Handguns on Bicycles
B. Donah asked: Can I carry a handgun while riding my bicycle without a Florida concealed weapons permit (CWP), provided the weapon is stored in either a backpack, or saddlebag?
I’ll share what I’ve learned after a little reading. First, there are no definitive statues that address bicycles and firearm transport. From what I gather, it comes down to the following:
(5) Possession in Private Conveyance – Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use.
Is a bicycle considered a private conveyance? I would assume so, as a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle. Does a bicycle have an interior?
Doughty v. State, 979 So. 2d 1048 – Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 4th Dist. 2008
In this case, we consider whether the private conveyance exception of section 790.25, Florida Statutes, permits the unlicensed carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon in a zippered pack around the waist while riding a motorcycle. We conclude that it does not.
Under the facts presented, Doughty did not meet the statutory requirements of the private conveyance exception because, albeit he was traveling in a private conveyance and his firearm was securely encased, he was carrying the firearm on his person and did not have it within an interior compartment of his motorcycle. We therefore affirm the trial court’s denial of Doughty’s motion to dismiss.
s. 790.001 – Definitions
(17) “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.
While worn on the back, unlike a fanny pack, a backpack is unreachable. Also, backpacks have zippers. A pannier or handlebar bag is reachable while riding, but could its attachment to the private conveyance be considered an interior?
I guess I should obtain a CWP, so as not to fall victim to the legal grey areas exposed by this question. However, I have strong feelings about my 2nd amendment rights, as well as my rights as a cyclist. If I can legally carry a handgun in my car’s glovebox without a permit, why can’t I possess the same firearm on my bicycle?
Good on you for the research you have done.
I am not reluctant to provide an interpretation of the traffic laws regarding bicycling, but this is beyond the scope of traffic law and this site and I won’t hazard a guess as to the intent of the laws about handguns.
I am publishing this as a service to the readers though, and ask that any proper authority respond.
I suggest also asking one of the instructors for the concealed weapons permit classes for their opinion and an authoritative law enforcement reference. If you can get a formal written opinion from such an authority in law enforcement, please provide it to this site so we can publish it for the readers.
I have a permit to carry a gun and ride my bicycle daily. Because a bike is in the open, it is not a private conveyance according to my gun attorney. However if you have your fishing rod with you.and going fishing, you may open carry a gun or long gun.