Carrying out of State

I am currently down south mixing business with pleasure.  While most of you are aware that 39 other states recognize your Michigan CPL, you must still be aware of the specific restrictions pertaining to where and how you can carry when you leave the state.

Since I am in Florida this week, I thought I would share a review of the laws here as an example.

One good source of basic information about Florida gun laws is the NRA website.  It covers a summary of things like getting a permit and stand your ground laws.  Some states have magazine capacity restrictions, but those are mostly states that don’t recognize our CPL anyway, as Florida does.

For most states, there are two things to which you have to pay specific attention: where you are prohibited from carrying, and what the procedure is for encounters with police.

In Florida, the prohibitions are a little different than they are in Michigan, so I took a look at the state statutes on the subject here.

Here is the pertinent section as of my writing, with my notes highlighted:

(12)(a) A license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into: (note the added prohibition for open carry)

1. Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05; (make sure you check the link for their definition)

2. Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station;  (totally different than Michigan)

3. Any detention facility, prison, or jail;

4. Any courthouse;

5. Any courtroom;

6. Any polling place; (totally different than Michigan)

7. Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district; (totally different than Michigan)

8. Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;  (totally different than Michigan)

9. Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms;

10. Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building;

11. Any career center; (In Michigan this would be DHS offices, etc.)

12. Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose; (only the portion that is primarily devoted to alcohol?  Not sure how to define those limits without crossing the lines?)

13. Any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile;

14. The inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport, provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; or

15. Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

(b) A person licensed under this section shall not be prohibited from carrying or storing a firearm in a vehicle for lawful purposes.

Then you have to look at the laws that apply to a private business and whether or not they can restrict your rights to carry.

I found that Florida has a statute entitled, “Protection of the right to keep and bear arms in motor vehicles for self-defense and other lawful purposes,” which basically says …

No citizen can or should be required to waive or abrogate his or her right to possess and securely keep firearms and ammunition locked within his or her motor vehicle by virtue of becoming a customer, employee, or invitee of any employer or business establishment within the state, unless specifically required by state or federal law.

Isn’t it nice that they recognize that someone should not be allowed to take away our rights? Yea, unless they decide to make a law that does.

Then they go on to give a whole bunch of specific exemptions for other places, and you will have to read yourself to see if they apply to you.

The other area I am concerned with is interaction with police. I know that when traveling with out-of-state plates, you are an easy money target – police know that you will not come back to fight a traffic ticket when you are traveling from out of state.

I found that Florida law does not require you to disclose possession of a firearm on contact with Law Enforcement, like Michigan does. Interesting.

Also, you can not carry into or out of the airport in Florida, like you can in Michigan (and most states).

*Be sure to check the laws yourself before traveling outside of Michigan. I recommend doing this each time you travel out of state, as laws do change quite often in some areas.