QUESTION 1. I have a Class "G" Florida Statewide Firearms License. Do the terms of the reciprocity agreement apply to me?
No. The Class "G" Statewide Firearms License is a license issued to qualified security officers and private investigators under the authority of Chapter 493, F.S. The license authorizes the license holder to carry a firearm in the course of performing job-related duties. The terms of the reciprocity agreements apply only to licenses issued to citizens under the authority of Chapter 790, F.S.
QUESTION 2. There are a number of states that issue concealed carry licenses but do not have a reciprocity agreement with Florida. Why?
The State of Florida will honor the concealed weapon/firearm permits issued by another state PROVIDED THAT the other state will agree to honor the licenses issued by Florida. The states listed above are the only ones that have agreed to honor Florida permits.
There are a couple of important reasons why other states will not honor Florida concealed weapon licenses. Some states, like Connecticut, do not have statutory authority to establish reciprocal agreements with other states. Other states, like Minnesota, will not enter into a reciprocity agreement with another state unless the other state has concealed weapon licensing standards substantially similar to their own.
QUESTION 3. I am a Florida resident with a Florida Concealed Weapon/Firearm License. Are there carry restrictions that I should observe while traveling in other states?
Yes, there are. First of all, you should be aware that, as noted above, you are limited in many states as to the type of weapon that you can conceal. Many states allow concealed carry of handguns or pistols only.
In addition, most states' gun laws prohibit carrying concealed weapons into such places as schools, bars, courthouses, and so on. Generally speaking, the other states' lists are all quite similar to Florida's. Florida's list of designated "NO CARRY" places is found in Section 790.06(12), Florida Statutes.
A licensee planning to travel to another state should consult that state's laws or call a law enforcement agency in that state to find out precisely what carry restrictions apply.
QUESTION 4. I have a Florida Concealed Weapon/Firearm License, but I am not a legal resident of Florida. Can I travel to the states that recognize Florida licenses and still carry a concealed weapon?
Most of the reciprocity states will honor Florida non-resident permits; however, authorities in a number of states have informed us that there are specific provisions in their laws that restrict the terms of their mutual recognition agreements ONLY to the LICENSED RESIDENTS of other states. Therefore, those individuals who hold Florida licenses but who are not residents of Florida cannot carry concealed weapons in these states. Please take careful note of those states listed above that have a reference to Footnote 4 after them.
BE ADVISED: Because gun laws are subject to change or different interpretation by state courts, we recommend that non-resident Florida licensees call or write licensing authorities in the states in which they will be traveling to obtain the latest information on this important topic.
QUESTION 5. I have a concealed carry permit from one of the states with which Florida has reciprocity, but I am not a resident of that state. Can I carry legally while visiting a Florida?
No. Florida, like Michigan and New Hampshire, has a residency requirement in its reciprocity law. Florida does not recognize non-resident concealed carry permits from other states.
QUESTION 6. I am planning a trip to Florida shortly. I do not have a permit from my home state nor do I want to obtain a Florida permit. However, I would still like to have a weapon with me for self-protection. What are my options?
Florida law does allow a citizen to transport a weapon in a private vehicle, even if that citizen DOES NOT HAVE a concealed weapon license. Note the following two key provisions in the law:
Section 790.25(5), which deals specifically with possession in a private conveyance states that "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." (Emphasis added.)
Section 790.001(17) defines the term "securely encased" to mean "in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access."
So, while you cannot carry the weapon on your person, you can at least have it nearby in your vehicle while traveling.
QUESTION 7. I am a Florida license holder and will be driving through several states on an upcoming trip. Some of these states do not have reciprocity with Florida. If I plan to take my firearm with me, what precautions should I take for transporting my weapon in my automobile securely and legally?
INTERSTATE TRAVEL WITH FIREARMS FALLS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF FEDERAL LAWS. The relevant section from United States Code is quoted in its entirety below.
Sec 18 USC 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms.
Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
Interstate travel with a firearm is, therefore, permissible as long as the firearm is unloaded and in such a place that it is completely inaccessible (preferably the trunk of the vehicle).
HOWEVER, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT CITIZENS PLANNING TO TRAVEL WITH A FIREARM SHOULD CALL THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OR LICENSING AUTHORITIES IN THE STATES TO OR THROUGH WHICH THEY WILL BE TRAVELING TO OBTAIN THE LATEST INFORMATION REGARDING WEAPON TRANSPORT LAWS. IN SOME CASES, STATE LAW TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER FEDERAL LAW REGARDING INTERSTATE TRANSPORT OF FIREARMS.
QUESTION 8. I am traveling by plane and would like to carry my weapon with me. Can I transport a firearm on a plane legally?
Transporting a weapon on a commercial airline is legal under the regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, travelers must comply with certain security procedures. Generally speaking, the FAA requires that weapons be unloaded, stowed in hard-sided, locking luggage, and declared at the main ticket counter at the time of check-in. At check-in, you will receive proper documentation to place inside the gun case indicating that the weapon had been declared. Each airline's security procedures may be slightly different, so it is recommended that you call the carrier with whom you are planning to fly to get instructions.
QUESTION 9. I am a Florida license holder, and I have recently received a solicitation in the mail for an "official badge" identifying me as such a license holder. Are these badges legal? Does the Division endorse these badges?
No, the Division does not endorse these badges, but they are not illegal. There is nothing in Florida law that specifically prohibits companies from offering to sell these badges to Florida license holders, nor is there any provision that prohibits license holders from carrying such badges.
License holders should be aware that the use of official badges is prohibited in Florida Statutes in a couple of places. Section 30.46 specifies that a badge in the shape of a five-pointed star can be used by Florida sheriffs and deputy sheriffs only. Section 843.085 makes it unlawful to wear or display any authorized indicia of authority (including any badge) which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such item is authorized by any federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency.
Licensees should also take note that these badges do not substitute for identification or confirmation of your status as a holder of a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License. Only the license issued by the Division will serve as a means of identifying a citizen as a license holder.