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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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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