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Where Can I Carry my Gun?


"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

premises.


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

business entity.


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

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