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Thread: Visiting Florida

  1. #1
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    Visiting Florida

    Guys,

    I might be visiting Florida for a long weekend. Plan is to fly to Miami and stay in a hotel in South beach area. Might also rent a car and drive to Florida Keys and/or to the Everglades. Can you please refresh me on Florida carry laws and what to watch out for.

    I'm a VA resident andhave a VA resident CHP. I'm only planning to carry concealed, which I think is the only mode of carry permitted under Florida law - correct me if I'm wrong.


    1) Is my permit (VA residentCHP) still valid in FL?

    2) What are the places off limits for carry?

    3) Is carry in National Forests permitted?

    4) Is carry in State parks/state forests permitted?

    5) Is carry permitted in family restaurants that serve alcohol?

    7) Any federal property (other than obvious Post Offices and Federal buildings that are marked as such)?

    8) Is there a duty to notify LEO at traffic stops?

    9) Is there a duty to retreat?

    10) Any other places off limits beyond the obvious I need to be aware of?


    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaingun81 View Post
    Guys,

    I might be visiting Florida for a long weekend. Plan is to fly to Miami and stay in a hotel in South beach area. Might also rent a car and drive to Florida Keys and/or to the Everglades. Can you please refresh me on Florida carry laws and what to watch out for.

    I'm a VA resident andhave a VA resident CHP. I'm only planning to carry concealed, which I think is the only mode of carry permitted under Florida law - correct me if I'm wrong.


    1) Is my permit (VA residentCHP) still valid in FL?

    2) What are the places off limits for carry?

    3) Is carry in National Forests permitted?

    4) Is carry in State parks/state forests permitted?

    5) Is carry permitted in family restaurants that serve alcohol?

    7) Any federal property (other than obvious Post Offices and Federal buildings that are marked as such)?

    8) Is there a duty to notify LEO at traffic stops?

    9) Is there a duty to retreat?

    10) Any other places off limits beyond the obvious I need to be aware of?


    Thanks in advance!
    Anyone?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaingun81 View Post
    Guys,

    I might be visiting Florida for a long weekend. Plan is to fly to Miami and stay in a hotel in South beach area. Might also rent a car and drive to Florida Keys and/or to the Everglades. Can you please refresh me on Florida carry laws and what to watch out for.

    I'm a VA resident andhave a VA resident CHP. I'm only planning to carry concealed, which I think is the only mode of carry permitted under Florida law - correct me if I'm wrong.


    1) Is my permit (VA residentCHP) still valid in FL?

    2) What are the places off limits for carry?

    3) Is carry in National Forests permitted?

    4) Is carry in State parks/state forests permitted?

    5) Is carry permitted in family restaurants that serve alcohol?

    7) Any federal property (other than obvious Post Offices and Federal buildings that are marked as such)?

    8) Is there a duty to notify LEO at traffic stops?

    9) Is there a duty to retreat?

    10) Any other places off limits beyond the obvious I need to be aware of?


    Thanks in advance!
    1) Is my permit (VA residentCHP) still valid in FL? Yes

    2) What are the places off limits for carry? Airports, bars, profssional sporting events, etc *

    3) Is carry in National Forests permitted? Yes

    4) Is carry in State parks/state forests permitted? Yes

    5) Is carry permitted in family restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes Just don't belly up to the actual bar.

    7) Any federal property (other than obvious Post Offices and Federal buildings that are marked as such)? Same as VA

    8) Is there a duty to notify LEO at traffic stops? No

    9) Is there a duty to retreat? No

    10) Any other places off limits beyond the obvious I need to be aware of? Below is the full list + Secure area of Seaports



    *
    Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05
    any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station;
    any detention facility, prison, or jail;
    any courthouse; any courtroom;
    any polling place;
    any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district;
    any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;
    any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms;
    any school administration building;
    any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;
    any elementary or secondary school facility;
    any area vocational-technical center;
    any college or university facility;
    inside the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; or
    any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law

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    Quote Originally Posted by brboyer View Post
    Secure area of Seaports
    I presume this is comparable the the secure area of airports? (beyond security checkpoints)

    Could you possibly supply a link to the actual Statute?
    Last edited by Phssthpok; 11-08-2010 at 08:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phssthpok View Post
    I presume this is comparable the the secure area of airports? (beyond security checkpoints)

    Could you possibly supply a link to the actual Statute?
    Yep, but think outdoors/parking areas.

