It is a crime to take a gun into a bar in Florida, regardless of whether you have a concealed carry permit. In this blog, we’ll point out why, highlight some other key related gun laws and advise you on what to do if you’ve been arrested:
Can You Take a Gun into a Bar in Florida?
Many people are confused if it is a crime to take a gun into a bar in Florida, especially after the 2023 changes to permitless Concealed Carry. But the law is clear:
You cannot carry a gun in a location that serves alcohol – such as a bar or nightclub.
“Anywhere in an establishment primarily devoted to dispensing alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises” – Florida Statute 790.06(12)
You can also not take a gun into a location legally prohibited including:
- Government Buildings
Read Related: Myth vs Fact: Florida Gun Laws
Can You Take a Gun into a Restaurant in Florida?
- As many restaurants have liquor licenses, you may face further confusion. But a gun is allowed to be carried in a location where the main purpose is to serve food.
- However, if their restaurant has a dedicated bar area – then your gun is not welcome there. Do not take it into that area.
- Be wary however that not everyone may be aware of the specifics of these laws, and it therefore may be wise to entirely avoid entering places serving alcohol, with your gun.
- Always look for signage in restaurants too, to avoid any issues.
Can You Take a Gun into a Hotel in Florida?
- Florida statutes do not specifically mention the carrying of guns in hotels. However, you should not take your gun into the bar area of a Hotel.
- Hotels will deploy their own policies, and you should contact the hotel or research the individual policy if you are considering taking a gun there for your stay.
Can You Carry a Gun While Using Alcohol?
- In Florida, you cannot discharge a gun or have a loaded firearm in your hand while under the influence of alcohol, any chemical substances, or any controlled substance – when affected to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired. (§ 877.111)
- It is also unwise to carry a weapon while under the influence, as your usual reaction times and decision-making skills will be reduced – potentially having life-changing accidents to yourself and those around you.
Can You Carry a Gun at Walt Disney Resorts?
- No. It is prohibited to take a gun to all Walt Disney Resorts. The same is true for any kind of weapon.
Key Related Florida Gun Laws
- Florida is a shall-issue, permitless carry state with concealed weapons.
- Concealed weapons licenses are issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
- Open carry is not legal in Florida, except in very limited circumstances such as while fishing, camping, lawful hunting and indoor shooting ranges.
Examples of Arrest for Carrying a Gun in a Bar in Florida
- A man was arrested in DeLand, FL, after he openly carried a loaded gun into a popular restaurant/bar. He was charged with two counts of open carrying (one for the gun, the second for a baton).
- A man was arrested in Neptune Beach, after carrying a concealed firearm into a local bar. A customer noticed the 9mm handgun inside the bar and alerted staff. He was charged with carrying a concealed firearm in an establishment licensed to sell alcohol.
- A man was arrested for carrying a Glock 43 handgun into the same bar earlier that year.
Penalties for Carrying a Gun in a Bar in Florida
It is a crime to take a gun into a bar in Florida, and .
- Carrying a firearm crime into a prohbited place under Fla. Stat. 790.06(12) is classified as:
- A second-degree misdemeanor
- Punishable by up to 60 days of jail or 6 months of probation
- A $500 fine.
- Forfeiture of the firearm
What To Do If I’m Arrested for Carrying a Gun in a Bar in Florida?
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
- If you’ve been arrested for the crime of taking a gun into a bar in Florida, the best thing you can do is to contact a criminal defense attorney.
- Whether you’ve been falsely arrested or have made a one time mistake, we can utilize a range of possible defenses to either get the case dropped or to fight to minimize these often very tough penalties.
- With extensive legal experience and expertise, we can plan a successful strategy by listening to your story and presenting your case in the best possible light.
- Being proactive and taking responsibility for a mistake will also likely win you some leniency.
- Our experienced Florida gun and weapon charge attorneys will guide you on what’s best to do, but often educational classes (weapons training or firearm safety), anger management, or drug or alcohol counseling can go a long way.
- The judge will want to make sure you are not a risk to society, so taking care to improve yourself can help increase your chances of a good outcome.
Gun Statistics Florida
- There are nearly 519,000 registered firearms in Florida.
- That is the second highest in the U.S., only behind Texas.
- Firearm Injury Death Rate: 14.1(per 100,000)¹
- In an Average Year, 2,660 People Die by Guns in Florida.
- Firearms are the 2nd-leading cause of death among children and teens in Florida
- Black children and teens in Florida are 3 times as likely as their white peers to die by guns.
Pinellas County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Sean McQuaid is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County. He is the president at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with the reputation and connections to make things happen.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300