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What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.
Recently a student asked, “Where can you carry a concealed weapon in Florida?”
A Florida concealed carry permit allows you to carry your firearm with you to a majority of the places you would go. There are only a few areas where having a firearm, concealed or not, is illegal. These areas are called prohibited places.
15 Places You Can’t Conceal Carry In Florida
Prohibited areas are places that you are not allowed to carry or possess a firearm under Florida concealed carry rules. I don't find myself going to these places very often, so it doesn't affect my ability to carry very much. Early on, I took the time to memorize this list to prevent a mistake that could leave me in a lot of trouble. I suggest you do the same.
Any place of nuisance;
Any police, sheriff or highway patrol station;
Any detention facility, prison or jail;
Any polling place;
Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality or special district;
Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;
Any school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms;
Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building;
Any career center;
Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose
Any college or university facility, unless the licensee is a registered student, employee or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon….
The inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport…
Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.
What Is Considered a Place of Nuisance?
A place of nuisance is defined, F.S. 823.05, as a place where gang members are actively participating in criminal activity. I know this definition can be a little confusing.
An easier way to think about it is a place where you know you shouldn't be. If you know someone who is dealing drugs, should you hang out with that person? No, of course not.
A place of nuisance is also defined as a massage parlor engaged in illicit activity. So, if your massage parlor is offering a little more than a massage, you shouldn't have a firearm there.
Can I Conceal Carry at a Sporting Event?
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a)(i) Any school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms;
The statute above prohibits you from carrying concealed at a sporting event for or at a school or college. It also prohibits you from carrying at a professional sporting event.
In my opinion, this does not prohibit me from carrying at my children's soccer games because the games and league are not associated with a school and are held on private property. I believe I can lawfully carry at a private basketball game in my subdivision because, again, it's a private game on private property.
Can I Conceal Carry at a School?
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a) 10. Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building;
Prohibited area number 10 refers to an elementary, middle, or high school facility or administration building. This rule also applies to preschools and daycares, as well as private and public schools.
Can I Have A Firearm On School Property?
Florida Statutes 790.115(2)(a) A person shall not possess any firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon as defined in F.S. 790.001(13), including a razor blade or box cutter, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, at a school-sponsored event or on the property of any school, school bus or school bus stop;
Florida Statutes 790.115(2)(a) 3. In a vehicle pursuant to F.S. 790.25(5); except that school districts may adopt written and published policies that waive the exception in this subparagraph for purposes of student and campus parking privileges. For the purposes of this section, “school” means any preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary school, whether public or nonpublic.
There's a lot of misinformation floating around regarding whether or not you can have a firearm in your vehicle on school property. I think the statutes above make it pretty clear.
If the first statute doesn't prohibit possession completely, the second one does. I've researched every school district's policy regarding firearms, and most prohibit the possession of firearms on school property. This includes firearms that are unloaded and securely encased in a private vehicle. If you have to drop your kids off at school, you need to park your car off school property and walk.
I recently heard a story of a young permit holder who was pulled over for speeding. This man wanted to protect the officer from the dangers of high-speed traffic, so he pulled into an elementary school. When he informed the officer that he had a concealed weapon, he was immediately arrested for having a firearm on school property. It's a sad story, but ultimately it was the driver's fault.
Can I Conceal Carry At A Career Center?
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a) 11. Any career center;
Prohibited area number 10 is any career center. A career center is a vocational school, like ITT Tech or Everest.
Can I Conceal Carry In A Restaurant In Florida?
Florida concealed carry laws restaurants are a little strange. Here’s what the law says;
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a) 12. Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;
If you are eating dinner at Applebee's, you cannot sit at the bar while carrying concealed. You can't even walk through the bar area. The funny part is that you are allowed to consume alcohol with a concealed weapon as long as you're sitting in an area where the primary purpose is eating.
However, consider this: You have a beer with dinner, and as you're walking through the parking lot, a man attacks you with a knife. You draw your firearm and shoot. What do you think the prosecutor is going to use against you during the trial? I believe they will attempt to discredit you due to the alcohol.
Your trial is going to be one of the most stressful and challenging experiences of your life. Why make it worse by adding alcohol to the mix? I made a decision many years ago that it's more critical for me to have my firearm than it is for me to consume alcohol in public. If I want to have a beer, I'll just wait until I get home. I would recommend you do the same.