    311.12(4)(c)
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...s/0311.12.html
    The seaport must provide clear notice of the prohibition against possession of concealed weapons and other contraband material on the premises of the seaport. Any person in a restricted area who has in his or her possession a concealed weapon, or who operates or has possession or control of a vehicle in or upon which a concealed weapon is placed or stored, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. This paragraph does not apply to active-duty certified federal or state law enforcement personnel or persons so designated by the seaport director in writing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brboyer View Post
    Yep, but think outdoors/parking areas.

    311.12(4)(c)
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...s/0311.12.html

    Thanks for the link/lead. I did some read-ification. Seems as though parts of 311.12 (4)(c) are in direct conflict with 311.12 (1)(c)...Specifically:

    (c) The provisions of s. 790.251 are not superseded, preempted, or otherwise modified in any way by the provisions of this section.
    Also, I note that 311.12 applies only to concealed carry (yes, I understand that OC is generally prohibited in FLA).

    Where I'm going with all this is that my folks want to go see the (several times delayed) launch of the shuttle. My step-dad wants to make a full day of it and get in some fishing (OC EXEMPTION!) while waiting for the actual launch. His chosen location is a park with a dock/pier in a channel that separates Cape Canaveral (town) from CAPE CANAVERAL (launch facility).

    I recall attending a launch at the same location almost ten years ago and, at the time, there were no security checkpoints or such-like...just a quaint little park bordering the channel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phssthpok View Post
    Thanks for the link/lead. I did some read-ification. Seems as though parts of 311.12 (4)(c) are in direct conflict with 311.12 (1)(c)...Specifically:



    Also, I note that 311.12 applies only to concealed carry (yes, I understand that OC is generally prohibited in FLA).

    Where I'm going with all this is that my folks want to go see the (several times delayed) launch of the shuttle. My step-dad wants to make a full day of it and get in some fishing (OC EXEMPTION!) while waiting for the actual launch. His chosen location is a park with a dock/pier in a channel that separates Cape Canaveral (town) from CAPE CANAVERAL (launch facility).

    I recall attending a launch at the same location almost ten years ago and, at the time, there were no security checkpoints or such-like...just a quaint little park bordering the channel.
    The problem with that, is that most of 790.251 (which does not address legality of carry, just harassment and expulsion and employee termination) was ruled unconstitutional in 2008. Currently it only applies to employer/employee interaction.

    If it's not in the secure area of a seaport (there must be signs posted according to 311), or other prohibited location, enjoy your OC fishing trip with your dad.

    ETA: Make sure you have a valid fishing license.
    Last edited by brboyer; 11-08-2010 at 11:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brboyer View Post
    1) Is my permit (VA residentCHP) still valid in FL? Yes

    2) What are the places off limits for carry? Airports, bars, profssional sporting events, etc *

    3) Is carry in National Forests permitted? Yes

    4) Is carry in State parks/state forests permitted? Yes

    5) Is carry permitted in family restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes Just don't belly up to the actual bar.

    7) Any federal property (other than obvious Post Offices and Federal buildings that are marked as such)? Same as VA

    8) Is there a duty to notify LEO at traffic stops? No

    9) Is there a duty to retreat? No

    10) Any other places off limits beyond the obvious I need to be aware of? Below is the full list + Secure area of Seaports



    *
    Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05
    any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station;
    any detention facility, prison, or jail;
    any courthouse; any courtroom;
    any polling place;
    any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district;
    any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;
    any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms;
    any school administration building;
    any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;
    any elementary or secondary school facility;
    any area vocational-technical center;
    any college or university facility;
    inside the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; or
    any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law
    Thanks for a detailed explanation, I really appreciate the help. One thing not fully clear - regarding restraunts serving alcohol. Is that a clear distinction between the dining area and bar area or it's all kind of a grey zone? What if the entrance or path from the bathroom goes through the bar area? Also, I assume there is zero tolerance in regards to consumption right?

    One more question - what about being on the water? If we take a boat tour through the bay or rent a boat or something, can you still carry offshore or there are some other restrictions? Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaingun81 View Post
    Thanks for a detailed explanation, I really appreciate the help. One thing not fully clear - regarding restraunts serving alcohol. Is that a clear distinction between the dining area and bar area or it's all kind of a grey zone? What if the entrance or path from the bathroom goes through the bar area? Also, I assume there is zero tolerance in regards to consumption right?

