Unlawful Carry Of Concealed Firearm
In the State of Florida, a person may carry a concealed firearm, as long as they have a valid concealed weapons permit (CWP), if a person has a concealed firearm and they don’t have a CWP they can be charged with a third (3rd) degree felony which carries a maximum penalty of five (5) years in prison and a $5000 fine. To prove unlicensed carry of a concealed firearm the Prosecutor must prove three (3) things. First, that the defendant knowingly carried or about his or her person a firearm. Second, that the firearm was concealed from ordinary sight. Last, the Prosecutor must prove that the defendant was not licensed to carry a concealed firearm. An important note in the Florida Jury instruction is that “on or about” means that the firearm either physically on the person or the firearm is readily accessible to them. The good news is there are defenses to this offense, there are exceptions outlined in the Florida Statutes that allow for a person to have a concealed weapon in their home or business. However, probably the biggest exception is that a person over the age of eighteen (18) may lawfully have a concealed weapon in their conveyance (vehicle) as long as it is not on their person, the firearm is securely encased, and finally is not readily accessible for immediate use. Securely encased means that the firearm is in the glove compartment or in a gun case, while not readily accessible means it is not available for immediate use. Also, equally important to know for those who have their concealed weapons permit is that even though you have the ability to lawful carry a firearm or weapon in a concealed fashion there are limits as to where you can carry. For instance, a person even with a CWP is not authorized to carry openly or concealed into a police station, courthouse, jail, polling place, airport, elementary school building just to name a few. Carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place is a second-degree misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to sixty (60) days in jail, up to six (6) months or probation, and up to a $500 fine, if charged or convicted it could also lead to a suspension of you concealed weapons permit. If you have been arrested for a firearm or weapons-related offense it is important to know your options, your rights, and the potential defenses you may have in your specific case, at Meldon Law we have the knowledge and experience to assist you in every aspect of your case. The attorneys at Meldon Law, know the rights you have and are dedicated to defending them and defending you if you have been charged with a firearm or weapons offense call us at 352-373-8000 for a free consultation.