Florida Concealed Carry Myths DEBUNKED

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The Truth Behind the “3 Step Rule” and Other Florida Carry Myths

In the past 3 years, I’ve trained over 3000 students in concealed carry. In each one of my classes, I clarify exactly what they need to know regarding Florida law. Still, even though these 3000 students know the law better than most Citrus County Cops, I hear the same misinformation spread over and over and over. It’s time to clarify the top concealed carry myths in Florida once and for all.

Concealed Carry Truth #1: There is no “3-Step-Rule” to carrying a gun in your car in Florida without a permit.

Yep, you heard it. There is NO “3-Step-Rule” to carrying a gun in your car without a permit. None. It never existed, and it never will exist. Stop telling your friends about this myth, stop spreading lies, and make sure your friends know this is not true.

There is no "3-Step-Rule" without a permit. If you're 18 and legally allowed to own a gun, you can have it loaded in your center console or glovebox without a permit. Booya.

There is no “3-Step-Rule” without a permit. If you’re 18 and legally allowed to own a gun, you can have it loaded in your center console or glovebox without a permit. Booya.

“But Andy, I heard about the 3-Step-Rule from a cop! Surely he must have known what he’s talking about!”

Nope, he or she surely had no clue what they were talking about. I’m going to say it again – THERE IS NO 3 STEP RULE WITHOUT A PERMIT! Here is the truth behind carrying a gun in your car without a permit in Florida.

    • According to Florida Statutes, Chapter 790.25, you may carry a gun in your center console or glove box LOADED, out of a holster, ready to go

 

  • This only applies to people who may legally be in possession of a firearm – which means you’re 18 years of age or older, and you haven’t had your gun rights taken away

 

 

Here’s a copy of Florida Statute 790.25:

(5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use.

The above mentioned law is pretty vague, however, case law is not. “Case law” is when a person gets arrested for something, and the judge decides the outcome. Time and time again, people who have been arrested for carrying a firearm in their glove box or center console have had their charges dropped due to a judge understanding that “not readily accessible” means that the firearm is inside the glove box or center console. Important note: Do not carry a loaded firearm outside of a case or holster anywhere else in your vehicle. It must be in a glove box or center console unless you have a license to carry.

Concealed Carry Truth #2: You ARE allowed to carry at banks, churches, and Disney World.

You're even allowed to carry at Disney World! And you should.

You’re even allowed to carry at Disney World! And you should.

So, with a Florida concealed carry license, you’re pretty much allowed to carry everywhere – including banks, churches, and Disney World. If a public business has a sign or written policy against firearms it does not matter. You’re legally allowed to carry at that business, except if it’s one of these types of places:

(a) Any school property as defined and regulated under s. 790.115. (b) Any correctional institution (c) Any property where a nuclear-powered electricity generation facility is located. (d) Property upon which are conducted substantial activities involving national defense, aerospace, or homeland security. (e) Property upon which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials regulated under state or federal law, or property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit required under 18 U.S.C. s. 842 to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in explosive materials on such property. (f) A motor vehicle owned, leased, or rented by a public or private employer or the landlord of a public or private employer.

Read the entire statute if you feel like it. It’s 790 of the Florida Statutes.

Concealed Carry Truth #3: You have to be 18 years old to possess a handgun in Florida. 21 to buy.

18 years to possess, 21 to purchase.

18 years to possess, 21 to purchase.

Happy birthday, all you 18-year-old gun lovers out there. You can now be in possession of a handgun. Again, according to Florida Statute 790.25:

(5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use.

Bottom line: You can carry a loaded firearm in your glove box or center console of your vehicle when you’re 18 – not 21. Erm… that is if your parents will let you.

Concealed Carry Truth #4: There is no gun registration in Florida.

There is no gun registration in Florida, and Florida is very strict on your privacy.

There is no gun registration in Florida, and Florida is very strict on your privacy.

This is a really really REALLY important myth to know the truth about. Here in Florida, when you purchase a firearm from a federal firearms dealer like us here at Florida Gun Supply, the serial number of that firearm is NEVER transmitted to any State or Federal government.

