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Thread: OC in one's own car.. now permissible, "officially" or otherwise..?

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    OC in one's own car.. now permissible, "officially" or otherwise..?

    Hello, all. Just joined today while researching this very topic. I've been doing so because some thoughts have been occurring to me. I think that, with the passage of SB234 earlier this year, it remains to be seen whether or not the practice of "open carry" while in one's own motor vehicle (MV) will continue to be regarded as illegal. The reason I think this is that Florida law considers a firearm to be hidden (in both legal and illegal aspects) if it is "concealed from the ordinary sight of another person." Now, in most cases, especially in mine, since I am left-handed, when one is operating a MV and is alone in same, few, if any, other people would be able to see a firearm worn on the belt without exercising a level of sight beyond "ordinary". If someone walks up to your car and deliberately peers inside, that would be such an example, no different than if someone were to stoop down and look up one's jacket. There is no law specifically prohibiting a licensee from carrying in an OC-style in his/her car; it only authorizes one to carry a firearm/weapon concealed, and does not even state by what means it shall be concealed. CW/FL laws do indeed prohibit OC, even by carry licensees, but is a firearm carried on one's person and concealed by the structure of the vehicle (or the licensees own body by way of seating position) still considered "openly displayed" if no one can see it?
    True, when one then exits their MV without covering first, the weapon then becomes visible. However, the law now allows such "brief" visibility, as long as it is not "in a rude, threatening, or angry manner not in necessary self defense." (The definition of "brief" has not been determined yet by either statute or case law.) Once outside, the person would either doff the weapon and return it to proper storage, or don a cover garment.
    At this point, I am certainly not suggesting any of you decide to be the test subject. However, I do believe it warrants discussion in legal circles, and may have already gotten some. Would the practice be considered legal or at least "unprosecutable"? The law allowing for "brief" display as described is new, so there is no experience that I know of with it. I'm wondering if the FHP may even have issued directives or suggestions to consider these factors when encountering such situations (this is in response to a post in which the author writes that he was stopped by a FHP trooper and cited for speeding, all while his OC'd handgun was clearly visible on his hip. The trooper noted the firearm, but made no issue of it.)

    Edit: For the benefit of others who may peruse this thread, it was started with the idea that I was only referring to those licensed in Florida to carry a firearm (or other weapon) concealed on their person. I forgot to include that clause in the opening lines.
    Last edited by MedWheeler; 12-28-2011 at 09:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MedWheeler View Post
    Hello, all. Just joined today while researching this very topic. I've been doing so because some thoughts have been occurring to me. I think that, with the passage of SB234 earlier this year, it remains to be seen whether or not the practice of "open carry" while in one's own motor vehicle (MV) will continue to be regarded as illegal. The reason I think this is that Florida law considers a firearm to be hidden (in both legal and illegal aspects) if it is "concealed from the ordinary sight of another person." Now, in most cases, especially in mine, since I am left-handed, when one is operating a MV and is alone in same, few, if any, other people would be able to see a firearm worn on the belt without exercising a level of sight beyond "ordinary". If someone walks up to your car and deliberately peers inside, that would be such an example, no different than if someone were to stoop down and look up one's jacket. There is no law specifically prohibiting a licensee from carrying in an OC-style in his/her car; it only authorizes one to carry a firearm/weapon concealed, and does not even state by what means it shall be concealed. CW/FL laws do indeed prohibit OC, even by carry licensees, but is a firearm carried on one's person and concealed by the structure of the vehicle (or the licensees own body by way of seating position) still considered "openly displayed" if no one can see it?
    True, when one then exits their MV without covering first, the weapon then becomes visible. However, the law now allows such "brief" visibility, as long as it is not "in a rude, threatening, or angry manner not in necessary self defense." (The definition of "brief" has not been determined yet by either statute or case law.) Once outside, the person would either doff the weapon and return it to proper storage, or don a cover garment.
    At this point, I am certainly not suggesting any of you decide to be the test subject. However, I do believe it warrants discussion in legal circles, and may have already gotten some. Would the practice be considered legal or at least "unprosecutable"? The law allowing for "brief" display as described is new, so there is no experience that I know of with it. I'm wondering if the FHP may even have issued directives or suggestions to consider these factors when encountering such situations (this is in response to a post in which the author writes that he was stopped by a FHP trooper and cited for speeding, all while his OC'd handgun was clearly visible on his hip. The trooper noted the firearm, but made no issue of it.)
    I can tell you from personal experience that most FHP that I know don't really know the laws too well either way. My step father was FHP for nearly a year before he switched agencies and neither he nor anyone in his troop knew such basic things as "what constitutes a common pocket knife vs a weapon" and what "securely encased" really even meant until I educated him. I understand you're searching for a lawful answer, but the application of it is this (for FHP in my local troop): As long as you're courteous, speak English, not having an anxiety attack and freaking out the trooper, not wanted for something when he runs your DL, not "mexican carrying" with half of it sticking out of your pants, and not cramming it under the seat with no holster or CCW. I honestly doubt in all reality that you would be arrested for OC in your vehicle by FHP, ESPECIALLY if you have a CCW. If he became verbally combative you could just pull out the statute and say this is what you thought it meant, or if you really want to OC so badly you could incorporate fishing into your daily life and OC relatively all the time as other members of this forum do.

