Florida has been leading the way in cases of state government attempts at supporting 2nd Amendment rights. While the Sunshine State has not yet embraced Constitutional Carry, there is hope that they may soon join the 15 or so other states that have allow some form of Constitutional carry.
Right now, most gun owning residents are less concerned with the 2nd Amendment and more concerned with the possibility that Hurricane Irma may soon be knocking on their doors. The coming storm may end up being the first test of a new(ish) Florida law meant to help law abiding gun owners protect themselves, protect their families, protect their property, and keep their guns out of the hands of looters.
A law passed in 2015 created an exception to Florida’s prohibition on carrying concealed without a permit. It allows adults who legally own a firearm to temporarily carry concealed whiled evacuating, under certain conditions.
“People who may legally possess a firearm may carry concealed or carry on or about the person while ‘in the act of evacuating’ under a mandatory evacuation order during a declared state of emergency,” Marion Hammer, executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and a former National Rifle Association, told Guns.com Tuesday. “So far, even though the Governor has declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties, I am unaware of any mandatory evacuation order.”
The law extends to those covered a 48-hour window for unlicensed carry after the evacuation has been ordered. However, the governor can authorize an extension as needed.
“To be clear, if you’re ordered to leave your home and you’re packing up your car with your family, pets and valuables, you can and should bring a firearm,” said Sarasota Herald-Tribune gun writer Lee Williams in his column this week.
The storm continues to bear down on the Sunshine State and unless things change soon it should make landfall on the Continental US some time this weekend.