessible (which means in the truck of the vehicle or storage compartment of a pick-up truck or RV – Florida Statute 790.001(16)). The firearm may be loaded. We have received a lot of questions about a “three-step rule” that citizens of Florida keep hearing about in regard to carrying a firearm in a car. That “rule” does not exist in Florida, and never has. There is no “3-step rule” in Florida law.
Of course, you have to transport your firearm to and from your vehicle, so what are you supposed to do if you don’t have a concealed weapons license? When you are traveling to or from (directly, no stops in between) a shooting activity like the gun range or target practice, or fishing/camping/hunting, you are allowed to openly or concealed carry your firearm as Florida Statute 790.25(3) gives exceptions to Florida Statute 790.053 (open carry) and 790.06 (concealed carry). This does not mean that you will not be approached by a law enforcement officer if one sees you doing this. In fact, should you decide to carry openly, it is likely that the police will receive many calls from “concerned citizens” about a person walking in the street with a gun and will respond accordingly. However, if you are legitimately traveling to or from any of the activities above, you are not breaking the law.
The information above applies to handguns. But what about rifles and shotguns? In Florida, rifles and shotguns may be carried openly in your vehicle. Therefore, rifles and shotguns do not need to be concealed and may be carried anywhere in a private conveyance when the firearm is being carried for a lawful use, which includes activities such as self-defense and hunting (Florida Statute 790.25(5)).
about Danielle Wall