In Plain Sight Inside My Car
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  1. #1
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    In Plain Sight Inside My Car

    Hello all. I'm new to the forum but not to firearms and have been a Florida CC licensee for 20 years.

    I'm looking for clarification and assurance that having a handgun, holstered for quick access (not on my person... but in the car) "in plain sight" and I'm stopped by state or local LEO for a traffic violation (or, whatever) that I'm not in violation of any state law.

    I'm 98% certain that I'm OK but the 2% uncertainty is nagging at my very old brain. :-) Can someone comment?

  2. #2
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    Pretty sure it's NOT okay. It has to me concealed even in the car.

    Others will be along soon to quote the exact law.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member racer88's Avatar
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    Pay attention to the 2%.

    I'm too busy at the moment to find the citation. But, I believe the only guns you can have in "plain sight" are LONG GUNS.

    If you have a handgun in plain sight, it does not follow any of the laws. If you have a CCW, it must be CONCEALED (even in your car.... except, theoretically, if you're going fishing or camping or to the range). Personally.... even then... I wouldn't.

    If it's not concealed, then it's open carry, effectively. Secondly, it doesn't follow the "securely encased" law, which applies mainly when you are not licensed to carry, but I think would apply here, since it's not being carried concealed.

    If I'm wrong, someone will be along shortly to correct me.
    Last edited by racer88; 11-08-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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    Derrick is right. There are folks here who know the applicable statutes well who will probably be along to help there.

    Personally, in my own opinion, I wouldn’t have it in plain sight regardless of law. That’s just not a can of worms I’d prefer to open. Even if legal (I don’t believe it is), there’s a potential to find yourself in an uncomfortable position should an officer see it.

    There are plenty of ways to have your firearm accessible without it being visible.

  6. #5
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    I'd recommend you ditch the term "in plain sight" which FL law doesn't really use and check in 790.001 for the definitions of "readily accessible for immediate use" and "securely encased" which can come into play when it comes to guns in automobiles.

    You are in uncharted waters trying to do what you want with a firearm in a vehicle. By that I mean there haven't been court cases specifically on that one point, and yours could well be that first one if you are willing to take that risk.

    The guidance that the law does provided is in the case of an unlicensed person (18 or older and otherwise legal) carrying a handgun inside a vehicle. It's legal so long as it's securely encased, and even that definition is a shaky one with plenty of examples that could go either way.

    Personally, ALL state firearms laws aside, I would not expect it EVER to be the case where I would be pulled over by LE for something (traffic stop), the officer approaches my vehicle and sees a handgun within my immediate reach, and nothing is made of it. It would be like a handgun laying up on the dashboard in front of me... I would expect either the gun or me is going to be exiting the vehicle tout-suite before any discussion of my burned out tail light takes place. Wouldn't YOU do that if you were in the cop's shoes?
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  7. #6
    Distinguished Member TitleIIToyLover's Avatar
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    IANAL!

    Let me begin with a quote that I hate: "Just because you can do something does not mean you should."

    This is what the statute 790.25 says;


    (3) LAWFUL USES.—The provisions of ss. 790.053 and 790.06 do not apply in the following instances, and, despite such sections, it is lawful for the following persons to own, possess, and lawfully use firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for lawful purposes:

    This is the situation you stated in your OP;

    (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;

    790.001(17) defines securely encases as follows:


    (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.

    And, we can see from the statute that the provisions of 790.053 (the statute prohibiting open carry) do not apply in some situations:

    790.053 Open carrying of weapons.–
    (1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device.

    So I would argue that you are perfectly within the law to have your gun snapped in a holster in your vesicle as you described without violating 790.053.

    BUT since you are a licencee, it sure would be easier to throw a to towel over it and avoid the drama.


    790.25
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=& URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.25.html


    790.001
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/.../0790.001.html

    790.053
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/.../0790.053.html
    Last edited by TitleIIToyLover; 11-08-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bore 44 View Post
    Hello all. I'm new to the forum but not to firearms and have been a Florida CC licensee for 20 years.

    I'm looking for clarification and assurance that having a handgun, holstered for quick access (not on my person... but in the car) "in plain sight" and I'm stopped by state or local LEO for a traffic violation (or, whatever) that I'm not in violation of any state law.

    I'm 98% certain that I'm OK but the 2% uncertainty is nagging at my very old brain. :-) Can someone comment?
    Your hand gun must be concealed, although it may be readily accessible.
    FL 790.25(5)

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member TitleIIToyLover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CZ Man View Post
    Your hand gun must be concealed, although it may be readily accessible.
    FL 790.25(5)

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    Please see 790.25(3)(l)

    Just one of the enumerated instances that no licensee is needed per 790.06 and open carry is allowed notwithstanding 790.053.
    Last edited by TitleIIToyLover; 11-08-2019 at 02:00 PM.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member mike_1950's Avatar
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    790.001(17) defines securely encases as follows:

    (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.

    I would say that this outlines the extent as to what the requirements are to travel with you handgun inside your vehicle in a very definitive manner. "Snapped in a holster" probably would be the definition most likely to cause problems with a CC license holder. Most of us I would think either carry in a no snap kydex or leather holster on our person and that would not be IAW the law to just have on the seat or in the console.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bore 44 View Post
    Hello all. I'm new to the forum but not to firearms and have been a Florida CC licensee for 20 years.

    I'm looking for clarification and assurance that having a handgun, holstered for quick access (not on my person... but in the car) "in plain sight" and I'm stopped by state or local LEO for a traffic violation (or, whatever) that I'm not in violation of any state law.

    I'm 98% certain that I'm OK but the 2% uncertainty is nagging at my very old brain. :-) Can someone comment?
    Welcome to FCC from Palm Beach County, Big Bore 44!

    TitleIIToyLover already answered your question.

    Since you've now made you first post to FCC without an introduction, please take the time to post you're own Introduction to FCC so the members will get to know you. You can do that by going to the Introduce Yourself section of The Front Office and start your very own introduction thread. Then you'll find that lots of other FCC members will know to chime in to properly welcome you to the forum, and will be more responsive in answering questions!

    In case you weren't aware, you can stay current on pertinent Florida Statutes regarding use of force and firearms law by going right to the source using these links for Chapter 776 - Justifiable Use of Force and Chapter 790 - Weapons and Firearms. I'd also like to suggest you obtain your own copy of FLORIDA FIREARMS Law, Use & Ownership by Jon Gutmacher!

    Finally, I would like to recommend you consider joining Florida Carry and join the effort to protect the rights of Floridians to keep and bear arms!

    Again, welcome to FCC!
    -BH

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