‘Hurricane Gun Law’ Allows Irma Evacuees to Carry Concealed w/o Permit

Florida Gov. Rick Scott preparing for Hurricane Irma. (Photo: Miami Herald)

Floridians fleeing Hurricane Irma have been granted an additional means of protection. A 2015 Florida law known commonly as the “hurricane gun law” allows those taking part in a mandatory evacuation to carry a concealed firearm for 48 hours without a valid permit.

When Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the law in 2015, Unified Sportsmen of Florida’s Marion Hammer commented, “This bill is a no-brainer, particularly in Florida with our hurricane exposure. When you’re ordered to evacuate — to take your kids, your dog and valuables and flee — the last thing you should leave behind is your gun.”

Gov. Scott can also extend the timeline to allow evacuees to carry concealed for a greater amount of time.

“With Hurricane Irma now a category 5 storm, we must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event,” Scott said in a statement. “We do not know the exact path of this storm, but weather can change in an instant and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst.”

Florida’s expansion of Second Amendment rights comes in the wake of the opposite response from the U.S. Virgin Islands, whose governor signed an order Monday instructing law enforcement personnel to confiscate firearms and ammunition from residents before the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

In response, the National Rifle Association is threatening legal action if Gov. Kenneth Mapp refuses to reverse the order.

“People need the ability to protect themselves during times of natural disaster,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA, in a press release. “This dangerous order violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts their lives at risk.”

The NRA won a similar lawsuit in 2005 against New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who tried to confiscate firearms in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Gov. Scott warned on Wednesday that Irma remains a “dangerous and life-threatening Category 5,” and the National Weather Service called the storm “potentially catastrophic.” A hurricane watch has been issued for south Florida, the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.

The governor urged Florida residents in these areas to “get out quickly” if they’re told to evacuate, adding that 25,000 people have already been evacuated from the Florida Keys. Mandatory evacuations have been issued all along the Florida coast, including in Miami.

Evacuees are fleeing to designated evacuation zones and refugee centers. Some have even travelled up the state into Georgia.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Christopher Baker September 8, 2017, 4:09 pm

    Thank GOD for common sense.

  • Patrick Duffy September 8, 2017, 2:19 pm

    Amazing how people are accused of being a “commie” etc. I think people need to research what Conservative, Liberal, Socialist and Communist actually mean? The terms are used on all sides as an insult rather than an actual description of actual political philosphies. We are all entitled to have our political bias without receiving insults. Most people waiver in the middle – they are called Independents and receive insults from both sides when they raise their heads above the parapet !

    • Christopher Baker September 8, 2017, 4:10 pm

      Well said……….

  • Luke September 8, 2017, 12:44 pm

    Well. That’s the ‘law’. Bet your ass that anybody with a means of self-protection and half a brain will be packing regardless of the ‘law’. I sure as hell would be. There is absolutely no reason to not be armed during an emergency situation like this. NONE!

  • Lee Elliott September 8, 2017, 11:58 am

    Glad that liberal, corrupt, anti-constitutional, communist, Obama puppet, Ray Nagin finally got \’Karmatized\’.

  • Dr Motown September 8, 2017, 10:14 am

    Only for 48 hours, with an optional extension by the governor. Should extend that until the time that folks are allowed to return home by the authorities

    • deanbob September 8, 2017, 1:06 pm

      I agree – within reason.

  • Larry C. September 8, 2017, 8:15 am

    Those in the US Virgin Islands deserve what they receive. They voted in a Domocrat; suffer the consequences!
    Think who you vote in the next time!

    • WillB September 8, 2017, 9:33 am

      So, you are blaming this hurricane on the Republicans. Figures.

      • Mik September 8, 2017, 11:29 am

        Where did you get the idea he\’s blaming the hurricane on Republicans? He\’s stating that those people voted in a Dem who has now taken away their means of protecting themselves, their families and their property during an emergency.

    • WillB September 8, 2017, 9:36 am

      The only word in this story that is of consequence is “mandatory.” Few places will be evacuated on a “mandatory” basis; maybe trailer parks (wind) or flood prone areas on the waterfront.

  • Mort Leith September 8, 2017, 7:09 am

    Maybe Scott needs to chat with that commie in US VI

  • PJW September 8, 2017, 7:03 am

    Thank you Governor Scout, for you being a supporter of the Second Amendment. Govenor Scott has been and is a
    hands on chief executive in preparing Florida for the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma. Stay dry and high (ground)
    be safe my fellow Crackers.

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