Attention Florida CWFL Holders - serious conflict in the Florida Statutes

This is a discussion on Attention Florida CWFL Holders - serious conflict in the Florida Statutes within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I read about this on Jon Gutmacher's site. There is a little known law that makes it a felony to carry a firearm onto the ...

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Thread: Attention Florida CWFL Holders - serious conflict in the Florida Statutes

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    Attention Florida CWFL Holders - serious conflict in the Florida Statutes

    I read about this on Jon Gutmacher's site.

    There is a little known law that makes it a felony to carry a firearm onto the grounds of any hospital that provides any level of mental health services - which means any hospital with an ER.

    Here is the article on Jon Gutmacher's site: floridafirearmslaw.com/faq008.shtml

    Here is a letter I just posted to my Representative in the Florida House. A similar letter is headed to my Senator, and also to Dennis Baxley.

    Dear Representative Mealor:

    I am writing with a concern about what appears to be a conflict in the laws in Florida governing the carrying of concealed firearms.

    As you know, Florida Statute 790.06 authorized the issuance of concealed carry permits to Florida residents who desire the means to defend themselves and their families from violent criminals.

    The statute places some specific restrictions on licensees in section 12, prohibiting carry in certain places:

    (12) No license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05; any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station; any detention facility, prison, or jail; any courthouse; any courtroom, except that nothing in this section would preclude a judge from carrying a concealed weapon or determining who will carry a concealed weapon in his or her courtroom; any polling place; any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district; any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof; any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms; any school administration building; 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; any elementary or secondary school facility; any career center; 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; inside 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 any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law. Any person who willfully violates any provision of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    Carrying a firearm into one of those places is a second degree misdemeanor.

    However, there is an apparently little known section of the Statues that makes carrying a firearm into any hospital that provides mental health evaluations - or even onto the grounds - a felony, and provides no exception for those licensed to carry a firearm under 790.06:

    Florida Statute § 394.458:
    “(1) (a) Except as authorized by law or as specifically authorized by the person in charge of each hospital providing mental health services under this part, it is unlawful to introduce into or upon the grounds of such hospital, or to take or attempt to take or send therefrom, any of the following articles, which are hereby declared to be contraband for the purposes of this section:
    Any intoxicating beverage or beverage . . . .
    Any controlled substance as defined in chapter 893; or
    Any firearms or deadly weapon”.

    The problem here is that EVERY hospital with an emergency room is required to provide mental health evaluations at some level. And violation of 394.458 is a FELONY, even for those licensed to carry a firearm under 790.06

    It is very easy to envision a situation where a person lawfully carrying a firearm with a concealed firearm license could be charged with a felony without ever knowing they were doing anything wrong. Section 394.458 is not a required topic for the CWFL class, and I doubt that the vast majority of licensees are aware of this potentially life-altering pitfall.

    I feel that Section 394.458 should be amended as rapidly as possible to exempt those individuals who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm under 790.06. I would ask that you consider working with your colleagues in the legislature to resolve this conflict at the earliest possible convenience.

    Very Truly Yours,

    Casselberry, FL
    Please take a moment to write your legislators.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    Heck here in Mi the entire health system is a criminal empowerment zone, that is except the doctors office on separate land, and we need to fix that real bad.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    Sounds like this is just as well it's been spotted - be a 'nice' (nasty) trap for some poor CCW to fall into, in all innocence.

    What still p's me off all the time is that any true and legal CCW can be barred from about anywhere - we are clean-billed and responsible and not about to commence Armagedon everywhere we go.

    For heaven's sakes - it's the bad guys who need controlled and they do not respect laws and bans!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Ron
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    A few months ago my mother in law, who was in a nursing home in West palm Beach, was taken to the hospital in the middle of the night. They called my wife and at about 2am we went to the hospital, which is not in one of the safer parts of West Palm Beach. I, of course, was armed. The hospital in question does have a mental health wing. After we entered the emergency room area, I did see posted a sign about weapons not being permitted. So, very reluctently I went back to our car and locked my revolver in the glove compartment. But, I must tell you that I felt very vulnerable walking back to the emergency room and then later back to our car without my weapon. Thanks for reminding me. I will get letters out.

    Ron

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    Especially since even in the car, you were in jeopardy - 394.458 specifies on the grounds as well as in the building.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Ron, I'm pretty sure I can narrow to two hospitals you might be talking about, and you're right, neither is in a good section of town.

    In either case, though, I'm not sure why you put your gun back in the car. It's not like anyone would know you had it on you -- they don't search you or put you through a magnetometer to enter either of those hospitals. I do not volunteer to disarm when going to them (have had occasion to go recently, in fact.) And now that we know that putting the gun in your car does not protect you from running afoul of the technicality in the law... really no reason at all to do so.

    The simple fact is, I am not protecting them from myself by not taking my CCW gun into the hospital -- since I am not a threat to any of the good people there in the first place. But complying with their stupid rule puts me at risk. What, are they trying to drum up E.R. business??

