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Florida permit owners can legally carry concealed weapons wearing a mask for health purposes

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about whether you can carry your gun while wearing a face mask.

We looked at the legalities of carrying concealed weapons while wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic in Florida Monday. A representative with Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office told us it’s allowed as long as those with permits are wearing masks for health purposes and following further guidelines.

This is relevant for Guy Lemakos, who operates 2 Guys Gun Shows, ahead of one of his events this weekend at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds.

“We’ve done two year’s worth of business over the past three months,” Lemakos said.

Caused by concerns for COVID-19, Lemakos expects a crowd at this weekend’s gun show at the Charlotte County Fair Association fairgrounds, even though it’s normally a slow season.

“As soon as the governor started issuing the stay-at-home order, people got a little scared and brought home security to the front burner,” Lemakos said.

And Skip Conroy, the community affairs supervisor with Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, told us people with permits can conceal and carry while wearing a face covering, as long as the mask isn’t worn to intimidate others, or while committing a crime.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic,” Conroy said. “People are wearing masks for medical reasons and self-protection.”

While masks are required at the upcoming weekend event at the Charlotte County fairgrounds, 2 Guys Gun Show says people buying guns will need to remove face covering briefly to confirm identities of attendees.

Mask or no mask, it remains illegal to openly carry a gun in Florida. That’s why Lemakos stresses gun owners and shoppers do their homework.

“Just having a gun doesn’t mean you are defended any more than buying a guitar means you can make music,” Lemakos said.

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Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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