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Did police arrest or cite you for violating the 3-step law?

You may be asking yourself, "What 3-step law?" Don't worry. You haven't missed something important when it comes to gun ownership. Florida doesn't have any such law, but it is something of which firearms instructors, police or other gun owners should be aware.

So, where did this 3-step rule come from then? No one is sure. It will probably never be law here in Florida. Instead, what you need to know is that you may conceal a weapon in your vehicle without a permit as long as it is in a secure case and not immediately accessible to you.

What does everyone say the rule is?

Not surprisingly, the so-called rule consists of three steps. When you have a gun in your vehicle without a concealed carry permit, you must store it as follows:

  • It must be in an unloaded state.
  • It must be in a holster with a tension strap or in a zippered case
  • It must be in your center console or glove compartment

Essentially, if you looked at this in reverse, in order to use your weapon, you would need to remove it from the center console or glove compartment, take it out of the zippered case or holster and then load it. It would take three steps for you to use it. This absolutely satisfies the actual law, but it is not the law. Therefore, an officer should not attempt to cite you or arrest you for violating the 3-step law, since it doesn't exist.

What does the law actually say?

If you are 18 years or older, you may possess a gun without a permit and you may conceal it in your vehicle, but you may not put it in the following places:

  • Between you and the center console
  • Under your seat
  • In the compartment in your car door

Instead, you must put it in a compartment permanently affixed to the vehicle that has a lid, which includes the center console, the glove compartment and even your trunk. This satisfies the not readily accessible and securely encased requirements. The law does not say that your weapon must be in an unloaded state or in a holster or zippered case.

If an officer accuses you of violating the 3-step rule and cites or arrests you, it might not be a good idea to argue the law with an officer on the side of the road. If he or she is unwilling to waiver on the point, remain calm and polite. You will have the opportunity to challenge any charges or citations.

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