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    Florida Statute § 394.458:
    “(1) (a) Except as authorized by law or as specifically authorized by the person in charge of each hospital providing mental health services under this part, it is unlawful to introduce into or upon the grounds of such hospital...
    Does the bolded phrase not apply to CHL holders? As I read that statute, it only prohibits carry for any individual who is not authorized by either law or a person in charge to have the weapon. A CHL is clear authorization under law to carry your weapon anywhere that is not specifically restricted.

    If this statute were read in such a way that CHL holders were not exempted, then you would have to apply the restriction to LEO's as well, since there is no specific exemption in the statute that names LEO's. But that's clearly not the case and doesn't seem to be the intent of the statute. As it is worded, anyone with authorization under law to carry a weapon would be exempted. That means LEO's and CHL's, and probably military personnel too.

    In Texas, it makes no difference, because any licensed hospital is named as off-limits anyway, but if there's no other restriction on carry in hospitals in FL law, than it looks to me like that statute doesn't apply to you.

    Naturally, I'm not a lawyer, and this is all just my opinion...

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    I agree Bob...that portion of the legislation seems to mitigate the danger. Gutmacher didn't address it in his article. To me, though, if you are allowed to carry under the CCW law in a hospital, you are allowed. But I don't live in Florida.

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    According to the article Gutmacher links in his article, there has been a case of a CCW holder being arrested for carrying on hospital grounds.

    That poor fellow apparently gets to be the test case to see if the "except as authorized by law" phrase includes a CWFL.

    Matt
    Last edited by MattInFla; October 22nd, 2006 at 08:53 AM.
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    Good point. I have also wondered about the legality of leaving my gun locked in my car while it is parked in the parking garage, which I do from time to time. Perhaps a ruling from the Dept. of Agriculture would be in order on both questions.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

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    Ron
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    Quote Originally Posted by peacefuljeffrey View Post
    Ron, I'm pretty sure I can narrow to two hospitals you might be talking about, and you're right, neither is in a good section of town.

    In either case, though, I'm not sure why you put your gun back in the car. It's not like anyone would know you had it on you -- they don't search you or put you through a magnetometer to enter either of those hospitals. I do not volunteer to disarm when going to them (have had occasion to go recently, in fact.) And now that we know that putting the gun in your car does not protect you from running afoul of the technicality in the law... really no reason at all to do so.

    The simple fact is, I am not protecting them from myself by not taking my CCW gun into the hospital -- since I am not a threat to any of the good people there in the first place. But complying with their stupid rule puts me at risk. What, are they trying to drum up E.R. business??
    At the time, I did not realize that I was in violation if my gun was in my car. And, I suppose looking back with hindsight, the fact that a violation is a felony intimidated me.

    Ron

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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    According to the article Gutmacher links in his article, there has been a case of a CCW holder being arrested for carrying on hospital grounds.

    That poor fellow apparently gets to be the test case to see if the "except as authorized by law" phrase includes a CWFL.

    Matt
    That article doesn't seem to be linked directly. However, after a little googling, I think it's probably this story.

    http://www.flatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dl...37/-1/archives

    http://www.wesh.com/news/10062389/de...subid=10100244

    Interesting that there seem to be two versions of the story. In one "he did not threaten anyone" but in the other he threatened to kill someone and commit suicide. I think there's more here than meets the eye.

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    NC has a hospital trap as well, educational property; there is always education of some form in a hospital.

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    Wow, this is worrisome for me. Were I to bring a firearm to work, even in the trunk of my car unloaded locked etc, I'd could be in a heap 'o trouble if someone wanted to make trouble for me. I'm writing my FL reps and will be calling them tomorrow. This law would make it illegal for me to go shooting after work, unless I'm willing to drive 20 miles home and then 20 miles back to the range. Or unless I were to make off-site storage arrangements during the day. Damned antigun lawyers.
    Last edited by xsquidgator; October 22nd, 2006 at 10:44 PM.

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    I have a real interest in this story, because I work in a Florida Hospital. Until this thread came along, I was comfortable with the idea that the sign on the door carried no more weight than the rather rare "no guns" signs, in that there was only a problem if you were "made" and then refused to leave.

    Now, I see there is some doubt about a hospital being in a totally different class, an actual "no carry" zone under the law.

    My hope is that a court will find that the phrase, "Except as authorized by law," provides exemption for CCW holders, or that the "preemption intent" of the CCW statutes trump that rather badly worded law.

    What I do know for sure is that I do NOT want to be a "test case."

    I do not carry at work, as my work brings me into very close, personal contact with patients. My gun stays in the car, my knife stays with me. That knife is carried in a way that is very well concealed and I have no fears that anyone could gain access to it before I could stop them.

    Now, I see where it is possible that keeping the gun secured in the car could be a violation of the law. Until a determination has been made, I'll not talk about how I plan to deal with the situation.

    mm
    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

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