Though the state of Florida maintains a reputation for family-friendly entertainment, theme parks and sunny beaches, its legislators also acknowledge a need for citizens and visitors to protect themselves from potentially life-threatening situations. To provide for this protection, state statutes allow for the possession of firearms inside private vehicles in a wide array of scenarios.
No Permit Required
Relatively lenient regulations in the state of Florida allow gun owners over the age of 18 to carry a firearm in a vehicle with only minimal restrictions. According to Sheriff Mike Scott of Lee County, Florida, a gun owner may carry the weapon inside a private vehicle as long as it remains secured in the trunk, inside a gun case, inside a closed box or inside a closed glove compartment. Sheriff Scott also cites section five of Florida Statute 790.25 which specifies that gun owners may carry weapons in plain view when mounted in a gun rack in the rear window of a pickup truck.
Concealed Carry Permit
While gun owners typically may not keep a firearm easily accessible inside a vehicle, those who possess valid concealed carry permits enjoy more liberties. With a valid Florida permit for the concealed carry of firearms or a permit from another state recognized by the state of Florida, a gun owner may carry the weapon in a holster rather than in a closed box within the vehicle.
Guns at Work
Though some employers in other states prohibit employees from bringing firearms to the workplace inside a vehicle, Florida legislators acknowledge the rights of citizens to maintain a weapon inside a vehicle even when on an employer’s property. According to Florida Statute 790.251, an employee may take a firearm to work as long as that weapon remains secured in the vehicle. In addition, the state extends these rights to independent contractors, volunteers and interns who take a vehicle into a workplace parking lot, and even to customers who may find themselves on the employer’s property. Some exceptions to this statute do exist, though, as employees of schools, correctional facilities, defense contractors, nuclear plants or any employer that manufactures or stores explosives may restrict their employees from bringing firearms onto the property.
Prohibited Gun Owners
Though Florida law is fairly liberal when it comes to carrying firearms in private vehicles, the state does place some restrictions that prohibit certain individuals from carrying a weapon. The 2009 Florida Statutes bar any person under the age of 18 from carrying a firearm in a vehicle; moreover, no persons of an unsound mind, including those who have been deemed incompetent by a judge, may own or carry a firearm. In addition, convicted felons may not carry a firearm inside a vehicle, unless that person has had his civil liberties restored by the state. According to Sheriff Mike Scott, the state also restricts gun owners from taking a firearm inside a vehicle into the parking lot of a bar, athletic event, courthouse, school, college or law enforcement facility.