Can I Conceal Carry At A College or University?
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a) 13. Any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon ….
You're not allowed to carry concealed at a college or university, but you are allowed to have a firearm in your vehicle as long as it is securely encased.
Securely encased could mean in your glove box, center console, zippered bag, hard gun case, or snapped in a holster. I would also recommend that the firearm case be hidden from plain sight. You don't want a nosy student to see your gun case and overreact to the police.
Can I Conceal Carry At An Airport?
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a) 14. The inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport…
You are not allowed to walk into an airport with your firearm concealed, even if you're just picking up a family member in the baggage claim. However, you are allowed to travel by air with a gun as long as you follow a few simple rules. I will discuss this topic in more detail in this article "How to Fly With a Gun"
Where Is Conceal Carry Prohibited Under Federal Law?
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a) 15. Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law. (b) A person licensed under this section shall not be prohibited from carrying or storing a firearm in a vehicle for lawful purposes. This would include a military base, post office, federal courthouse, Social Security office, IRS building, or any federal property, just to name a few.
Florida Statutes 790.06 (12)(a) 15.(b) A person licensed under this section shall not be prohibited from carrying or storing a firearm in a vehicle for lawful purposes.
Even though Florida Statute 790.06(12)(a)(15.)(b) states that we shall not be prohibited from carrying or storing a firearm in a vehicle on federal property, federal law disagrees, as shown in United States Code 18 USC 930
Federal Law - 18 USC §930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
What Is Considered a Federal Facility?
18 USC 930(g)(1) - Federal Facility means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
What Is Considered a Dangerous Weapon?
18 USC 930(g)(2) - Dangerous Weapons means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.
What Is a Federal Court Facility?
18 USC 930(g)(3) - Federal Court Facility means the courtroom, judges' chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States. ‘No Guns Allowed’ Must be Posted 18 USC 930(h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility…
Personally, I think it's in your best interest to avoid having a firearm in your vehicle while parked on federal property. If you have to go to a federal property like the post office, park your car at another business and walk.
Where Can You Open Carry In Florida?
Open carry is when you can see the firearm openly exposed as you would see with a police officer, and it is legal in the following situations.
Florida Statutes 790.25 - Lawful ownership, possession, and use of firearms and other weapons.
(g) …. or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for target, skeet or trap shooting, while at or going to or from shooting practice; or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for modern or antique firearms collecting, while such members are at or going to or from their collectors' gun shows, conventions or exhibits;
(3)(h) A person engaged in fishing, camping or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping or lawful hunting expedition;
(3)(i) A person engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing or dealing in firearms, or the agent or representative of any such person while engaged in the lawful course of such business;
(3)(j) A person firing weapons for testing or target practice under safe conditions and in a safe place not prohibited by law
or going to or from such place;
(3)(k) A person firing weapons in a safe and secure indoor range for testing and target practice;
(3)(n) A person possessing arms at his or her home or place of business;
You may have noticed that open carry is permitted while on your way to or coming home from a gun range or gun show, or from a fishing, camping, or hunting trip. I can tell you from personal experience that most police officers do not know this is legal. If you get pulled over for speeding and the officer sees your firearm openly displayed, chances are you're going to waste a lot of time attempting to educate the officer, or you may go to jail.
Can you open carry in Florida? My personal opinion is that even if open carry is lawful, you will scare most people, and they will call the police. If people are going to see me, I prefer to keep my gun concealed. Only if I'm fishing in the middle of nowhere is it smart for me to carry my firearm openly. Honestly, I'm so used to carrying my gun concealed that I wouldn't change the position of my firearm just because I was fishing.
Conclusion - Where Can I Carry My Concealed Weapon In Florida?
As a responsible Florida concealed carry permit holder it is your responsibility to develop a deep understanding of where you can and cannot carry your firearm in the state of Florida. Failing to do so could land you in a lot of trouble.
As we discussed in this article their are several places where Florida concealed carry rules prohibit you from possessing a firearm.
That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...Talk to you soon,
Ryan G. Thomas
P.S. You’re one step away from getting your Florida concealed carry permit….FAST & EASY…
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