Florida law regulates the possession and concealment of firearms. For example, people are permitted to carry concealed weapons, but only under certain circumstances. As such, if a person is caught by the police with a concealed gun in their possession, they may face criminal charges. As explained by a Florida court in an opinion recently issued in a gun crime case, the law permitting concealed weapons in a private vehicle does not permit people to carry such weapons on their person. If you are charged with a gun crime, it is advisable to meet with a Sarasota weapons crime defense lawyer to discuss your possible defenses.
It is reported that in June 2022, police officers pulled over the defendant for a traffic infraction. Upon approaching the defendant’s vehicle, the officers noticed a handgun in the car’s glove compartment. They also detected the smell of marijuana. They asked the defendant to exit the vehicle. When he complied, the officers saw that he had a crossbody bag over his shoulder and chest, which was zipped closed. Upon searching the bag, the officers found a loaded handgun, leading to the defendant’s arrest for carrying a concealed firearm.
Allegedly, the defendant was subsequently arrested for carrying a concealed firearm in violation of section 790.01(2) of the Florida Statutes. The defendant argued for dismissal, contending that under section 790.25(5), he was allowed to possess the concealed firearm as it was securely encased within a private conveyance. The trial court agreed with the defendant’s argument and dismissed the charge. The State appealed the decision.
The Right to Carry a Concealed Firearm in Florida
Upon review, the court reversed the trial court’s decision to dismiss the charge against the defendant. It was argued by the State that the trial court’s ruling was erroneous because it overlooked a crucial sentence in section 790.25(5), which expressly stated that the subsection should not be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm “on the person.”
The court agreed with the State’s argument, noting that the defendant’s interpretation, allowing possession of a firearm even if carried on the person as long as it was securely encased within a vehicle, was inconsistent with the plain language of the statute. The court also emphasized that section 790.25(5) limits the right to possess a firearm in a vehicle to those that are securely encased or not immediately accessible for use and are not carried on the person.
Therefore, the court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the information and remanded the case for further proceedings, holding that even a securely encased weapon does not fall under the private conveyance exception if it is carried on the person.
Talk to a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Under Florida law, most people are lawfully permitted to possess weapons, but if a gun owner does not comply with the terms of applicable firearm laws, they may be charged with gun crimes. If you are charged with a gun offense, it is in your best interest to talk to a skilled attorney about your rights. The skilled Sarasota gun crime defense lawyers of Hanlon Law can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best result possible under the facts or your case. You can reach Hanlon Law by calling 941-462-1789 or using the form online to arrange a conference.