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Can a Person Carry a Concealed Gun in a Zipper Pack Without a License in Florida?

No, according to a recent Florida criminal case. The Florida carrying a concealed weapon law provides that it is a third degree felony for a person to carry a concealed firearm on or about his person without a license. However, there is an exception under Florida law which allows a person 18 years of age or older to carry a concealed firearm or other weapon without a license if that person is traveling in a private conveyance (such as a motor vehicle) and the weapon is securely encased or otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. This exception does not allow a person to carry a concealed firearm or other weapon on his or her person. This is called the private conveyance exception. In other words, an adult can carry a concealed handgun or other weapon without a license in a vehicle if the gun is kept in some secured case or is otherwise not easily available for immediate use. An example might be to keep a handgun in a case in the truck of a vehicle.

In the recent Florida criminal case, a person was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon after police saw that he carried a .40 caliber handgun in a closed zipper pack around his waist while driving a motorcycle. The defendant did take the gun out in a threatening manner while driving the motorcycle.

The criminal defense lawyer argued that the defendant was not guilty of the crime of carrying a concealed weapon because the private conveyance exception applied. The court agreed that the motorcycle was a private conveyance and the gun was “securely encased” in the closed zipper pack. However, because the defendant kept the gun on his person, the exception did not apply and the defendant’s conviction for felony carrying a concealed weapon was upheld. Of course, it did not help that the defendant pulled the gun out while he was driving his motorcycle which indicated that the gun was readily accessible for immediate use. The defendant would have been better off keeping the gun in a closed compartment in or on the motorcycle.