Florida Mandatory Evacuations Trigger Permitless Concealed Carry

In News & Opinion by TWANGnBANG

Residents of Florida in areas under mandatory evacuation orders can carry a concealed weapon without a permit under SB 290, passed then signed into law by Gov. Scott in 2015.  The bill was authored in response to the experiences of Hurricane Katrina evacuees, some of whom faced charges for taking their firearms when fleeing their homes.

The law limits permitless carry to the first 48 hours of an evacuation order, though it is not clear how far out of the evacuation zone permitless carry is permitted for those who evacuate. The law also fails to define what “while in the act of evacuating” includes. For example, once evacuees reach a shelter or hotel or a friend’s house, do they lose permitless carry protections under this law?

It will be interesting to see if any affected evacuees take advantage of this protection as this isn’t a well-known law outside of gun enthusiasts likely to already have concealed carry permits.  Read SB 290 for yourself here, and contact local law enforcement for any clarification: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0290/BillText/Filed/HTML