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What is the Florida “Parking Lot Law?” Should I Carry My Concealed Firearm at Work?
Your job is typically a place where you spend the majority of your time – and it is also one of the places where you will be dealing with the number 1 thing involved in crime – cash.
Here in Florida, we are called a “bring your gun to work” state. (F.S. 790.251) Read the statute – its pretty awesome!
Bottom line – here in Florida, your employer cannot take away your second amendment right to keep and bear arms – in their parking lot.
1. Can you lawfully carry a concealed firearm at work?
Yes and no.
Florida law 790.251 is called the “parking lot law.” It basically protects you from being fired if you keep a lawful firearm in your car while at work. Businesses are not allow to fire you for having a gun in your car while in their parking lot.
The “parking lot law” does not apply to the following places:
- The power plant in Crystal River – PLEASE don’t carry your gun there! Bad, bad idea. Not only does the power plant not allow it, Florida firearm law doesn’t allow it either.
- Any school (teachers SHOULD be allowed to carry guns, but that’s another blog post entirely!)
- Correctional institutions
- Anywhere that manufactures or sells explosive things
2. Will your employer allow you to carry a gun while IN your workplace?
Florida law protects your right to carry a concealed weapon in your car while on company property, however, it does not seem to protect you from carrying your firearm INSIDE your workplace.
Florida law 790.251 (the parking lot law) does not protect you if you are carrying a gun while at work.
Florida is an “at-will” state – which means that you can be hired and fired at the will of the business, and you can choose to work for that company or not. An employer has the right to establish a rule that you’re not allowed to have a gun at work, and you’re allowed to decide whether you want to continue employment with them.
They also have the right to fire you if you break their policies regarding carrying a concealed weapon.
In my most humble opinion, I would suggest that carrying a concealed weapon is just that – CONCEALED. That means that you’re concealing your firearm from the view of anyone else around you. The name of the game is CONCEALMENT. So if you decide to carry a gun at work, don’t let anyone see it. No harm, no foul, right?
As long as you don’t violate law, which means you don’t carry your concealed firearm into a school, explosives manufacturer, nuclear power plant, etc., you cannot be arrested and charged with a gun crime – but you can certainly lose your job for carrying.
The decision comes down to this: What’s more important to you – your safety (and the safety of others), or your weekly paycheck?