The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) claims that concealed weapons and firearms license holders will be able to evacuate with their firearms during a locally declared emergency. This is an outright lie. The bill that the FSA opposes, HB 209, creates an exception to the automatic ban on firearms possession in public (even with a concealed carry license) for people who are complying with a mandatory evacuation order.
This is the unconstitutional law that the FSA is trying to protect:
870.044 Automatic emergency measures.—Whenever the public official declares that a state of emergency exists, pursuant to s. 870.043, the following acts shall be prohibited during the period of said emergency throughout the jurisdiction:
This is one of those pitfalls still in our Statutes. 790.25-5 says:
“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. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.”
As long as it is in the vehicle, you should be OK, but who wants to be Test case? And then we have 790.25-4:
CONSTRUCTION.–This act shall be liberally construed to carry out the declaration of policy herein and in favor of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes. This act is supplemental and additional to existing rights to bear arms now guaranteed by law and decisions of the courts of Florida, and nothing herein shall impair or diminish any of such rights. This act shall supersede any law, ordinance, or regulation in conflict herewith.
We still have a lot of cleaning to do.
Here’s an example of the problem. If you live in an apartment and want to get your firearms from your home, through the common areas, to your car to evacuate… there is no way to legally do it. CWFL does not apply to long guns and public carry is banned for all firearms during a local emergency regardless. There is no exception in 790.25 that covers evacuation or even just moving a long gun to your car during normal circumstances.
Facion v. State, 290 So. 2d 75 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1974).
Hannum v. State, 13 So. 3d 132 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2009).