ALL we do is a $5 background check on you which let’s us know if you’re legally allowed to own that firearm or not. Important note: 24 hours after you’ve completed your background check, your name no longer exists. Your information is deleted, and your background check form becomes just a number to the State of Florida. Hooray, Florida, you rock!

Concealed Carry Truth #5: You have no duty up front to inform law enforcement during a traffic stop that you have a firearm. But you should.

You have no duty to inform an officer if you have a firearm when you get pulled over. But you should.

You have no duty to inform an officer if you have a firearm when you get pulled over. But you should.

Here’s another popular one. You have no duty to inform the officers up front that you have a firearm on you. No one gets pulled over as much as I do. I get pulled over 3 times a month. I swear. But I haven’t had a ticket in about 6 years. Why not? Happy cops don’t write tickets. When you get pulled over, here’s what I suggest you do:

    • Pull out your driver’s license

 

  • Pull out your CCW license

 

 

  • Put your CCW license over your driver’s license and hand it to the cop

 

 

The cop then knows you’re not a bad guy trying to hide your firearm – but remember – what you do is entirely up to you.

Concealed Carry Truth #6: You may open carry while hunting, fishing, or camping in Florida.

You may open carry while hunting, fishing, and camping in Florida.

You may open carry while hunting, fishing, and camping in Florida.

You are legally allowed to open carry while you’re hunting, fishing, or camping here in Florida – or traveling to or from one of those activities. I highly support open carry – as I mentioned earlier in this article, I’ve trained over 3000 students here in Citrus County in the last 3 years.

If we all could open carry, the criminals would think we were nuts and go attack Sumpter County instead – and good riddance! Be wary of this law.

Remember – it says that you’re legally allowed to open carry while hunting, fishing, or camping – or traveling to or from one of these activities. It does NOT say you’re allowed to walk into a gas station and purchase a pack of smokes or a drink while you’re on your way to your favorite fishing spot. Doing so might get you arrested, but there’s really no case law on what a judge would do in this situation.

Get your concealed carry permit now! Call 352.270.3087 and sign up today, and FINALLY:

 

Enter to Win a Free Gun (Sorry, Locals only. If you live outside of these locations, please enter the free gun giveaway located at www.floridagunsupply.com!)

48 Comments on Florida Concealed Carry Myths DEBUNKED

  1. Matt freeman // October 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    This is a question, not a comment. I live a green lifestyle. I ride an electric bicycle everywhere I go. On my bike, I have a saddlebag type plastic(locking) case. Am I allowed to carry my handgun in that case?

  2. Question about (f) from above. I drive a company car, does that mean you cant carry any weapon or just a conceled one? ie can I carry a shoot gun to shoot sporting clay? Thanks

    • Company cars, rental cars, etc, are considered property of the company. However not illegal, you can be terminated by your employer should you carry concealed, within the vehicle or on your person, even if you have a CCW. The law protects you if the employer has no claim to your vehicle. It does not if the vehicle belongs to the company. You may lose your job, and be trespassed against the property related to the company.

      If your employer has a weapons free policy, it is not illegal to carry a gun to work; in that case it is only a violation of company policy and reprimand can be imposed.
      To elaborate a tad more, the story said companies cant prohibit you from carrying while on their property, this is not entirely true.
      A company or even a residence can say NO WEAPONS. You can legally carry them there, but they have the right to ask you to leave and refuse service (although refusing service equates to discrimination and would thus be in violation of your right to exercise the 2nd amendment). If you dont leave, they can have you removed ONLY by law enforcement, who will then issue a trespass warning to you. Again, not illegal, but the company owners can trespass you, but not refuse service.

  3. Mark Lettieri // October 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm // Reply

    i live in Henando county and been going through hell for the last 2 years in Florida. I was servied a Injunction “restraining order” 2 years ago, was ordered to turn over all my guns and ammo. I complied, I still do not have them back as of today. I fought the injunction and lost, then a Collins court case which I was falsely was accused, main charge was dropped and I plea bargain a mister meaner battery. I figure it was the end of my trouble, I just got from the state of Florida a letter that they are going to revoke my Concieled wepons permit which I have had for over 20 years here. Before this I have Never in my life been in trouble.
    The letter kept on saying “Battery, a crime of violence” but I received simple battery, that’s all. From what I can tell once I got the Injuction, that was the “crime of violence ” I was shocked to find out the an Injuction alone was so powerful. In Florida it’s for life! And until I get it removed I cannot own or process any wepon or ammo, Yet I have a Curio and Relics lincese from the U.S. Government that has been and still is legal and good! I have not been convicted of a Feloney and suffered for two years all from an accusation !
    Be careful in Florida . And look out from just being accused.