    I am not by any means encouraging such activity or stating that it is lawful. I only OC driving to and from fishing, but that it just my opinion of how things would work out.

    Jake8x7

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    Thanks for the response, Jake.

    I understand you're searching for a lawful answer,
    Not here on an internet board, actually. Was just sharing some "thought chatter". I think you and I feel alike, though. I'm just curious, and will be watching to see how this kind of thing will play out as both the "in-car OC" issue and the issue of what constitutes "brief open" display eventually are tested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MedWheeler View Post
    Thanks for the response, Jake.



    Not here on an internet board, actually. Was just sharing some "thought chatter". I think you and I feel alike, though. I'm just curious, and will be watching to see how this kind of thing will play out as both the "in-car OC" issue and the issue of what constitutes "brief open" display eventually are tested.
    Yeah, especially if you actually read the "securely encased" section of the statute. A holstered handgun is in itself "securely encased" (per the statute), and I don't see how OCing on your hip in a snapped holster isn't secure encasement in a private conveyance. To this day I've never understood why it's just a given that OC in a snapped holster in a vehicle in FL is inherently illegal.

    To have a handgun in a conveyance and NOT CC, all you need to do is:

    (5) 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 weapon,

    Using the definition of "or", the statement creates a choice of either action to make the encasement legal. Because of that small word or, I would presume that the choice to make a firearm readily accessible for immediate use is up to the user as long as their firearm is "securely encased" in the first place, i.e. snapped holster.

    (l) A person traveling by private conveyance when the weapon is securely encased or in a public conveyance when the weapon is securely encased and not in the person’s manual possession;

    This section would read to me as "no OC in Public conveyance", because the stipulations for public conveyance are different from private. Doesn't affect OC in private conveyance.



    (16) “Readily accessible for immediate use” means that a firearm or other weapon is carried on the person or within such close proximity and in such a manner that it can be retrieved and used as easily and quickly as if carried on the person.

    Again, doesn't matter for us because we don't need to adhere to (16) if we are adhering to (17).

    (17) “Securely encased” means 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.

    Snapped in a holster...need I say more?

    So ironically, the argument that OC in a private conveyance is in fact "CC" would possibly allow CWL holders to "OC" in cars, but it would put the mystery of "securely encased" being construed to allow 18+ unlicensed OC on the hip in a snapped holster to an end in favor of the definition of private conveyance possession/carry/transportation/whatever to be inherently CCing . Just my thoughts.

    Personally, I just leave a handgun loaded and unholstered in my unlocked center console. Not as good as OC, but since we can't OC for some reason and I'm not old enough to CC, it's the best I can do. If I leave the vehicle, I always lock my doors and lock the center console itself.

    Jake8x7
    Last edited by Jake8x7; 12-27-2011 at 12:51 PM.

