The right to bear arms is a freedom guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution. Therefore, any time a restriction or regulation is enacted, all parties involved must ensure they are in accordance with constitutional law. Carrying firearms in vehicles is Florida is just such a case. While nobody may want to restrict the freedom of law-abiding citizens to bear arms, the goal is also to keep firearms away from criminals and persons deemed unfit to carry arms. By careful wording of the statutes passed, Florida has achieved both these goals.
As of 2005, under Section 790.25 of the Florida Statue, the right to bear arms by competent law-abiding citizens is recognized (see reference 2). However, it is also recognized that the criminal element or incompetent citizens must not be allowed to posses firearms. Some legal uses include self or home protection, hunting and skeet or target shooting activities.
As of 2005, under section 790.25 subsection p 5, it is lawful for an adult to carry a firearm in a private conveyance (motor vehicle) for lawful purposes. Note the word "private." If you are a commercial driver, in a commercial vehicle, then other statutes may apply. The firearm must be securely encased, and safety protocols must be followed to prevent accidental discharge. Furthermore, it must be in plain sight to avoid being classified as a concealed weapon. If it is in a gun case, then the case must be in plain sight.
Concealed Weapons Permit
As of 2005, carrying a concealed weapon is not illegal, but you must have a permit. Not having a permit is in violation of ss. 790.01 and 790.02. If you carry a concealed weapon without a permit, it is at the very minimum a class one misdemeanor all the way up to a felony, depending on the circumstances (see reference 3). Before even considering carrying a concealed weapon, it is highly recommended to check with local law enforcement to obtain guidance on permits.
Read More: Concealed Weapons Laws in Florida
License and Informing
According to the State of Florida Trip Tips no license is required to carry a firearm in a private vehicle in Florida, as long as all the statutes are abided by (see reference 1). However, if you are stopped by law enforcement, you have to tell the officer that you are carrying a firearm, and in compliance with the statutes. If the firearm is a concealed weapon, you must state to the officer you have a concealed weapons permit, and must be able to present it upon request.
Tony Oldhand has been technical writing since 1995. He has worked in the skilled trades and diversified into Human Services in 1998, working with the developmentally disabled. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration and in the do-it-yourself sector of craftsman trades. Oldhand has an associate degree in electronics and has studied management at the State University of New York.