    One more question - what about being on the water? If we take a boat tour through the bay or rent a boat or something, can you still carry offshore or there are some other restrictions? Thanks!
    Every restaurant I've been to has the bar area clearly delineated from the rest of the restaurant in some manner, like half height walls, rope, or something. There is all kinds of argument surrounding walking through the 'bar area' to go to the bathroom. Most of the experienced carriers I know/talk to really don't worry about it. But there are some that say you can't walk though it.

    There is no restriction on drinking while carrying (as long as you're not sitting at the bar doing the drinking). You can be completely drunk off your butt and carry a concealed firearm - if you are properly licensed. (I had to say that for some of the folks that would point that out.)

    You will get in trouble for using your firearm while drunk. "Using", in this case, means shooting or holding it your hand. Unless it is in self defense.

    790.151
    1) As used in ss. 790.151-790.157, to “use a firearm” means to discharge a firearm or to have a firearm readily accessible for immediate discharge.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, “readily accessible for immediate discharge” means loaded and in a person’s hand.

    (3) It is unlawful and punishable as provided in subsection (4) for any person who is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired, to use a firearm in this state.

    4) Any person who violates subsection (3) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    (5) This section does not apply to persons exercising lawful self-defense or defense of one’s property.
    As for being in a boat, Florida's laws for licensed carry extend to the entire state, including it's waterways. Florida's Territorial waters extend a minimum of three miles on the east and west coast. The southern border is a little complicated. You can get the complete description of Florida's Territorial water by looking at Article 2, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution.
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...N=92100688#A02

    Outside three miles you are in US Territorial waters and I'm unaware of any laws restricting the possession of a concealed firearm there.

    Of course the company/individual you rent the boat from or hire for a tour may have his own rules about firearms on their boats. It's just like any other private property, the 'no firearms' signs carry no legal weight, but if they tell you to leave (for any reason) you must leave of face Felony Armed Trespass charges! So concealed means concealed and leave immediately when told to do so. Note that might be difficult three miles out at sea!

    Be aware that there are Federal installations throughout the State and their jurisdiction may extend into the water.

    National parks and monuments are OK, like the Everglades National Park. But you may want to be careful about entering any of Florida's Wildlife Management Areas - some hunting regulations, even if you are not hunting, could cause you a problem - all of these areas should be posted as such.


    I've tried to keep it simple, but as you can see it is anything but simple!
    Last edited by brboyer; 11-10-2010 at 05:24 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by brboyer View Post


    I've tried to keep it simple, but as you can see it is anything but simple!
    Ain't that the truth.

    As a tourist, you have little to worry about in the places you're likely to go. Most beaches, theme parks, area attractions, restaurants, and hotels are "go about your business" places. Concealed is concealed, regardless of what that sign says by the door.

    Watch out for Disney specifically, they get particularly grumpy about guns. To call them control freaks would be putting it politely. But, supposedly, if discovered, they'll typically just request you lock your gun up in the security office and retrieve it on your way out, AFTER you've spent the contents of your wallet and maxed out a few credit cards on $10 hot-dogs mind you.

    Just make sure your concealment system is solid, and forget about it, enjoy your stay.

    OC does have a few exceptions where it's legal. Just bear in mind, that, if you do carry that way, you'd be doing so in a state where OC is almost non-existent. It scares the *bleep* out of the sheep. OC in any public area, legal or not, and you can pretty much COUNT on a visit by local PD. Some cops know the law, some don't. Should they? You bet. But, that's not reality. Armed citizens, legally carrying OC, have been detained, razzed, and even arrested. While you would probably prevail in the end, slapping a few hands on the way out the door, that's the kind of thing that can really foul up a vacation. I'm not advocating you do or don't OC, just passing on facts you need to make an informed choice.

    Otherwise, have a safe and enjoyable trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brboyer View Post
    Every restaurant I've been to has the bar area clearly delineated from the rest of the restaurant in some manner, like half height walls, rope, or something. There is all kinds of argument surrounding walking through the 'bar area' to go to the bathroom. Most of the experienced carriers I know/talk to really don't worry about it. But there are some that say you can't walk though it.

    There is no restriction on drinking while carrying (as long as you're not sitting at the bar doing the drinking). You can be completely drunk off your butt and carry a concealed firearm - if you are properly licensed. (I had to say that for some of the folks that would point that out.)

    You will get in trouble for using your firearm while drunk. "Using", in this case, means shooting or holding it your hand. Unless it is in self defense.

