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Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida Woman Arrested for Improperly Storing Gun

A Jacksonville, Florida woman was arrested for, among other crimes, keeping a loaded handgun in the center console of a car that her daughter had driven to Lee High School , according to an article on www.News4Jax.com. The mother was arrested on charges of child abuse and failure to store a firearm in a safe manner.

Under Florida criminal law, what are the requirements for safely storing a firearm? According to the safe storage of firearms Florida statute, it is unlawful for a person to leave a loaded gun in a place under his/her control when he/she knows or should know that a minor is likely to obtain possession of the gun without the proper permission and supervision. The Florida law requires that the gun be kept in a securely locked container or similarly secure location (unless it is lawfully kept on the person’s body).

In Florida, violation of this crime is a second degree misdemeanor if a minor improperly gains access to the firearm and either possesses it or exhibits it in public or in a threatening manner. Leaving a gun in an unsecured place where a minor can access it can be a felony crime in the third degree in Florida if, with few exceptions, a minor obtains the gun and uses it to inflict injury or death upon the minor him/herself or another person.

it is unclear from the article if these criminal laws apply to the woman recently arrested in Jacksonville, as it is not indicated whether the minor actually obtained possession of, or exhibited, the gun.