    • Because you are a wife beater, the state was correct to take away your weapons. Angry and depressed betas who are dumped by women kill them and children daily. Go here to save yourself: http://www.heartiste.wordpress.com

      • anon, they may say it’s legal, but no government, according to the constitution, should be able to take away your second amendment right. If someone goes to prison I can see the justification to not let him/her carry or possessing while incarcerated. Once you pay your debt to society, no one should be allowed to take away your constitutional rights. You sir or ma’am are a parrot, repeating the same clichés you’re fed as politically correct. I don’t know what specifically happened with Mark, and we all know how biased the system can be in those cases, but if the punishment was no prison time, he should not be stripped of his right to possess or carry a gun for self defense. This should even apply to felons, as soon as they serve their debt to society imprisoned. What is it going to be tomorrow, a “No Gun” list akin the “no fly” list where people could arbitrarily be trampled upon by the government.

  4. John Aspenleiter // October 23, 2014 at 10:02 pm // Reply

    I just wanted to ask a question about open carry while camping because I was told if in a state Forrest such as citrus Forrest you can not carry a weapon unless its hunting season. Is that true for Florida state Forrest ? Also what about hiking in a state Forrest or if your camping and hiking what are the real laws on that if know

    • Read the law. it says state parks are no gun zones. This means no open carry, concealed carry, or carry of any kind regardless of what you are doing within. However, if you launch a boat onto a river, and it happens to pass through a state park, as long as you do not touch shore within the limits, you should be ok as long as you pass through and exit the park area. You cannot have a weapon on state park property.

      • Kevin,

        Read the law and quit giving people bad advice. Florida got rid of the firearm ban in state parks in 2006. You can concealed carry in all state of Florida parks with a CFL.

  5. You spelled Sumter county wrong. Love this article and learned a lot from it

  6. Mark Schneider // October 24, 2014 at 7:22 am // Reply

    I drive a ford van that has no glove box or center console, my weapon is under my drivers seat in a zippered case inside another zippered case unloaded. What is legal in this case?

    • This is legal if you have a ccw. if you do not, the weapon can not be readily accessible ( 3 step rule is not real). I would suggest you obtain your ccw. It is $112 for the application and fingerprinting. The required class you must take before hand varies in price. Its usually under $160. If you dont want the CCW, read the statutes.

      • Kevin,

        Here you go again with bad advice. Read the statutes!

        (17) “Securely encased” means 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.

        (l) A person traveling by private conveyance when the weapon is securely encased or in a public conveyance when the weapon is securely encased and not in the person’s manual possession

        (5) POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.

        So under your seat in a zippered case, box with lid, or snapped in a holster is legal without a CFL!

  7. Cherie Dempsey Evans // October 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm // Reply

    How much does the course cost and do I need my own weapon?

  8. Greetings!

    Your statement, “So, with a Florida concealed carry license, you’re pretty much allowed to carry everywhere – including banks, churches, and Disney World.” Does that include Florida State parks and/or National Parks? Last time I was at a local state park they had signs stating no firearms allowed. Nothing special about the park, hiking trails and picnic tables. I thought Fla. statute allowed for carry in parks, but I didn’t push it since I wasn’t sure.

    Thanks and blessings,

    Gary

    • THe law prohibits carry into state parks. They have the signs as it applies to law. On those signs, it usually has a statute number that covers it.

      • Kevin,

        Your 3rd piece of bad advise. If the park has a sign with a statute number, go read the statutes listed and you will find there is no ban on a CWL holder carrying a concealed firearm in a State of Florida park.

  9. are you allow to carry at the airport? not in the passenger terminal after security. for instance if I take a family member to take a fly and stay with them until he or she go to TSA.

