While in Florida, in most cases, it is illegal to carry a weapon openly, a person may request a concealed weapon permit. Unlike other states, Florida defines concealed weapons as handguns, electronic weapons, tear gas guns, knives, and billie clubs. Currently, there are over 2 million permits issues that are honored in 35 different states.
Understanding the Florida Concealed Carry Law
Concealed carry refers to the practice of carrying a concealed weapon on one’s person while in public. The weapon can be carried in a purse, holster, or other specialized concealment garments. In Florida, permit requesters must be at least 21 years old or 18 years old for active-duty military.
Firearms regulations are uniform across the state, and a carry license is valid everywhere other than in specially-defined areas, including:
- Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station
- Any detention facility
- Any courtroom
- Any polling place
- Any school, college, or professional athletic event
- Any technical center
- Inside the passenger terminal
- The sterile area of any airport
Besides these spaces, anyone lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner may briefly and openly display the firearm to the sight of another person. Unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not for self-defense.
Recently, due to the tragic mass shooting in Florida, there have been new restrictions added to the state’s gun laws. For example, now there’s a waiting period after the purchase of three days, or the time necessary to perform a complete background check before obtaining a gun, whichever is longer. There’s also a ban on bump stocks, designed to enable semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly, mimicking an automatic weapon.
What Happens If Don’t Have a Permit
First of all, it’s unlawful to discharge a firearm in any public space recklessly. Violations of this type are charged as misdemeanors and punishable by up to one year in jail. Additionally, carrying a concealed firearm without a permit is unlawful and charged as a third-degree felony. These offenses can be punishable with up to five years in prison or $5,000 in fines, on occasions both. Furthermore, it’s illegal to randomly shoot a firearm that would produce great bodily harm or death at, within, or in any public or private building, occupied or unoccupied. Such offense is known as “throwing a deadly missile” and is considered a second-degree felony, punishable with up to 15 years in prison.
Frequently Asked Questions
Florida gun laws are extensive and complicated; people often have questions as to what they can and cannot do with a concealed weapon permit. These are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Is constitutional carry allowed? Generally no. Unless the person is engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting, or if a person is involved in the business of manufacturing, dealing, or repairing firearms, or if the person is firing a weapon for testing or target practice under safe conditions in a place not prohibited by law.
Is there a public record for concealed carry registry? No. It’s only available for law enforcement.
Can I carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Florida? Yes. As long as you have a valid concealed carry permit.
Are there any laws about storing the firearm in an employee parking lot? Yes, there are. Moreover, no, public or private employers may prohibit a customer, employee, or invitee from possessing a legally owned firearm locked inside a private motor vehicle in a parking lot.
Do I have to notify an officer that I’m carrying a firearm? According to the Florida Statute 790.06(1), no, you don’t.
Keep In Mind
A weapons violation in Florida is considered a serious matter that can lead to hefty fines and years of imprisonment. You can even lose some of your rights as a citizen as well as a gun owner. If you are facing weapon charges, seek help from a criminal defense attorney. At LJW Legal, we’ll leverage our knowledge of applicable gun laws to protect your rights.