    790.151


    As for being in a boat, Florida's laws for licensed carry extend to the entire state, including it's waterways. Florida's Territorial waters extend a minimum of three miles on the east and west coast. The southern border is a little complicated. You can get the complete description of Florida's Territorial water by looking at Article 2, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution.
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/...N=92100688#A02

    Outside three miles you are in US Territorial waters and I'm unaware of any laws restricting the possession of a concealed firearm there.

    Of course the company/individual you rent the boat from or hire for a tour may have his own rules about firearms on their boats. It's just like any other private property, the 'no firearms' signs carry no legal weight, but if they tell you to leave (for any reason) you must leave of face Felony Armed Trespass charges! So concealed means concealed and leave immediately when told to do so. Note that might be difficult three miles out at sea!

    Be aware that there are Federal installations throughout the State and their jurisdiction may extend into the water.

    National parks and monuments are OK, like the Everglades National Park. But you may want to be careful about entering any of Florida's Wildlife Management Areas - some hunting regulations, even if you are not hunting, could cause you a problem - all of these areas should be posted as such.


    I've tried to keep it simple, but as you can see it is anything but simple!
    Thanks again for a detailed reply - you've been a great help! I'm not planning on getting drunk while carrying (or in general for that matter), my question was more in the line of if I want to have a beer with dinner is that a no-no or a possible option. I generally avoid alcohol when I carry 99.999% of the time, and on rare occasions that I don't I'd have half a drink and call it a day.

    I'm a big guy and can hold my liquor and never had judgement impairment from drinking even in large amounts, so I'm not worried about myself. I am however worried about how an overzealous prosecutor can turn it against me if I ever had to use the firearm. Not worth the risk.

    Thanks again though - it's good to know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepSeller View Post
    Ain't that the truth.

    As a tourist, you have little to worry about in the places you're likely to go. Most beaches, theme parks, area attractions, restaurants, and hotels are "go about your business" places. Concealed is concealed, regardless of what that sign says by the door.

    Watch out for Disney specifically, they get particularly grumpy about guns. To call them control freaks would be putting it politely. But, supposedly, if discovered, they'll typically just request you lock your gun up in the security office and retrieve it on your way out, AFTER you've spent the contents of your wallet and maxed out a few credit cards on $10 hot-dogs mind you.

    Just make sure your concealment system is solid, and forget about it, enjoy your stay.

    OC does have a few exceptions where it's legal. Just bear in mind, that, if you do carry that way, you'd be doing so in a state where OC is almost non-existent. It scares the *bleep* out of the sheep. OC in any public area, legal or not, and you can pretty much COUNT on a visit by local PD. Some cops know the law, some don't. Should they? You bet. But, that's not reality. Armed citizens, legally carrying OC, have been detained, razzed, and even arrested. While you would probably prevail in the end, slapping a few hands on the way out the door, that's the kind of thing that can really foul up a vacation. I'm not advocating you do or don't OC, just passing on facts you need to make an informed choice.

    Otherwise, have a safe and enjoyable trip.
    Thanks for the additional info. I'm not planning to OC there - I don't need to attract any additional attention away from home. "Concealed means concealed" and "don't ask - don't tell" are the best policies to apply when in any, even minimal doubt about 100% legality of carry or public reaction to OC in a particular place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaingun81 View Post
    Thanks for the additional info. I'm not planning to OC there - I don't need to attract any additional attention away from home. "Concealed means concealed" and "don't ask - don't tell" are the best policies to apply when in any, even minimal doubt about 100% legality of carry or public reaction to OC in a particular place.
    I wasn't trying to purposely discourage you from OC. This IS an OC forum after all. I just call 'em as I see 'em. And, while I support your right to take advantage of what little OC ability we have here, I'd also feel awful if you reported back here later on ranting about how your vacation was ruined because you thought it was OK to OC, and you spent half your vacation arguing with the PD about it and I didn't warn you.

    OC is legal in small exceptions here, and, there does seem to be a new head of steam to a somewhat grass-roots movement by Floridians to get OC not only legalized, but, more accepted. It's just going to take time and work. We're just not there yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepSeller View Post
    I wasn't trying to purposely discourage you from OC. This IS an OC forum after all. I just call 'em as I see 'em. And, while I support your right to take advantage of what little OC ability we have here, I'd also feel awful if you reported back here later on ranting about how your vacation was ruined because you thought it was OK to OC, and you spent half your vacation arguing with the PD about it and I didn't warn you.

