Have you heard of the three-step rule for Florida firearms? We hate to break it to you, but that “rule” is nothing more than a myth. Legend has it that if you do not have a concealed carry permit, you are only permitted to have a firearm in your private vehicle as long as it would require you three steps to access it. The spread of this falsehood has led some gun owners to think guns need to be kept in pieces, making them extremely difficult to retrieve in the case one needs to defend themselves.
Our Miami gun law attorneys are weighing in on the myth, and clarifying the legal guidelines for carrying a firearm in your vehicle without a concealed weapons permit.
What the Law Actually Says
In reality, the confines of the law are not nearly as strict as the Florida 3 step gun law suggests. Under Florida Statute 790.25, if you are over the age of 18 and traveling in a personal vehicle, you need only ensure the weapon is “securely encased” if you do not have a concealed carry permit. This applies to motorcycles as well.
There are a variety of ways one could encase the gun, and a good rule of thumb is to place it in a compartment with a lid that shuts. That might be a glove compartment, the center console of your car, or even a gun case. Larger firearms, on the other hand, might be kept in the trunk. Alternatively, you may even carry the gun in a zippered pouch or snapped in a holster. If you’re traveling on a motorcycle, having the firearm in one of your saddlebags or a tank bag would suffice as well. The law does not go as far as specifying whether the encasement must be locked, so whether or not it is will come down to a matter of preference.
Tips for Traveling With Firearms
Even when adhering to Florida Statute 790.25, there may be other issues you encounter when traveling with a firearm in your vehicle. If you are on a property where the law prohibits firearms, such as a school, a courthouse or a prison, you would be acting unlawfully no matter how well the gun was encased. In other locations, the law might require you take additional measures to secure your firearm. For example, when traveling to an airport with your firearm, it must be encased for shipment and immediately checked as baggage to your final destination. Therefore, it is always advisable to err on the side of caution. Be knowledgeable about Florida’s gun laws, and be sure to carry your concealed weapons permit at all times if you have one.
Do you have additional questions for our Miami gun law attorneys? Schedule a free consultation today, where we can discuss your concerns and the specifics of your case.