possession of firearm

Cruising – Can I Keep My Gun in My Car?

CRUISING – A Favorite Florida Past Time

With major cruise lines sailing weekly from Port Canaveral, Miami, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and others, it is no wonder cruising is a favorite past time of Floridians.  Speaking on gun law throughout the state, we meet many Floridians who have no idea about the restrictions on firearm possession in Seaports.

Florida Law Allows Possession Of A Firearm in Your Car

Anyone who can lawfully possess a firearm can carry a loaded firearm in their vehicle under Florida law.  Florida Statute 790.25(5) reads in relevant part:

(5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. 

Many Floridians keep a loaded firearm in their glove compartment or center console of their vehicle.  They do not give their firearm a second thought when heading out on a cruise.  They pile their family and the luggage in the car and head to the port.

Seaports are Restricted

Because you can have a firearm in your car, does not mean you can possess a firearm in a seaport.  Florida law specifically states that you cannot have a firearm in your car or possess a firearm in the restricted areas of a seaport.  Florida Statute 311.12 prohibits the possession of a firearm in all restricted areas of a seaport.

3. Persons found in these areas without the proper permission are subject to the trespass provisions of ss. 810.08 and 810.09.
(b) The seaport must provide clear notice of the prohibition against possession of concealed weapons and other contraband material on the premises of the seaport. Any person in a restricted area who has in his or her possession a concealed weapon, or who operates or has possession or control of a vehicle in or upon which a concealed weapon is placed or stored, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. This paragraph does not apply to active-duty certified federal or state law enforcement personnel or persons so designated by the seaport director in writing.
Unfortunately, having cruised from every single one of the ports listed above, I have first hand knowledge that the parking areas in the seaports in Florida are in the restricted areas.  If you possess a firearm in the seaport, even if you are only dropping passengers off, you are breaking the law.  All passenger cruise terminals are also located in the restricted areas.  Those who driver Uber, Lyft or other on-demand car services should realize that they cannot pick-up or drop off in these locations with a firearm in their car.

We are here to help!

The Expert Firearm Attorneys at The Firearm Firm are here to help.  Further, our primary goal is to keep gun owners legal.  If you have any firearm related questions, visit our website.  There, you can search our knowledge base, or leave a question for us to answer.  The Firearm Firm is a statewide Second Amendment and Self-Defense law firm.

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