In case you forgot or didn’t know, if you are part of the emergency evacuation in Florida due to Hurricane Irma, you can legally conceal carry during the evacuation.
I remember living through four hurricanes in Florida in 2004: Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan. The hurricanes were so brutal, and came so close together, that it is often referred to as the year of four hurricanes.
First Charley struck Port Charlotte Aug. 13, 2004, with 150-mph winds. Then Frances pounded Martin and Palm Beach counties, collapsing part of Interstate 95 near Lake Worth and sending gusts into Broward that left a quarter-million people without electricity. Ivan came ashore near Pensacola with 120-mile-per-hour winds and a storm surge that swamped coastal towns. Jeanne struck the same area as Frances, turning out the lights in most of Palm Beach County, ripping off roofs and flooding houses.
In addition to the hurricane threat, people often panic and things get chaotic. People act out and do not think rationally. A few years ago, a bill was signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott that allows people to carry without a permit during an emergency evacuation.
The bill allows for a 48-hour window of permitless carry, and will come in handy for many of those affected by this storm.
SB 290 — Carrying a Concealed Weapon or a Concealed Firearm – This bill allows a concealed weapon or firearm to be carried for 48 hours during a mandatory evacuation order declared during a state of emergency.
The bill (SB 290), which the Florida House approved by a 86-26 vote back in April of 2015, was drafted as a response to Hurricane Katrina when many gun owners faced charges after they took their firearms with them when fleeing their homes.