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    For the purposes of this discussion, I'm referring only to OC by concealed-carry licensees. The whole "securely-encased" thing does not apply to them. You and I are brainstorming about two different, but very closely related, issues. If case or statutory law does one day catch up with your train of thought and agree, then, yes, non-licensees may find themselves permitted to "open-carry" while "concealing" their firearms within their vehicles. States that consider a vehicle as an extension of one's domicile, such as New Mexico, make these issues clearer. The fact that Florida does not is the only thing making this so murky.

    Edit: I just re-read the statute, and call attention to this line.

    Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person.
    It appears that even a "securely-encased" firearm in a closed box would be considered a "concealed firearm" if it is carried "on the person". Non-licensees would not be permitted to carry in this manner. Now, the word "otherwise" in the phrase "securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible" implies that the legislative intent is to make the firearm, no matter how it is carried, not readily accessible. A belt-worn, holstered handgun is likely to be considered "readily accessible", so my take is that, in cases of non-licensees, no form of "on-body" carry is permitted.

    This line below is probably the driving force behind the acceptance being shown by an increasing number of LEO personnel.

    This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapon.
    Last edited by MedWheeler; 12-27-2011 at 05:19 PM.

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    I'm very glad you caught the end of the statute . I noticed that at the end of my reply...wasn't going to bother until you posted what you did. I do agree that that is the spirit of the law, but here's the big twist... watch closely-

    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.


    We both understand the legal status of a "concealed firearm". But what is a weapon? According to State Statute, a weapon is:

    (13) “Weapon” means any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.

    If a firearm isn't a weapon, then carrying a holstered firearm on the hip open carrying doesn't break either section of the sentence. Funny isn't it? Why does everyone think OC in private conveyance is illegal (including police and lawyers)? Or rather, why is "securely encasing" a handgun in the open on your body illegal (I don't want to use the term OC for this, as that's a whole different issue).

    Jake8x7
    Last edited by Jake8x7; 12-27-2011 at 09:31 PM.

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    Jake, you wrote regarding this sentence: >>Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person.<<

    If a firearm isn't a weapon, then carrying a holstered firearm on the hip open carrying doesn't break either section of the sentence. Funny isn't it? Why does everyone think OC in private conveyance is illegal (including police and lawyers)? Or rather, why is "securely encasing" a handgun in the open on your body illegal?
    Then it comes back down to "readily accessible". The law appears to consider a gun in a snapped holster, not carried on the person, as not readily accessible, but becoming readily accessible once strapped on. That's the clincher, I think. The idea the OC is illegal in a MV interior comes from the fact that it is illegal elsewhere in public, and a MV interior has not been legally defined as otherwise. Perhaps someday some "legal eagles" having this exact discussion will determine that it has not been illegal all these years.
    Yes, the holstered firearm on the hip might not "break either section of the sentence", as you put it, but there are other sentences in the statute to trip us up. It is funny that the statute subsection both identifies a firearm as a weapon ("firearm or other weapon") and excludes it from its own definition of a weapon ("weapon means any dirk.... ... ... or other deadly weapon except a firearm".)
    I'm enjoying the discussion, and it seems to be just me and you here. Keep it up; I love breaking down law stuff, though I am no lawyer (I do have a background in LE, but no longer work in that profession.) Of course, Florida could have made it simpler by doing one of two things: consider a MV interior the same as any other public place and do away with the separate subsections regarding them (NOT my preferred course), or follow the path of many other states and consider it as an extension of one's domicile. If the state did either, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
    Last edited by MedWheeler; 12-28-2011 at 09:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MedWheeler View Post
    I'm enjoying the discussion, and it seems to be just me and you here. Keep it up;
    Guys,

    There are a lot of us who are reading right along with you guys but probably can't actually add anything of value at this time, so we just shut up and take it all in!

    A very good discussion for sure.

    AD (the open carry fishing/shooting guy)
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    To quote an Officer from LEOAFFAIRS.COM......""Mr "reality" , Ive read your posts in this thread and now that everyone else has had some fun with you , I will answer your questions.

