"Where Can I Carry My Gun?"
This is a common question that comes up in our firearms training classes. I will start off by
saying many states have different laws with some having similar restrictions. I’m going to
cover Florida (our training facility is located in Citrus County.) Also because I have 33 years as law enforcement officer in Connecticut I can address some Connecticut law as well.
In both states, and perhaps almost every state you are NOT allowed to carry in Federal
buildings, State and Federal courthouses, schools, colleges or universities, banks and post
offices. You may NOT carry in the passenger terminal or any sterile area of any airport
EXCEPT any firearm encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage
to be lawfully transported on any aircraft.
Air travel deserves some explanation; a person may pack firearms for the purpose of air
travel. The firearm must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as
checked baggage only. Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are
prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage. Replica firearms,
including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.
In Florida you can NOT carry into any Police, Sheriff, or Highway Patrol station nor are you
allowed to carry into any Prison, Detection Facility or Jail. In Florida you may NOT carry in any
portion of an establishment that dispenses alcoholic beverages for consumption on the
Also, in Florida, a sign posted upon a door or entrance of a store, restaurant, coffee house or
other establishment stating, “No Firearms Allowed” indicates the wishes and/or policy of the
property owner, A person legally licensed for Concealed Weapons Carry CANNOT be
arrested for violation of the property owner’s sign. If the business owner and/or an employee
observes or receives a complaint regarding a patron having a firearm on them, that business
owner or employee can ask you to leave the premises. If you refuse to do so you can be
arrested for trespass. You cannot be charged for carrying a firearm in violation of the business
owner’s sign. In addition responding law enforcement can, at the request of the business,
issue you an Order of Trespass which will prevent you from returning to the business.
Long-standing Florida policy states that individual citizens have a constitutional right to keep
and bear arms, that they have a constitutional right to possess and keep legally owned
firearms within their motor vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes, and that these
rights are not abrogated by virtue of a citizen becoming a customer, employee, or invitee of a
It is the finding of the Florida Legislature that a citizen’s lawful possession, transportation, and
secure keeping of firearms and ammunition within his or her motor vehicle is essential to the
exercise of the fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the constitutional
right of self-defense.
The Legislature finds that protecting and preserving these rights is essential to the exercise of
freedom and individual responsibility. The Legislature further finds that no citizen can or should
be required to waive or abrogate his or her right to possess and securely keep firearms and
ammunition locked within his or her motor vehicle by virtue of becoming a customer,
employee, or invitee of any employer or business establishment within the state.
Written by: Ret. Sgt. Zeke Mathena