    • Airports are tricky. The statutes state you are not permitted to carry into the sterile area of any airport or passenger terminal. The wording in this statute is stated in a ‘dual sided blade’ fashion. You cant carry into the sterile areas, but you cant carry into the passenger terminal even though its not a sterile area?
      I suggest you read the statute on this.

      another interesting part of airports is this, all, remember this, ALL international airports have one thing in common, and this can prevent carrying of a weapon into the building. Any guesses? If you havent figured it out, let me fill you in. International airports have 2 things, a US BORDER PATROL/US CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATIONS OFFICE and an AIRPORT POLICE department. The tricky part is, some airport police departments have detatched facilities from the main terminals. You are not permitted to carry into a police station, or any facility under the direct control of law enforcement or government agency. This pretty much means if its an international airport, leave your guns at home. The customs office is usually not a stand alone structure, rather they have ‘space’ provided throughout the airports to perform their duties. If any of the space is located in the NON-sterile area of the airport, it has just been included in the no gun area list, even if there are no customs agents operating there.
      Most international airports also have a postal office. Usually detatched some are located within the main terminal. Keep this in mind.
      I am a pilot, I spend quite a bit of time in airports. ALWAYS be cautious when concealed carry into them. You can easily break the law and not know you have done so.

  10. #2 is not correct and may get people in trouble. This is the Correct Statue with the exceptions you defined. Please look it up as it isn’t my purpose to stir up trouble. This only applies to keeping a gun in your vehicles at specific places.

    790.251 Protection of the right to keep and bear arms in motor vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes; prohibited acts; duty of public and private employers; immunity from liability; enforcement.—

    (7) EXCEPTIONS.—The prohibitions in subsection (4) do not apply to:
    (a) Any school property as defined and regulated under s. 790.115.
    (b) Any correctional institution regulated under s. 944.47 or chapter 957.
    (c) Any property where a nuclear-powered electricity generation facility is located.
    (d) Property owned or leased by a public or private employer or the landlord of a public or private employer upon which are conducted substantial activities involving national defense, aerospace, or homeland security.
    (e) Property owned or leased by a public or private employer or the landlord of a public or private employer upon which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials regulated under state or federal law, or property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit required under 18 U.S.C. s. 842 to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in explosive materials on such property.
    (f) A motor vehicle owned, leased, or rented by a public or private employer or the landlord of a public or private employer.
    (g) Any other property owned or leased by a public or private employer or the landlord of a public or private employer upon which possession of a firearm or other legal product by a customer, employee, or invitee is prohibited pursuant to any federal law, contract with a federal government entity, or general law of this state.

    Cheers!

  11. An appeals court upheld FL preventing open carry. A three judge panel of the 4th District court of Appeal stemmed from the 2012 arrest in Fort Pierce of Dale Norman who was carrying a gun in a holster a few days after receiving his CCW. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/os-openly-carrying-firearms-ban-20150218-story.html

  12. So here is my question…I am planning a weekend camping trip into the GreenSwamp. I know that I can open carry, and in most cases I am more than happy to. But it will be around or during hunting season, and I will not be hunting and do not have my hunting permit. Is there any legal reason why I could not still open carry? Also if I were to carry in my hike pack, with it not loaded, would I still require a concealed permit?

    Very informative article! Thank you.

  13. question
    i know i can carry wile fishing, camping, and hunting but can i carry wile hiking without a ccw

  14. Scott Ardrey // December 3, 2015 at 6:35 pm // Reply

    I was arrested for concealed carry without a permit. I was placed in a Pretrial Intervention program and successfully completed it. There were no felony charges were filed and the State closed the case. I do have a record that I was arrested but no conviction. My question is, can I still be illegible to obtain a CWP?

    Thank you,

  15. Question: Concealed Carry Church or private school. When church has private school; can a CCW legally carry on property during church events and services or is property/grounds always considered a private school and thus prohibitive of concealed carry? To complicate matters a FL State School is next door to church property (within 1000 feet). How does that impact CCW on church property?

  16. #5: “You have no duty up front to inform law enforcement during a traffic stop that you have a firearm.”

    I understand in Florida, there’s no duty to inform LE during a traffic stop that you are concealed carrying. However…during stops, many officers as a matter of routine, will ask if there are any weapons in the vehicle. What if you reply “no” only for the officer to later on during the stop find out you were untruthful in your answer? Since one has no obligation to answer an officer’s questions the issue can be lawfully avoided by invoking your right to decline to answer questions. Of course, that in turn will almost certainly open an altogether new can of worms.

