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Guns in a Car without a Concealed Firearm Permit

Florida Statute, Section 790.01(2) says that “a person who carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person commits a felony of the third degree.” A firearm is concealed when it is carried in such a manner as to conceal it from the “ordinary sight of another person.” “On or about your person” means the gun is physically on your person or readily accessible to you. This includes the interior of your vehicle and the glove compartment, regardless of whether it is locked.

Am I allowed to transport my gun in my car without carrying a concealed firearm permit?

Deciding whether a firearm is concealed, however, is not so simple. To decide if the gun is concealed, the court will consider: 1) the location of the firearm within the vehicle, 2) whether and to what extent the firearm was covered by another object, 3) if the defendant utilized his body to conceal the firearm, and 4) the nature and type of weapon involved.

Generally speaking, if you can easily get to the gun but it is out of sight of anyone casually looking into the car, you could have a problem. For example, if the gun is hidden underneath your seat or the passenger seat, or in the glove compartment, or in your center console, or in your front passenger seat, but covered by other objects, you are likely carrying a concealed firearm. There have been multiple cases where the officer observed some part of the gun sticking out from underneath the seat and the appellate courts have upheld convictions for carrying a concealed firearm despite the fact that the officer could plainly see the gun. In those cases, the officer’s observation of the gun was not that of a casual and ordinary citizen. In other words, the officer had to actually look into the car.

If you are transporting a firearm and you are not carrying a concealed weapons permit, your best bet is to put the gun, unloaded, without the firing pin, in the trunk of your car, in a locked box. That gun is clearly not accessible to you or anyone else.

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