As Florida braces for the impact of Hurricane Dorian, we are reminded of a bill signed into law in response to issues arising in the aftermath of Katrina in 2005. The law allows for residents to carry without a permit during mandatory evacuations.
The bill allows for a 48-hour window of permit-less carry. The bill, SB 290, which the Florida House approved by a 86-26 vote back in April of 2015, was drafted as a response to Hurricane Katrina when many gun owners faced charges after they took their firearms with them when fleeing their homes.
We called the Florida Department of Agriculture Licensing Division to confirm when the 48-hour window opens and closes, and if it is in fact a 48-hour window, as the bills verbiage does not specify an hour limit.
While we were able to speak to several people that confirmed that the law does in fact allow permit-less carry during the mandatory evacuation, they were not able to confirm the timeframe.
We were eventually patched through to the Office of Communications, where we were told that ewe could not leave a voice mail and we would need to email for any questions to be answered. It did not leave an email address.
Florida does recognize your vehicle as part of the “Castle Doctrine,” allowing you to carry in your vehicle without a permit, but it does not allow it to be on your person without a permit.
LET continued to reach out to law enforcement agencies around the state to gain an understanding of the 48-hour timeframe, but we were unable to speak to anyone that could confirm that there is a window of legal carry without a permit or when that window opens and closes
The section of the law that covers permit-less carry is listed below in its entirety.
A bill to be entitled:
An act relating to carrying a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm; amending s. 790.01, F.S.; providing an exemption from criminal penalties for carrying a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm when evacuating pursuant to a mandatory evacuation order during a declared state of emergency; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 790.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
790.01 Unlicensed carrying of concealed weapons or concealed firearms.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (3), a person who is not licensed under s. 790.06 and who carries a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device on or about his or her person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), a person who is not licensed under s. 790.06 and who
carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person commits a felony of the third degree,
punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) This section does not apply to:
(a) A person who carries a concealed weapon, or a person who may lawfully possess a
firearm and who carries a concealed firearm, on or about his or her person while in the act
of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency
declared by the Governor pursuant to chapter 252 or declared by a local authority pursuant
to chapter 870.
(b) A person who carries for purposes of lawful self-defense, in a concealed manner:
- A self-defense chemical spray.
- A nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or
device that is designed solely for defensive purposes.
(4) This section does not preclude any prosecution for the use of an electric weapon or device,
a dart-firing stun gun, or a self-defense chemical spray during the commission of any
criminal offense under s. 790.07, s. 790.10, s. 790.23, or s. 790.235, or for any other
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
It’s nice to see relaxed gun laws in an age where states are ramping them up.
Those increasing laws are becoming more and more controversial.
Take, for example, the sheriff in Colorado who says he would rather go to prison than enforce a new proposed gun law, citing the measure as unconstitutional, according to a report from Fox News.
“It has so many constitutional questions I can’t go forward in good faith and carry out a law that I feel puts constituents’ constitutional rights at risk,” said Weld County Sheriff Steven Reams.
Reams is referring to the “Red Flag” gun laws, which would allow judges to remove guns from the possession of citizens who pose a serious threat to themselves or others. The bill has already passed the state legislature and is expected to be signed into law. The vote passed by just one vote.
Colorado Sheriff Prefers Jail To Enforcing Unconstitutional Gun Laws https://t.co/c6shHr6lNT
— Bearing Arms (@BearingArmsCom) April 2, 2019
According to the measure, family members or others that are connected with the individual in question would be able to petition a judge for the removal of any firearms from the household. The denied access to firearms would be enacted for 364 days, and includes purchases or possession. They would, however, be allowed to file an appeal to have the decision reversed.
Reams is a staunch Republican who more than believes in American’s Second Amendment rights. And he’s not going to become a party to those who are trying to stifle those rights. He has made it clear that he will not help enforce this bill.
“They could sentence me to my own jail,” Reams said, “fine me, or hold a contempt hearing to further this argument along, and honestly I think any of those possibilities are out there.”
Critics of the bill say these “Red Flag” laws pose a significant threat to constitutional rights. If someone else can be the judge of whether or not you can own a gun, everyone’s rights are at risk of being infringed.
Governor Jared Polis criticized the sheriff for taking a strong stance against enforcing the law. “The sheriff is also not a law making position in our state, it is a law enforcement division,” he said during a press conference last week.
A similar bill is working its way through the New Mexico legislature.
This isn’t the first we’ve seen of officers and other law enforcement officials taking a stand against unconstitutional gun laws. Earlier this year, a group of sheriff’s from across the country banded together with one message – I will not comply.
In Washington State, sheriffs of 20 different counties pledged that they would not enforce these new measures. Critics are speculating over whether or not they have the right to ignore certain laws while enforcing others, but police work largely comes down to officer discretion. Whether someone goes to jail over a drug charge is a choice that LEO’s can make.
🛑 STOP RED FLAG LAWS 🛑 Make Your Voice Heard 🤨 Add Your Name to the letter: Senate Is Holding Hearings On The Subject Of Red Flag Gun Grabs: Follow the link below [ thanks to the @GunOwners ] & get your name on the letter!https://t.co/dKvnVXjAYD
— Hank Strange (@hankstrange) March 26, 2019
So why not the same for gun laws?
What comes next? We’ll have to wait and see.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!