  17. If you are in possession of a CWP in Florida, are you allowed to have the weapon readily available (Not in a console/glove box) in your vehicle? Are you allowed to mount the weapon in a custom console holster for easy access should the SHTF? And yes, where I mount it would only be readily accessible to the driver (Me, the CWP holder).

    I’m getting conflicting information that a CWP has no bearing on where you may store a weapon in your vehicle, that the CWP is for when the weapon is ON YOUR PERSON only.

    Thanks.

  18. Mike Talbert // December 16, 2015 at 4:26 pm // Reply

    Ok here it goes…what about your yard? Are you allowed to carry on your property other than in your house? Thank you!

  19. I am about to receive my CWP in FL. I currently do a lot of work at my local church and would like to be able to carry there. The concern I have is the church has an operating private daycare (preschool) that receives VPK funding from the state. Does this mean that people are not allow to carry on church property?

  20. John Miles // March 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    If you have a concealed carrying permit in Florida are you allowed to carry on public transportation buses and trains in the state of Florida

  21. If you have your handgun tucked between the drivers seat and center console but is not loaded is it still considered readily accessible seeing as how i would have to put the magazine in it and chamber a round after retrieving the firearm?

  22. the reaper // April 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm // Reply

    Just shut up Kevin.

  23. Are you allowed to have a weapon secured in your vehicle on the property of the county jail?

  24. You are NOT allowed to carry a firearm “into” Florida Disney parks – period as a CCW holder. If you are a cop that is NOT on duty your weapon can be secured at the security office or you can return it to your vehicle. Though it is open to the public Disney is private property and you can not bring a firearm into the park(s). If you think I am not correct contact any security manager at all Disney parks in Florida.

  25. Steve Richards // August 5, 2016 at 10:33 pm // Reply

    I would caution carrying concealed in church if they have preschool care during services according to Jon G. Gutmacher Esq. in his book Florida Firearms, Law, Use and Ownership p.169. It seems to be a grey area where these young children may be in the building. He didn’t say you couldn’t but there doesn’t seem to be any case law yet.

  26. Not sure where the post went but will try again. In regards to all Walt Disney parks in Florida. You are not allowed to enter the parks with a firearm regardless of having a CCW. You can leave your gun in your vehicle but not not allowed into the parks. Also none active (not on official duty) law enforcement is also not allowed to carry into the park. Disney is private property but considered privileged access and therefore has the right to control what comes into the park. Disney will not secure CCW weapons. If you attempt to bring one into the park and do not declare it you risk being detained by law enforcement and face also possible trespass or arrest. Though I myself think any good citizen should be allowed this is their policy and people should be aware.

    • Partly right, but the main reason Disney is not a place to allow gun in parking lot even you have CCW is because this : Property upon which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials regulated under state or federal law, or property owned or leased by an employer who has obtained a permit required under 18 U.S.C. s. 842 to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in explosive materials on such property. Disney World has the explosive license.

  27. If I am 19, but I am a law enforcement officer in the state of Florida, can I ontain a concealed weapons carry permit?

  28. Sick A Tired // December 9, 2016 at 9:46 am // Reply

    Now what they are not telling you. When you go hunting, do you make two separate trips to get your gun and then ammo? How about to the range? The 3 step RULE (not law, just based in the transport of fire arms law), is a work around for open carry. Your gun must be in a separate part of the vehicle then the ammo in it own compartment. The gun on the seat in the passenger compartment. Ammo in the Glove compartment or visa versa. It takes 3 steps when you get to the hunting area or the gun range to make that gun fire-able. 1- Retrieve the fire arm, 2- Retrieve the ammo, 3- Load the fire arm. When I lived there in the 90s, I had 5 different PD tell me this when I was living down there.

  29. Why can’t the state make the rules and laws regarding CCP in black and white? The above questions and others I’ve seen, in most cases has an answer starting with “that’s a tricky question” or “there is no simple answer to that question”. This topic, it being so important, why can’t the people demand clarity in the rules and laws governing all inquires regarding CCP and carrying a firearm?

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