Your Guide to Florida Gun Laws

Florida gun laws cover a wide range of topics, including purchase, possession and use of firearms. Owners and non-owners alike need to understand these laws. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys explain what you need to know about Florida gun laws.

What Are Florida’s Gun Laws?

Florida’s gun laws are found in Florida Statutes Chapter 790 [1]. Specifically, Florida law 790.065 [2] covers the sale and delivery of firearms. In addition, there are federal gun laws that apply in the State of Florida [3]. These gun laws cover the legality of purchasing, possessing and transporting firearms in Florida.

Do You Need a Permit To Buy a Gun in Florida?

No, you do not need a permit to buy a gun in Florida. However, there is a three-day waiting period, and there is a criminal background check required. While you do not need a permit to buy a gun in Florida, you still have to have a license to carry concealed [4] in the state. Refer to Florida concealed carry laws [5] for more details.

Is It Legal To Open Carry in Florida?

No, it is not legal to open carry in Florida. Florida is among a minority of states that prohibits open carry, except for at the following places and activities:

  • Home
  • Work
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Target practice

In addition to these places, it is legal to have a gun while traveling to and from these activities. However, other than these protected locations and activities, it is not permitted to open carry in the State of Florida.

Can a Convicted Felon Get a Gun in Florida?

No, a convicted felon cannot get a gun in Florida. United States law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from purchasing or possessing a firearm. This federal law applies in Florida.

Also, a person who is under indictment for a felony or charged with a crime that would be disqualifying if convicted is prohibited from getting a gun.

Can a Felon’s Spouse Own a Gun in Florida?

No, a felon’s spouse cannot own a gun in Florida. The spouse can own a gun, but it’s considered constructive possession if it’s in the house with the convicted felon. Even things like keeping it in a car or the garage are illegal.

However, a felon’s spouse is not prohibited from purchasing a gun, but there’s no way for them to lawfully possess it without the spouse possessing it illegally.

Who Is Prohibited From Owning a Gun in Florida?

A person is prohibited from owning a gun in Florida if they are:

  • A convicted felon
  • Addicted to or unlawfully using a controlled substance
  • Running from the law
  • Mentally ill or under involuntary mental health treatment
  • Present in the United States illegally
  • Dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces
  • No longer a citizen (renounced citizen status)
  • Under a restraining or protective order
  • Convicted of domestic violence (misdemeanor or felony); received a deferred conviction for domestic violence in the past three years
  • A minor under age 24 who is delinquent for a crime that would be a felony if they were an adult
  • Currently charged with a felony or domestic violence

Can a Non-Resident Buy a Gun in Florida?

Yes, a non-resident can buy a long gun in Florida. The sale must be made in compliance with state law. However, only residents can purchase handguns in the State of Florida.

Can Cities Regulate Guns in Florida?

No. Besides regulating zoning and the places where gun sellers can establish their business, cities cannot regulate guns in Florida. Whether you live in Tampa, Miami or any other city in Florida, the State legislature has full authority to regulate gun ownership and possession. They allow local government units to control zoning for gun shops in limited circumstances, but gun ownership laws are statewide through the Florida legislature.

Do You Have To Tell a Cop That You Have a Gun in Your Car in Florida?

No, you do not have to tell a cop that you have a gun in your car [6] in Florida. State law in Florida does not require you to inform the police about a gun at a traffic stop unless the police officer asks you directly if you have one. If the officer asks you if you have a weapon on you, you must disclose it. Be sure to tell the officer about the gun before you reach for it.

What Are Florida’s BB Gun Laws?

Florida law 790.22 [7] prohibits individuals under the age of 16 from using a BB gun unless they are under the supervision of an adult with their parent’s consent. A parent who knowingly allows their minor child to use a BB gun in violation of the law commits a second-degree misdemeanor.

For adults lawfully possessing BB guns, legally, you must keep the orange tip on the gun while you purchase it or transfer it. Florida law prohibits the open carry and display of weapons, so you shouldn’t be displaying your BB gun in public whether or not it has an orange tip.

What Are My Rights if I’m Hurt by a Gun in Tampa?

If a firearm in Tampa injures you, you may have a right to claim financial compensation. Gunshot accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Wounds may cause serious, life-changing injuries in a matter of seconds. When individuals violate Florida gun laws or otherwise act negligently, harm may result to individuals.  Examples of negligence with firearms may include:

  • Reckless discharge
  • Not knowing how to store and handle a gun safely
  • Improper handling and maintenance
  • Poor manufacturing and manufacturing errors
  • Minors left unsupervised
  • Possession in violation of law

As a victim, you may qualify to claim compensation through bringing a civil action. However, you must take action to assert your rights. Compensation may include financial damages and pain and suffering. A claim may be based on assault, battery or both offenses.

Also, if a loved one dies because of gun-related negligence, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. Speak to one of our Tampa wrongful death attorneys for examples of wrongful death cases due to guns and what options you have to seek justice.

Attorneys for Gun Injuries in Florida

If you’re the victim of an injury with a gun in Tampa, we invite you to contact our attorneys for gun injuries to discuss your rights. We can explain Tampa’s gun laws, including the Stand Your Ground law Florida enforces [8], and what you can do to get justice.

Let our legal team investigate your case and explore your legal options. There are deadlines to pursuing a claim, so don’t wait to contact us. Call or message us today for your free and confidential consultation.

Legal References:

[1] FLA. STAT. § 790 (2020)

[2] FLA. STAT. § 790.065 (2020)

[3] Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Requirements to Purchase a Firearm. Retrieved 14

April 2021 from https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/FPP/FAQs2.aspx

[4] Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Consumer Resources. Concealed Weapon License. Retrieved 14 April 2021 from https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Concealed-Weapon-License

[5] Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Consumer Resources. Possession Restrictions. Retrieved 14 April 2021 from https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Concealed-Weapon-License/Possession-Restrictions

[6] Speck, Emilee. Click Orlando. (3 May 2018). Do you have to tell law enforcement you are armed during a traffic stop? Retrieved 14 April 2021 from https://www.clickorlando.com/news/2018/05/03/do-you-have-to-tell-law-enforcement-you-are-armed-during-a-traffic-stop/

[7] FLA. STAT. § 790.22 (2020)

[8] FLA. STAT. § 776.013 (2020)

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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