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Informed Citizen

FL: Your Rights during a State of Emergency

There are a few things we should all know about how a situation like the current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency can change things.

These are the times, right?

When it comes to Quarantines, State of Emergency Declarations, etc., people tend to freak out.  Do not panic. It’s best to keep a cool head and just prepare yourself for a lock-in. Purchase only what you think you may need for up to 2 weeks.  Shelves will be restocked, there is no need to buy 1,000 rolls of toilet paper…! 

There are a few things we should all know about how a situation like the current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency can change things.

During a Quarantine

In the State of Florida, as long as you haven’t ever been deemed mentally incapacitated, have any felonies on your record, or violent domestic crimes on your record, etc., you may carry a firearm within your home –even without a permit.  This is good to know if you are quarantined inside of your home. An old saying goes, “POGO – Pants On, Gun On”.  (Note: if you live in an apartment, this only applies within your four walls of your apartment.)

Know this, though, especially if you are out and about, fitting a quarantine: During a Quarantine, FL Statute 381.00315, the Surgeon General can order a person to be tested or treated.  And if a person refuses…well, here’s Section 4 of that Statute so you can read it yourself:

“4. Ordering an individual to be examined, tested, vaccinated, treated, isolated, or quarantined for communicable diseases that have significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger to public health. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to be examined, tested, vaccinated, or treated for reasons of health, religion, or conscience may be subjected to isolation or quarantine.”

“a. Examination, testing, vaccination, or treatment may be performed by any qualified person authorized by the State Health Officer.”

“b. If the individual poses a danger to the public health, the State Health Officer may subject the individual to isolation or quarantine. If there is no practical method to isolate or quarantine the individual, the State Health Officer may use any means necessary to vaccinate or treat the individual.”

FL Statute 381.00315,

Don’t be that one guy who gets fined or jailed for refusing to be tested or treated.  Expect to be tested and treated if you are moving around when we are all ordered inside…it really is common sense.  This should only happen if you pose a danger of infecting others, but let’s be real… Some of us may need to go get food or restock supplies here and there, so don’t go out if you feel ill or send someone who doesn’t –and if there isn’t any other option, expect to be treated.  Expect, also, that there might be abuses of that policy.  Bottom line, during a quarantine, it’s best to not be caught outside unless you have a solid reason to be, or you will be asking for trouble..

During Mandatory Evacuation

Those who have a Florida Class G Security Officer license, a Florida Permit to Carry Concealed Weapons, or are Military or Law Enforcement, or if you just know the law, should have at some point read FL Statute 790.01, specifically the part where it states that you may carry your firearm concealed during a mandatory evacuation for up to 48 hours after the Governor declares Mandatory Evacuation–even without a FL CCW (hence the “This section does not apply to” part, because if you read the Statute, you’ll see that they were saying that if you don’t have a CCW permit, here are the consequences…etc.):

“(3) This section does not apply to:”

“(a) A person who carries a concealed weapon, or a person who may lawfully possess a firearm and who carries a concealed firearm, on or about his or her person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to chapter 252 or declared by a local authority pursuant to chapter 870. As used in this subsection, the term “in the act of evacuating” means the immediate and urgent movement of a person away from the evacuation zone within 48 hours after a mandatory evacuation is ordered. The 48 hours may be extended by an order issued by the Governor.”

FL Statute 790.01

So, for those who do not yet have a CCW permit, you may – if you can lawfully possess a firearm – carry a firearm, concealed, during a Mandatory Evacuation for up to 48 hours, unless the Governor or Local Authority gives you more time.  You must not be prohibited to possess a firearm (previous felony charge, violent domestic charge, mentally incapacitated, etc.) in order to be protected under this law.

Be safe and protect yourself, your family, and your home.  For goodness’ sake please keep a cool head and be smart. Long live Our Republic.