    You are absolutely correct! We , along with many other government agencies whether local , state or federal do indeed perform many acts and enforce many laws that are un-Constitutional. You need to understand something right up front....WE DONT CARE.
    The Constitution, while a quaint museum piece, is obsolete and ineffective.
    The way it works now is that you and anyone else without a badge or some other form of government authorization WILL do as you are told or you will pay the price. You have only those "rights" that we feel that you are entitled to. This is reality.... not you asinine view of "what use to be". These are the facts and the quicker you and people like you understand this, the better off you will be. Our program works.
    Heres a suggestion, the next time that you get stopped why dont you tell the officer about the Constitution that you are so fond of then come back here and let us know how that worked for you."


    http://forums.leoaffairs.com/viewtop...866277#p866277


    This seems to be the general attitude of 99%of the cops on that board so my question is...Does what the law says really matter?
    Last edited by fla_native; 12-28-2011 at 10:37 AM.

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    Native, the thread is about interpretation of the law, not about whether or not the law "matters", or whether or not we live in a "police state". I'm not about to read all 63 posts in the thread you linked to just to try to find some snippets of where you're getting your information. As a LEO myself, I never spent time there, nor did I ever have a problem with the right of the private citizen to possess firearms. Among my colleagues, this was a common view.
    Please don't try to derail the thread. Start another if you like, and more will undoubtedly participate.

    Adulay, thanks for the comment..!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fla_native View Post
    To quote an Officer from LEOAFFAIRS.COM....
    I'm afraid I can't take anything said there too seriously, as they don't appear to verify that someone posting as an LEO is actually an LEO making that statement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MedWheeler View Post
    Native, the thread is about interpretation of the law, not about whether or not the law "matters", or whether or not we live in a "police state". I'm not about to read all 63 posts in the thread you linked to just to try to find some snippets of where you're getting your information. As a LEO myself, I never spent time there, nor did I ever have a problem with the right of the private citizen to possess firearms. Among my colleagues, this was a common view.
    Please don't try to derail the thread. Start another if you like, and more will undoubtedly participate.

    Adulay, thanks for the comment..!

    I apologize for ruffling feathers but I still maintain that whether or not the law matters is at the very heart of this issue , and those that supposedly enforce these laws should not but often do pick and choose what and how theses laws are to be enforced thus having a direct bearing on the law in question and others.
    With you being a LEO I can certainly see where this might irritate you but nonetheless the issue is there. So basically, no "derailment" was intended or accomplished...you merely dislike the statement itself.
    However, seeing as how this is the approach here..Ill not engage you further. I wouldnt want to be accused of stepping on the wrong toes.
    Last edited by fla_native; 12-28-2011 at 12:20 PM.

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    If someone was arrested for securely encasing on their person in a MV im sure hed win the case and case law would expose the loophole but the senate would probably fix it in 1-2 years. Its only of decent interest to me because i have to wait a bit for CCL still. After im 21 ill CC all day and although ill still support OC, OC will become a talking piece concerning gun culture & the 2nd amendment...I personally dont feel the need to OC unless im traveling at 3am and stoppung to get gas, but ill still support anyone else that wishes to use their rights.

    Id rather tackle gun free campuses abd statewide knife laws first.
    Jake8x7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADulay View Post
    Guys,

    There are a lot of us who are reading right along with you guys but probably can't actually add anything of value at this time, so we just shut up and take it all in!

    A very good discussion for sure.

    AD (the open carry fishing/shooting guy)
    You know for sure who I was referring to when I was discussing "OC fishing all day" .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake8x7 View Post
    If someone was arrested for securely encasing on their person in a MV im sure hed win the case and case law would expose the loophole but the senate would probably fix it in 1-2 years. Its only of decent interest to me because i have to wait a bit for CCL still. After im 21 ill CC all day and although ill still support OC, OC will become a talking piece concerning gun culture & the 2nd amendment...I personally dont feel the need to OC unless im traveling at 3am and stoppung to get gas, but ill still support anyone else that wishes to use their rights.

    Id rather tackle gun free campuses abd statewide knife laws first.
    Jake8x7

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    drive up to georgia and OC for a couple days- i guarantee you'll change your mind about it...

    i've spent time in arizona, new mexico, pennsylvania, and numerous other OC friendly states, and i've consistently OC'd. it's a million times better than CC....
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammer6 View Post
    drive up to georgia and OC for a couple days- i guarantee you'll change your mind about it...

    i've spent time in arizona, new mexico, pennsylvania, and numerous other OC friendly states, and i've consistently OC'd. it's a million times better than CC....
    That's basically what I've been trying to explain to anyone who will listen.

