FL statute term "loaded" isn't defined
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Thread: FL statute term "loaded" isn't defined

  1. #1

    FL statute term "loaded" isn't defined

    My mind has been blown. In researching FL laws on http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/florida.pdf, I ran across this way down in the document:

    What Does FL Consider A Loaded Firearm?
    Florida law does not define Loaded. Its firearm laws are full of the word Loaded or Unloaded but does not give a definition.
    So there is no clear definition on the books whether "loaded" means a gun with a magazine or a fun with a chambered round. That's making me want to research convictions and tickets that were contested in court to see which way the law rules. I'd bet it goes both ways, depending on the judge and I'm surprised this hasn't gone to the state Supreme Court to have the statutes re-written to be clear on this.

    Personally, I wouldn't consider an empty chamber with a full magazine inserted to be loaded because of how much effort it takes to fire - not much more effort than pushing in a mag and taking all of those same steps. After firing 150 rds with my handgun, I'm confident I could mag and fire 1 second longer than it would take me to chamber and fire.
    Current status: getting personal instruction from a friend before CCL - still no holster, biometric vaults in-home, or full-size mag
    Gun: S&W M&P 9c

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  3. The law says "loaded firearm" not just loaded. So if says "firearm" it means the firearm as a whole. If the magazine has rounds and is loaded into the firearm then the firearm is loaded.
    If it meant loaded chamber it would say "loaded chamber"

    Also the magazine can be considered part of the firearm but of that I'm not sure.
    I'm not a lawyer so take it for what it's worth. For legal advice ask a lawyer.
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    Those who accept second best must learn to live with mediocrity. - pafindr

  4. #3
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    Be thankful you don't live in some of the Commie states. A loaded magazine in some states constitutes a loaded weapon.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pafindr View Post
    The law says "loaded firearm" not just loaded. So if says "firearm" it means the firearm as a whole. If the magazine has rounds and is loaded into the firearm then the firearm is loaded.
    If it meant loaded chamber it would say "loaded chamber"

    Also the magazine can be considered part of the firearm but of that I'm not sure.
    I'm going to play devil's advocate a bit, just to get a good understanding. So, if I had a revolver and only had one round in it, but not at the ready to be the next round to go off, then the revolver is considered loaded?

    And using your semi-auto example, if I put a round in the chamber but had no magazine, loaded or loaded chamber? I know how I'd interpret it, but jaydub has a point.

    I have one more question, a revolver with the cylinder out and one round in the cylinder, loaded or not loaded?

    This is why the term, if used in the law, should be defined.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  6. Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    I'm going to play devil's advocate a bit, just to get a good understanding. So, if I had a revolver and only had one round in it, but not at the ready to be the next round to go off, then the revolver is considered loaded?

    And using your semi-auto example, if I put a round in the chamber but had no magazine, loaded or loaded chamber? I know how I'd interpret it, but jaydub has a point.

    I have one more question, a revolver with the cylinder out and one round in the cylinder, loaded or not loaded?

    This is why the term, if used in the law, should be defined.

    If the cylinder is still connected to the frame of a revolver, yes it is still part of the firearm. Just as if a loaded magazine had rounds but no rounds in the chamber. It's part of the whole.

    Again I'm not sure if the mag alone is considered part of a firearm because it's not stipulated in the law.
    I agree these things should be better defined but when you have politicians creating laws about things they really don't know about you have these inconsistencies.
    I'm not a lawyer so take it for what it's worth. For legal advice ask a lawyer.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Those who accept second best must learn to live with mediocrity. - pafindr

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    Quote Originally Posted by pafindr View Post
    If the cylinder is still connected to the frame of a revolver, yes it is still part of the firearm. Just as if a loaded magazine had rounds but no rounds in the chamber. It's part of the whole.

    Again I'm not sure if the mag alone is considered part of a firearm because it's not stipulated in the law.
    I agree these things should be better defined but when you have politicians creating laws about things they really don't know about you have these inconsistencies.
    I would personally agree with you as someone who understand firearms and uses logic and reason... but these laws, as you have mentioned are created by those that don't. Therefore, our logical definitions aren't necessarily the definition that FL law makers or FL LE will go by.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    I would personally agree with you as someone who understand firearms and uses logic and reason... but these laws, as you have mentioned are created by those that don't.
    You have just hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    The goofs in Tallahassee continue to "make laws" on things they really don't understand or care to understand.

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  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ADulay View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wolf_fire View Post
    I would personally agree with you as someone who understand firearms and uses logic and reason... but these laws, as you have mentioned are created by those that don't.
    You have just hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    The goofs in Tallahassee continue to "make laws" on things they really don't understand or care to understand.

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    At least the laws they make have yet to negate our 2A rights. We have that going for us.
    Si vis pacem para bellum

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    Quote Originally Posted by the dark View Post
    At least the laws they make have yet to negate our 2A rights. We have that going for us.
    Any infringement IS a negation of the 2A as it was written. The right states: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Therefore, how I carry, what I carry, and if I carry are absolutely no concern of any government, Federal, state, or local.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  11. I think it is 100% idiotic not to define loaded in the statute. The definition of loaded does not even appear in the Florida Administrative Code either, not even in the wildlife and hunting regulations!

    So... if I were on a jury, absent a definition in law, this is how I would decide (and how I would defend myself in court if I had to):

    1. What does the manufacturer's user's manual for the gun say is loaded, either by defining it, or in the procedures section for loading the gun? To me, failure to complete the loading procedure specified in the manual means the gun is not loaded, and for a semi-automatic pistol the last step should be racking the slide.

    2. To me, loaded means that the gun can be fired through the actions required to normally discharge the gun regardless of how many times the actions must be performed to discharge the gun. For a double action firearm, that means pulling the trigger. If you can simply pull the trigger on a double action gun all day long (with the safety off), and the gun will not discharge, and the firearm is operating normally without a malfunction, then the gun is not loaded. If the gun is a single action firearm, if you can repeatedly cock the hammer and pull the trigger all day long without the gun discharging, than the gun is not loaded. So, to me, any round in any cylinder installed in a revolver would cause the revolver to be loaded. A semi-auto without a round in the chamber would not be loaded.

    But, that is just the way I would rule if I was on a jury. Would I take the chance that is what any jury would rule? Absolutely not. Personally, if I was going to comply with a law that said the gun had to be unloaded I would not have any round of ammunition in the gun in any form; but if the law did not specifically define loaded, I would not be concerned about having loaded magazines that were not inserted in the gun.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

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