Florida Night Terrors: Defending Against Criminal Mischief

The following is a video transcript.

It is that time of year again. Halloween costumes and candy are hitting the store shelves and neighbors are breaking out the spooky decorations. This is a fun time of year for many of us, but unfortunately for some, instead of treats, we only get tricks in the form of smashed pumpkins, stolen property, or damaged Halloween decorations.

What are we legally allowed to do to stop these tricks? Your carved jack-o’-lanterns and Halloween decorations are only property, so you are never allowed to use deadly force to protect them even though it might be tempting to do so.

Florida Statute 776.031 allows a person to use or threaten to use non-deadly force to protect their property or expel a trespasser. So, if you see someone taking your decorations or about to smash your pumpkin, the only thing you can do is use or threaten to use non-deadly force to stop them or expel them from your property.

If you are out trick-or-treating for candy, remember to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are a CWFL holder, then you are allowed to carry your firearm concealed while out trick-or-treating. Sorry, but you still cannot open carry your firearm even if it goes with your costume’s theme. Your firearm must be concealed and out of plain sight.

On Halloween, you are allowed to carry your firearm anywhere as you are allowed to carry it on any other night under state and federal law. However, if a house has a posted “No Gun” sign, you must skip that house as any private property owner can restrict you from carrying a firearm on his or her property.

I hope you get all treats and no tricks this Halloween night. But if you have any questions regarding your property or safety on Halloween night or any other firearm related questions, give U.S. LawShield a call and ask to be connected to your Independent Program Attorney.

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