Carrying a Concealed Firearm in Florida

Under Florida Statute 790.01(2), the crime of Carrying a Concealed Firearm is committed when a person knowingly carries, on or about their person, a firearm that is concealed from the ordinary sight of another person.

Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm

The crime of Carrying a Concealed Firearm is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 5 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Carrying a Concealed Firearm, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to five (5) years in prison.
  • Up to five (5) years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

Defenses to Carrying a Concealed Firearm

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Carrying a Concealed Firearm are:

Concealed Weapons Permit

A person who possesses a license to carry a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm (commonly referred to as a Concealed Weapons Permit) issued by the State of Florida is immune from prosecution for Carrying a Concealed Firearm. [1]

Additionally, Florida allows out-of-sate visitors who are licensed to carry concealed weapons or firearms in their home state, the right to carry concealed weapons or firearms in Florida provided the other state offers concealed carry reciprocity.

Exempted Activity

Florida law provides for several limited exemptions which allow a person to lawfully carry a concealed firearm without a Concealed Weapons Permit. [2]

These exemptions are primarily related to carrying a firearm as a law enforcement or security officer, but also include civilian activities such as traveling to or from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting event; transporting a firearm within a private residence; and traveling to or from a gun show or firearms club.

Home or “Place of Business” Exemption

A person may lawfully carry a concealed firearm around their home or “Place of Business.” [3] A “Place of Business” includes a place where a person is employed or a trade union, or professional or business organization that the person is a member of. [4]

Private Conveyance Exception

So long as the firearm is not on your person, a concealed firearm may be kept within the interior of a private vehicle without a permit provided the firearm is either “securely encased or otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use.”

Securely Encased

Securely encased is defined as being in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access. [5]

Not Readily Accessible

Whether a firearm is “readily accessible for immediate use” (such as underneath the seat), is determined by when the accused made contact with law enforcement (or the complaining witness).

If the person was already out of the car when approached by law enforcement, then a firearm found underneath a car seat is not considered to be illegally concealed. [5] On the other hand, if a person is in the car when approached by law enforcement and a firearm is found underneath the seat, the firearm is considered to be illegally concealed. [6]

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Carrying a Concealed Firearm in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. Florida Statute 790.01(3)
  2. Florida Statute 790.25
  3. Florida Statute 790.25(3)(n)
  4. Peoples v. State, 287 So. 2d 63 (Fla. 1973)
  5. Brunson v. State, (Fla. 4th DCA 2017)
  6. State v. Smith, 67 So. 3d 409 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011)
  7. Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm Program, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services