    OC is legal in small exceptions here, and, there does seem to be a new head of steam to a somewhat grass-roots movement by Floridians to get OC not only legalized, but, more accepted. It's just going to take time and work. We're just not there yet.
    I understand this and thank you again. I have it as my personal general rule, not to OC in places away from home. I just don't have time for any possible issues to arise during travel.

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    One more question. So I'm debating on what firearm to take with me. I generally carry full size combat pistols here, but since I'm going to a warm place, with CC only, I need something I can comfortably conceal.

    The 2 options I have in my safe are Springfield XD Sub compact 9mm. with Galco IWB holster for it and Ruger LCP in 380 with Desantis Nemesis pocket holster.

    Obviously, Ruger is a lot smaller and lighter, but not as accurate and powerful as Springfield. Also, pocket holster is generally harder to deploy from and it prints the rough shape of the gun when sitting.

    Springfield is bigger, much thicker and heavier, but has more rounds in it with more power. IWB holster is easy to deploy from, but its pretty uncomfortable to wear (at least for me) and Springfield still manages to print a little bit.

    I've been pondering this for a while now, and I cannot decide. The obvious compromise would be to take both, but I don't particularly feel like dealing with 2 guns in case I need to secure them when entering a prohibited area.

    Also, what is the weather like now? I see the temperature is pretty warm, but is it really summer hot? Is that kind of a weather when you have to wear a light T-shirt day and night or sweat your balls off?

    Any ideas/advice will be highly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaingun81 View Post
    One more question. So I'm debating on what firearm to take with me. I generally carry full size combat pistols here, but since I'm going to a warm place, with CC only, I need something I can comfortably conceal.

    The 2 options I have in my safe are Springfield XD Sub compact 9mm. with Galco IWB holster for it and Ruger LCP in 380 with Desantis Nemesis pocket holster.

    Obviously, Ruger is a lot smaller and lighter, but not as accurate and powerful as Springfield. Also, pocket holster is generally harder to deploy from and it prints the rough shape of the gun when sitting.

    Springfield is bigger, much thicker and heavier, but has more rounds in it with more power. IWB holster is easy to deploy from, but its pretty uncomfortable to wear (at least for me) and Springfield still manages to print a little bit.

    I've been pondering this for a while now, and I cannot decide. The obvious compromise would be to take both, but I don't particularly feel like dealing with 2 guns in case I need to secure them when entering a prohibited area.

    Also, what is the weather like now? I see the temperature is pretty warm, but is it really summer hot? Is that kind of a weather when you have to wear a light T-shirt day and night or sweat your balls off?

    Any ideas/advice will be highly appreciated.
    Don't worry about printing, it's not illegal here.

    Today is was 80, tonight it's in the mid 50's with 50% RH - VERY comfortable, last week it was in the 60's for a high.

    I wear a t-shirt & Jeans a lot, Polo and slacks, & business attire: I carry both a Glock 19 & .38 S&W Bodyguard every day.

    Sweat my ass of in the summer when it's 95 and 95% humidity in shirt & tie, but that's the price we pay to live down here.

    Bring whatever you feel most comfortable in with your planned activities in mind.

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    Bring what you feel most comfortable with.

    Me personally? I'm best with a full sized service pistol. I'm more accurate, faster to draw, faster to re-acquire my target after a shot, and just plain more comfortable with that kind of weight, balance, and size pistol in my hand.

    That being said, I've had NO trouble concealing a full sized Beretta .40SW on the hottest of days, even with nothing more than a pair of shorts, a GOOD gun belt, quality holster and a well chosen t-shirt.

    It's what's comfortable for me.

    As brboyer points out, don't worry yourself too much about printing. It's not against the law, and to be completely honest, the sheep are just too oblivious anyway. With cellphones, PDAs, etc. these days, a "bulge" under a t-shirt, waist level could be anything. WE'RE the only ones who see a bulge and think gun.

    While printing is not favored, just keep it covered and, again, as I say to everyone, enjoy your stay. Travel is stressful enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaingun81 View Post

    Also, what is the weather like now? I see the temperature is pretty warm, but is it really summer hot? Is that kind of a weather when you have to wear a light T-shirt day and night or sweat your balls off?
    I'm currently visiting from Western Cryogenica (Washington State) and even I find the current conditions here comfy. If you look at a map and follow the longitude lines, where I'm from is roughly equal to central Maine, whereas Virginia is roughly equal to central Commifornia. Factor in the warming effects of the gulf stream, and coming from Virginia you should have no problems. The humidity is not bad AT ALL.

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