Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CWP carry on school property in a vehicle

Can you conceal carry within a vehicle with a CWP at a school?

I received an email today from a reader who has the book, and saw an opinion that seemed contrary to mine on another attorney's website.

The other attorney did a thoughtful analysis -- and might be correct -- but to do so he's asking for a "test case" -- because in today's environment -- if a police officer finds you with a firearm on your person in a vehicle on school grounds -- CWP notwithstanding -- I think you're in for a problem.

If you're wondering why -- here's my analysis:    Florida law under 790.06(12) does not exclude carry on school "grounds" but does at a school "facility" or administration building.  Since "facility" is not defined, it leaves this as a "grey area" -- and you might be a "test case" on whether a "facility" includes school driveways.  Since most schools are fenced -- the fenced area stands a good chance of meeting the definition -- although a good faith argument could be made the other way around.  Still -- who wants to be a "test case"?

Likewise,  Florida Statute 790.115 fully covers what you can or can't do on school "property" -- which language would definitely include school "grounds".    That section only allows possession of a handgun in a vehicle "pursuant to 790.25(5) -- which requires all handguns to be "securely encased".   There is no exception for a CWP.   There can also be additional exclusions.

So -- while there are many arguments that can be made -- all in good faith -- my opinion is that the only "safe" way to carry in a vehicle -- is securely encased.   I'm not saying that's the only way it would be lawful.  I'm just saying that's the only "safe" way for it to be lawful.  Everything else would depend on the eventual "test case" outcome.

Of course,  if you want to give it a try, and can fork over ten grand for my fee, plus a few hundred more for your bond -- please let me know.


  1. How does the 12/10/13 ruling of the 1st Dist. Court of Appeals against UNF for prohibiting firearms in vehicles on their campus affect this?

    John A.

  2. The decision in Florida Carry v. Univ. North Florida, 38 Fla.L.Weekly D2592 (Fla. 1DCA 2013) affects only securely encased firearms in vehicles on a post-secondary school campus. A university cannot pass a rule forbidding possession under those circumstances, even for students. An excellent and well reasoned decision. There are still separate and unanswered issues for CWP holders due to 790.06(12)(b) -- which I think allows a CWP holder to conceal carry in a vehicle -- however, without case law -- I highly recommend this be avoided unless you want to be that "test case".

  3. What about if the firearm is securely encased in your vehicle just off of school property (20 yards from the fence line)? I've had conflicting opinions on this, mainly by people who state the 1,000 feet rule from the School Zones Act.