Florida gun laws cover a range of topics, including purchasing restrictions, concealed carry, and criminal offenses that involve firearms. Any person who owns or uses a gun in the State of Florida should be aware of these laws. Our Tampa criminal attorneys explain Florida gun laws.
Florida Concealed Carry Laws
Florida concealed carry laws are found in Florida Statutes Chapter 790. Under Florida law 790.06, you must do the following to get a Florida concealed carry permit:
- Submit a completed application to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Sign an oath that the application is truthful and complete
- Provide color photographs of the person seeking the permit
- Be at least 21 years old
- May not have physical infirmities that impact the ability to use a weapon
- May not have been adjudicated of incapacity
- No felony convictions ever; no substance-related convictions in the past three years
- Free of alcohol abuse
- There is no active domestic violence personal protection order for the applicant
- Eligible to possess a firearm under federal law
In addition to these requirements, the applicant must show proof of completion of an approved gun safety course. There are courses specifically for that purpose, but there are other types of courses that may fulfill the requirement like training for law enforcement. A person may receive a concealed carry permit only if the purpose of the application is lawful self-defense. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services processes concealed carry permit applications. Each permit is valid for seven years.
Florida Concealed Carry Permit
The Florida concealed carry permit is available through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The State of Florida allows reciprocity licensing with any state that gives reciprocity for a Florida concealed carry license. However, in all cases, the licensee must be at least 21 years old. The State of Florida must issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who meets the qualification requirements.
Do You Need a Concealed Carry Permit in Florida?
Yes, you need a concealed carry permit in Florida. Every person must have a concealed carry permit to have a concealed weapon. The only exceptions are for members of law enforcement and other officials who may qualify to have a weapon. Unless a statutory exception applies, Florida law requires all persons to have a concealed carry permit to possess a concealed weapon lawfully.
Florida Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Yes, Florida concealed carry reciprocity is available. For an out-of-state concealed carry license to be recognized in Florida, the state the license is from must, in turn, give reciprocity to Florida concealed carry permits. Even if the license is from a state with reciprocity, the person must be 21 years old for the reciprocity to be valid.
Florida law 790.15 is the law that provides for Florida concealed carry reciprocity. The Florida rules concerning when and how concealed carry may occur apply to everyone equally whether they have a license from Florida or they have Florida concealed carry reciprocity. The person carrying must have their license in their possession at all times while they are carrying.
Florida Gun Purchase Waiting Period
The Florida gun purchase waiting period is three days. Florida law 790.065 says that a person must wait three days before taking delivery of a purchased firearm. During that time, the seller must conduct a background check. Law enforcement may inspect the application. After the three-day waiting period and completion of the background check, the person buying the weapon may assume possession of it.
Requirements to Buy a Gun in Florida
The requirements to buy a gun in Florida include:
- Personal information including name and address
- Presentation of identification
- Hasn’t been determined mentally ill
- May not have ever been committed for substance abuse
- No felony offenses or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions
- Can’t have a domestic violence deferral in the past three years
- No convictions relating to stalking, resisting the police, explosives or treason
- Payment of the fee for a criminal history background check
When a person meets the requirements, they receive a unique approval number. Names and information about gun ownership are not public information in the State of Florida.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Florida?
No, you cannot drink alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon in Florida. Florida law 790.151 prohibits carrying a firearm while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. The law makes it illegal to use a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to the point that it impairs normal faculties. Under Florida law 790.151, the definition of “use” for the purpose of the law is having the weapon available for immediate discharge.
Florida Penalties for Concealed Carry Without a Permit
In Florida, it is a third-degree felony to concealed carry without a permit. Penalties can include prison time, fines, and other penalties. It’s a first-degree misdemeanor to carry another type of concealed weapon without a permit. Florida law 790.01 makes it a felony to concealed carry without a permit.
Florida Gun Involved in a Felony Offense – Florida Law 790.07
It is a second-degree felony to use a gun while committing a felony offense. Florida law 790.07 prohibits the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The person who violates this rule may receive the charge for the original offense as well as a separate charge for the use of the gun during the crime.
Does Florida Have Open Carry?
Open carry is not legal in the state of Florida, but there are exceptions that allow you to open carry while participating in outdoor activities such as lawful hunting, camping, target practice at a designated range, and fishing. It’s a misdemeanor in the second degree to unlawfully open carry a gun.
There are other exceptions for carrying a weapon that can be found in Florida law 790.25 that highlight the lawful ownership, possession, and use of a firearm or other weapons.
Concealed carry, however, is legal for residents of Florida as long as they have a concealed weapons license. For non-residents of Florida, they are legally allowed to concealed carry with a CCW permit from any state Florida honors. In addition to handguns, the Florida CWL allows for the concealed carry of other weapons such as a knife or electronic weapons.
Florida law 790.053 states: “A person may openly carry, for purposes of lawful self-defense: A self-defense chemical spray.”
Regarding pepper spray laws for Florida, the canister size can be no larger than 2oz., the person carrying pepper spray must not have any convicted felonies, the pepper spray cannot be used against a police officer and can only be used in self defense situations, and carrying pepper spray does not require a concealed weapon license.
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