Gun Laws in Florida
The state of Florida does not require that individuals purchasing rifles, handguns, or shotguns acquire permits. Registration of rifles, shotguns, and handguns is also unnecessary. The licensing of a firearm owner is not needed in the case of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Permits are not necessary to carry shotguns or rifles, but a permit is necessary to carry a handgun.
However it is illegal for a convicted felon to have possession of any kind of firearm or to carry a concealed weapon unless all his or her civil rights have been restored. Alcoholics, drug addicts, vagrants, and mentally incompetent individuals are also unlawful to possess or carry firearms. If an individual has been issued a final injunction that is currently in effect and force that restrains him or her due to domestic violence, he or she is not lawful to have a firearm in his or her custody or possession. Selling, giving, bartering, lending, or transferring a firearm to a minor under the age of eighteen without parental consent is illegal in the state of Florida. Florida law states that selling a firearm, Springfield rifle, pistol to a minor is illegal.
As it relates to reciprocal carry, Florida has a well-developed and maintained non-resident license program. Florida resident and non-resident licenses are well regarded both in terms of training and materials. Florida has approximately 19,000,000 residents, and spans over two (2) time zones. It shares its northern border with Alabama and Georgia.
Florida Gun Carrying Laws
In Florida the only individuals who are allowed to carry a firearm or a concealed weapon without a license include those who have firearms at their place of business or home; target, skeet, or trapshooting clubs when transferring from one place to another; club members who collect modern and antique firearms while transferring from one place to another; those going to and from an activity such as hunting, camping, or fishing; those engaging in safe target shooting; those firing firearms in a secure indoor ranges; military and law enforcement personnel; and those dealing, repairing, or manufacturing firearms.
It is in fact lawful to possess a concealed firearm without a license for self-defense purposes within the interior of private conveyance if the firearm is not readily accessible for immediate use or is securely encased.
By statute, Florida will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Florida’s license:
“(1) A resident of the United States who is a nonresident of Florida may carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm while in this state if the nonresident: (a) Is 21 years of age or older; and (b) Has in his or her immediate possession a valid license to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm issued to the nonresident in his or her state of residence. (2) A nonresident is subject to the same laws and restrictions with respect to carrying a concealed weapon or concealed firearm as a resident of Florida who is so licensed.”
Acquiring a License
The Department of Agriculture will issue licenses under certain conditions that include a person is at least twenty-one years of age, a US citizen, has no mental or physical infirmity that would prevent safe handling, has not been convicted of a felony, has not been convicted of violence or drug related crimes in the three-year period, is not chronically drunk, has not been adjudicated guilty for a crime, and states that carrying a firearm is for the means of self-defense.
Florida imposes a three (3) day waiting period, which does not count weekend or holidays, before purchasing a firearm. This waiting period is waived for holders of a valid Florida license to carry. Holders of a valid Florida license to carry are also exempt from state background checks, but not federal ones. Florida does not require a waiting period for the purchase of long guns (rifle/shotgun).
Carrying Firearms in Vehicles
Florida allows carrying of long guns in vehicles without a permit. Handguns may only be carried without a permit if they are not readily accessible to the driver, such as being in a locked container or in the trunk.
Florida has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place You have a legal right to be, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, or occupied motor vehicle.
Open Carry of Firearm
Open carry is generally not legal in Florida. Exceptions include in the home, place of work, hunting, fishing, camping, or while practice shooting and while traveling to and from those activities. Florida recently decriminalized the temporary exposure of a firearm by concealed firearms license holders, protecting them from being arrested and charged with a crime for the temporary and open exposure of a firearm.
Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
Yes. There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.
Restoring Florida Gun Rights
After a conviction has been completed, an individual who has been convicted of a past crime may apply for the restoration of his or her civil rights. These rights include the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and the right to bear arms. Restoring civil rights and the specific restoration of the right to possess firearms cannot happen at the same time. Civil rights must be restored first and afterward an individual can request the Florida’s Office of Executive Clemency to grant a request for possessing a firearm.
A license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances, whether it is issued by Florida, or a person is carrying pursuant to a reciprocity agreement between his or her state of license and Florida:
- A firearm must be stored in a locked container with a trigger lock so as to be unattainable to a minor under the age of 18
- A person carrying a weapon should not exhibit the weapon in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, unless in self-defense
- A person carrying a weapon should not exhibit the weapon on public or private school grounds or facilities, a school bus, a school bus stop, at school-sanctioned activities, or within 1,000 feet of school property or any professional athletic event
- Discharge of a firearm in a public place, or on a public road, including from inside a vehicle (within 1,000 feet of any person), unless in self-defense
- Use a firearm (have it readily accessible and loaded) while under the influence of alcohol, controlled, or chemical substance, which impairs a person’s normal faculties.
- An individual shall not carry a firearm if they habitually use alcohol or other substances to impair his or her normal functions