    Once you get used to OC, you'll wonder why in the heck you ever stuffed a gun in your pants for all those years!

    I've OC'ed in all those states you've mentioned above. My wife's family is up in Pennsylvania and I OC there anytime I have to make that trek!

    Nothing like being the only OC guy in the Harley diner in Tarentum, PA! (It's by Pittsburgh)

    AD
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADulay View Post
    That's basically what I've been trying to explain to anyone who will listen.

    Once you get used to OC, you'll wonder why in the heck you ever stuffed a gun in your pants for all those years!

    I've OC'ed in all those states you've mentioned above. My wife's family is up in Pennsylvania and I OC there anytime I have to make that trek!

    Nothing like being the only OC guy in the Harley diner in Tarentum, PA! (It's by Pittsburgh)

    AD
    thanks!!! i agree!

    i was up in washington, pa- never saw anyone OC up there, and i was there for 5 months straight..
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADulay View Post
    That's basically what I've been trying to explain to anyone who will listen.

    Once you get used to OC, you'll wonder why in the heck you ever stuffed a gun in your pants for all those years!

    I've OC'ed in all those states you've mentioned above. My wife's family is up in Pennsylvania and I OC there anytime I have to make that trek!

    Nothing like being the only OC guy in the Harley diner in Tarentum, PA! (It's by Pittsburgh)

    AD
    Maybe when I'm not around my family as much...my mother and grandmother connect OC to mental problems. For what logical reasons I'm not so sure...anytime we have a discussion its my logic against their emotion.


    Jake8x7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MedWheeler View Post
    Jake, you wrote regarding this sentence: >>Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person.<<



    Then it comes back down to "readily accessible". The law appears to consider a gun in a snapped holster, not carried on the person, as not readily accessible, but becoming readily accessible once strapped on. That's the clincher, I think. The idea the OC is illegal in a MV interior comes from the fact that it is illegal elsewhere in public, and a MV interior has not been legally defined as otherwise. Perhaps someday some "legal eagles" having this exact discussion will determine that it has not been illegal all these years.
    Yes, the holstered firearm on the hip might not "break either section of the sentence", as you put it, but there are other sentences in the statute to trip us up. It is funny that the statute subsection both identifies a firearm as a weapon ("firearm or other weapon") and excludes it from its own definition of a weapon ("weapon means any dirk.... ... ... or other deadly weapon except a firearm".)
    I'm enjoying the discussion, and it seems to be just me and you here. Keep it up; I love breaking down law stuff, though I am no lawyer (I do have a background in LE, but no longer work in that profession.) Of course, Florida could have made it simpler by doing one of two things: consider a MV interior the same as any other public place and do away with the separate subsections regarding them (NOT my preferred course), or follow the path of many other states and consider it as an extension of one's domicile. If the state did either, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
    Agreed. Per the statute, if its securely encased it doesn't matter if it IS readily accessible. Notice how they make a differentiation between public and private conveyance: public can't be in in manual possession AND has to be securely encased, private conveyance only requires securely encased, NO REQUIREMENT to keep out of manual possession.

    Either way it needs to be considered a 'castle' and no permits to OC, or OC in vehicles needs to count as CC permit required because handguns aren't visible to the "casual observer" (per the statute). As the current law stands, it's so gray it's not even funny, lol.

    Notice how long guns have no requirement for open/concealed in private conveyances, they only need to be for a "lawful purpose". That means they can be in a shotgun rack, under your seat, in the trunk, standing verticle in the back seat. Hell, you could argue it's legal to drive a Jeep ranger convertible with no windows and a vertical shotgun between your knees in the obvious view of the casual observer. Not trying to promote long gun 'carry' in cars, but just saying. I'm guessing (not sure?) this would apply to boats as well? A shotgun on your back while operating a boat?

    Jake8x7
    Last edited by Jake8x7; 01-21-2012 at 10:29 PM.

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