Carrying at Work in Florida
No CWFL is needed to carry a firearm or any other legal weapon at your business. These weapons can be carried openly or concealed. Florida Statute § 790.25(3)(n) is the controlling law on carrying in your business, and there have also been court case decisions to support and interpret the statute. (See Peoples v. State, 287 So. 2d 63 (Fla. 1973), State v. Anton, 700 So. 2d 743 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1997)), which clarified that the right to carry at work included the buildings and property surrounding the business.
In the case of Collins v. State, 475 So. 2d 968 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985), the court clarified that the phrase “home or business” found in Florida Statute § 790.25(3)(n) includes the individual’s surrounding property, as well as the buildings and structures, situate thereon.
There is a “parking lot law” in Florida, but for the most part, it was found to be unconstitutional by the Federal courts. See Florida Retail Assoc. v. Attorney General, 576 F. Supp 2d 1281 (N.D. Fla. 2008). Ultimately, the only portion of Florida Statute §790.251 which survived was the portion that protected employees parking at work. The law states that an employee who has a CWFL is protected when lawfully storing a firearm in their locked vehicle and cannot be questioned about it, or face retaliation by the employer. However, there are exceptions to this general rule in Florida Statute § 790.251(7), such as school property (including bus stops and school events), correctional facilities, nuclear power plant property, national, aerospace or homeland security property, property where explosive devices are manufactured or stored, and any property where a firearm is prohibited under federal law.
What about shared parking? If your business is in a plaza, or on property that shares parking or a parking lot with other business, under Florida this, that area would most likely NOT be protected for carrying under § 790.25(3)(n), but would still fall under §790.251 for the purposes of keeping a firearm in your car.
Permission from Employer
No permission is needed from an employer prior to carrying a firearm either openly or concealed at work under Florida law. However, the employer can prohibit you from either open or concealed carry on their property just like any other property owner, and you can face disciplinary action including termination for violation of company policies. This was settled in State v. Commons, 592 So. 2d 317 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1991).
Disney, Universal, and Other Theme Parks
Unfortunately, all of the protections afforded to employees for carrying at work or keeping a firearm lawfully stored in a vehicle parked at work do not apply to Disney, Universal or other theme park employees. Pursuant to Florida Statute § 790.251, any property that stores combustible or explosive materials is excluded from the “parking lot law” exception. Since Disney, Universal and other theme parks store fireworks, they do not have to abide by the “parking lot law.”
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