ORLANDO, Fla. (January 8, 2020) — A man from Tampa Bay faces charges for unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm in the area of a Disney Springs parking garage. Sheriff’s deputies from Orange County arrested the man with the aid of a gun-sniffing dog, according to an article appearing on the mynews13.com website. The 43-year-old man from Lutz, Florida, was booked into the Orange County jail after his arrest and posted a $1,000.00 bond. The man admitted to law enforcement officers that he did not have a concealed carry permit in Florida or any other state. He said that he applied for a Florida concealed carry permit but had not received it before deputies arrested him.

Sheriff’s deputies detailed to protect Disney Springs encountered the armed man while patting down pedestrians who were walking near the entrance to Disney Springs. A K-9 trained to detect ballistics evidence indicated to a male around 8:20 New Year’s Eve. Deputies turned their attention to the man and found a loaded 9mm Kahr semi-automatic pistol loaded with two feeding devices, sometimes called clips or magazines, loaded with fourteen rounds of ammunition. The suspect concealed the weapon and ammunition under his shirt. The man also carried with him a badge from a bail band office.

The suspect agreed to an interview with investigators while on Disney Springs’ property. The man allegedly told deputies that he applied for a concealed carry permit from the state of Florida three months before his arrest. The man said that he did not receive it from the state. Furthermore, the police said that he admitted to not having a permit to carry concealed in any other state.

In addition to being arrested and held for three days before making a bond, Disney trespassed the man from all of its properties.

Penalties for Concealing a Firearm in Florida

Unlawfully carrying a firearm in Florida is a serious crime against public safety. Section 790.01(2) of the Florida Statutes defines unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm as a third-degree felony. Punishment for a third-degree felony in Florida could result in up to a five-year state prison sentence and a $5,000.00 fine. The court could place the accused on probation for up to five years as well. The prosecution must prove both elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of the crime are: (1) the person carried a firearm on his or her person knowingly, and (2) the person carrying the weapon concealed it from the view of others.

The law requires that the accused have knowing possession. In other words, the accused must know he or she is carrying a firearm and that the item is a firearm. The law does not require the intent to conceal.

Concealed does not mean completely out of view. The statute describes the standard as out of ordinary sight. The question of ordinary sight may turn on whether the person is sitting or standing at the time the police encounter the individual.

Florida’s concealed carry laws do not apply when the person has the firearm at his or her own home or in his or her place of business.