FREE Concealed Carry Classes (unless you’re one of these people!)
The Truth About Florida Boating Laws: Carrying a Gun on a Boat
First of all, rumors make me angry. I detest rumors more than I detest the dentist, raking, cleaning toilets, or any other G0d-awful task that I must do from time to time.
There are a ton of rumors going around about carrying a gun on a boat in Florida. Here are some of the most recent gun rumors I’ve heard about:
- You can carry a gun on a boat in Florida, but remember the “3 Step Rule!”
- You can’t carry a gun on a boat in Florida at all.
- Guns are evil and they kill people so you shouldn’t carry a gun. (OK, I made that one up hehe)
Here’s the bottom line about carrying a gun on a boat in Florida, found in Florida law chapter 790.25 section 5:
Lawful Ownership, Possession, and Use of Firearms and Other Weapons
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 selfdefense 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 you may carry a firearm on a boat in Florida if:
- You are 18 years old
- You are lawfully able to own a firearm
- You are using it for self defense or other lawful purpose
- The firearm is securely encased and not readily accessible
What Does “Securely Encased” and “Not Readily Accessible” Mean? TELL ME NOW!
As defined in Florida law chapter 790.001, paragraph 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
So securely encased means your firearm must be stored in one of these ways:
- In a glove compartment (locked or unlocked) OR
- In a snapped holster OR
- In a gun case (locked or unlocked) OR
- Zippered gun case OR
- In a closed box or container which has a lid that needs to be opened for access
Remember: There is No “3 Step Rule” in Florida. It Never Existed!
Tons of people have heard – even from Citrus County’s finest cops – that there is a “3 Step Rule” to carrying a gun (without a license) in your car or boat in Florida. This “law” never has existed, never will exist, and whomever told you about the “3 Step Rule” was misinformed.
Remember: If you have a concealed carry license, your firearm can be on your person or anywhere in your boat as long as its concealed.
Did You Know That You Can Open Carry While Fishing in Florida?
Florida law 790.25 allows you to hunt, fish, and camp while open carrying your firearm. You are also technically allowed to open carry to and from these expeditions. That means if you are fishing on your boat, or traveling to or from the fishing area, you may open carry.
What if a Law Enforcement Officer Approaches?
Step 1: Crap your pants.
Step 2: Crap them again.
Just kidding. But there is a real issue here – cops do not know the law. Think about all the other laws that cops need to know about – fishing rules, boating laws, etc. Firearm laws are at the back of their list!
In Florida, you are not required to tell the officers or Coast Guard personnel that you have firearms on your boat unless you are asked.
If you’re open carrying while fishing, however, I would keep your hands well away from your firearm at all time!
Keep in mind – no law enforcement official wants to be surprised by the unexpected appearance of a firearm. Angry cops write tickets. 🙂
These laws only apply to Florida and U.S. Federal waters. If you are venturing to foreign ports such as the Bahamas, it is advised that you contact the country’s consulate to determine what the firearm-carry laws are in advance.
Sign up for FREE Concealed Carry Classes!
If you are interested in getting your Florida concealed carry weapons permit we offer frequent classes in Citrus County, Florida. Contact us today to learn more about how you can get your Florida concealed carry license or to sign up for a class.