Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Florida

Under Florida Statute 790.01(1), the crime of Carrying a Concealed Weapon is committed when a person knowingly carries, on or about his or her person, a weapon concealed from the ordinary sight of another person.

Definition of a Weapon

A weapon is defined as any dirk, metallic knuckles, sling-shot, billie club, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon.

The phrase “other deadly weapon” is a commonly litigated issue, because a wide variety of objects that are not commonly considered weapons can be alleged to be a “deadly weapon.”

In such cases it will be up to the jury to decide whether an object was being carried as a weapon or for its traditional use.

Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Weapon

The crime of Carrying a Concealed Weapon is a First Degree Misdemeanor. If convicted of Carrying a Concealed Weapon, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to one (1) year of county jail.
  • Up to one (1) year of probation.
  • Up to $1,000 in fines.

Defenses to Carrying a Concealed Weapon

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 Weapon. [1]

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

Home or Place of Business Exception

A person may lawfully carry a concealed weapon around their home or “Place of Business.” [2] 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. [3]

Private Conveyance Exception

A concealed weapon may be kept within the interior of a private vehicle without a permit provided the weapon 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 case, whether or not locked; in a zippered case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access. [4]

Not Readily Accessible

Whether a weapon 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 weapon found underneath a car seat is not considered to be illegally concealed. [4] On the other hand, if a person is in the car when approached by law enforcement and a weapon is found underneath the car seat, the weapon is considered to be illegally concealed. [5]

Pocketknife Exception

It is permissible to carry a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife in a concealed manner, as they are not considered “weapons” under Florida law. [6]

Self Defense Products

It is a defense to the crime of Carrying a Concealed Weapon if the object was carried for purposes of lawful self-defense and is recognized as a lawful Self Defense Product.

Permissible Self Defense products are defined as: [7]

  1. Self-Defense Chemical Spray; or
  2. A non-lethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other non-lethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Carrying a Concealed Weapon 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)(n)
  3. Peoples v. State, 287 So. 2d 63 (Fla. 1973)
  4. Brunson v. State, (Fla. 4th DCA 2017)
  5. State v. Smith, 67 So. 3d 409 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011)
  6. Florida Statute 790.001(13)
  7. Florida Statute 790.01(4)