Florida State Laws


The list of states that share reciprocity with Florida is subject to frequent changes. The information contained herein is not intended as legal advice or any restatement of law. Restrictions on non-resident permits, persons under 21 years of age, qualifying permit classes, or other factors that may limit state reciprocity are not included in this information. A licensed, local attorney should be consulted for accurate interpretation of the law in specific situations.

All State, Federal, and Local laws must be followed. 


Florida will not recognize a non-resident concealed carry permit from another state. 


Check other state’s reciprocity agreements to determine if a Florida non-resident concealed carry permit is valid there. Florida State Laws Overview, Purchase, Possession, and Carrying Firearms 


PURCHASE AND POSSESSION


A state permit is not required for the purchase or possession of a handgun, shotgun, or rifle. It is illegal for a convicted felon to have in his/her possession, control, care, or custody any firearm, or to carry a concealed weapon until such time as his/her civil rights are restored.


The following persons may not own, possess or use any firearm: drug addicts, alcoholics, vagrants, and mental incompetents. 


Any person, who currently has a restraining order for acts of domestic violence issued against them, may not be in possession, control, custody, or care of any firearm or ammunition. 


It is illegal to transfer, lend, sell, give or trade a firearm or any weapon (with the exclusion of a common pocket knife) to any person under the age of 18 without his parent’s written consent, or to any person not of sound mind. 


It is illegal for any firearms dealer to sell or transfer any gun, pistol, Springfield rifle or repeating rifle to any person under the age of 18. 


A minor less than 18 years of age may not possess a firearm, other than an unloaded firearm at his home, unless engaged in lawful activities. 


A licensed gun dealer, manufacturer or importer may not lawfully sell or deliver a firearm to any other person before obtaining a completed form from the buyer or receiver and securing approval from the Department of Law Enforcement through a toll-free telephone call. The Department of Law Enforcement is instructed to destroy any record of approval and non- approval within 48 hours of its decision. The instant check fee will be $8.00. The following are exempt form the instant check fee: Licensed dealers, manufacturers, importers, law enforcement, correctional and probation officers, collectors, and persons with a concealed carrying license.


There is a three-day waiting period to purchase a handgun from any retailer. This three-day period does not include weekends and legal holidays. Concealed weapon permit holders, as well as those trading-in another handgun are exempt from the waiting period. 


Carrying A Firearm 


It is unlawful for any person to openly carry or conceal any firearm on their person without the required permit with the exception of: 


Any person having a gun in their place of business or home.

Members who are enrolled in clubs organized for the sport of target, skeet, or trap shooting, in transit to/from shooting practice, and while at shooting facility.

Members enrolled in clubs specifically organized for gun collecting, including antique guns or modern firearms, in transit to/from exhibitions and while at exhibition facility.

Any person transporting firearms for fishing, hunting or camping activities and while at activity.

Any person transporting firearms to/from shooting practice outdoors, and while at shooting location.

Any person transporting firearms for target practice to/from an indoor shooting range, and while at range.

Any person traveling by private means if the weapon is stored in a secure case, or traveling by public transport whereby the firearm is secured in a case and not within manual possession.

Any person transporting an unloaded firearm in a secure wrapping to/from place of purchase or repair establishment.

Any person who repairs, deals, or manufactures firearms.Law enforcement, military, or guard personnel, in the course of employment.

It is legal to own a concealed weapon for self-defense purposes or other lawful reasons inside a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm is secured within a case and is not readily accessible for immediate use.

If a firearm, other than a handgun is carried within a private conveyance for legal use, it is permitted in the state of Florida.

This provision does not cover the carrying of a firearm concealed anywhere on a person. Employers cannot restrict their employees who are legally permitted to carry a firearm, from storing any legally owned gun inside a secured, private vehicle that is parked in a designated parking area on the employer’s property.

The application for a license to carry a concealed firearm in the state of Florida is processed through the Department of Agriculture. The 7-year license in recognized through the entire state and is completed, under oath, on a Department of Agriculture form that includes the applicant’s name, address, date and place of birth, occupation and race. The licensing fees can be found at, http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/license/fees.html .


A state law enforcement agency must provide fingerprinting for the applicant. The sheriff’s office will provide fingerprinting for fee no more than $5. 


The Department of Agriculture may issue a license based on the following criteria: 

Applicant is at least 21 years of age and a citizen of the UnitedApplicant does not suffer from a physical medical condition that inhibits his/her ability to safely handle a firearm.

Applicant is not a convicted felon.

Applicant has not been convicted of any crime of violence within three years from the date of application and has not been convicted of any minor drug offense, or been committed for drug abuse.

Applicant has not been determined to be guilty of a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, even if the sentence has been suspended, unless it has been a period of three years since probation, or the applicant’s record has been expunged or sealed.

Applicant is not currently under a restraining order for domestic violence or repeated violence.

Applicant has been determined to be incapacitated, unless a waiting period of five years has passed from the date of court-ordered restoration to capacity, or has been committed to a mental institution, unless he can produce a psychiatrist’s certificate hat states that he has been without the impairment for a period of five years.Applicant is not a chronic alcohol abuser.

Applicant can demonstrate multiple modes of competency with the firearm and requests the right to carry a concealed weapon for the lawful purpose of self-defense.

Some members of the U.S. Armed Forces may be issued a firearm or concealed weapon license regardless of age or U.S. residency in specific circumstances.


A license does not allow any person to carry a firearm or concealed weapon into any of the following: 

Any place of nuisance, a courthouse, detention facility, police station, polling place, assembly of state, county, municipal, or special district governing government, a school, a professional or school athletic event, unless related to shooting. A person may not carry a concealed weapon or firearm into an establishment or any part of the establishment meant to dispense alcohol for consumption at the location, or in the passenger or sterile area of any airport, or in any area where federal law prohibits this. 


Within 30 days of losing or having destroyed a firearms license, or moving to a permanent residence, the Department of Agriculture must be notified. The cost for a duplicate license is $15.00. The license must be carried together with a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license. 


The law governing licensing will be interpreted in such a manner as to uphold the Constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense purposes. 


A U.S. resident who is not a resident of Florida, can legally carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm in the state if that person is at least 21 years old, possesses a valid license to carry a concealed firearm or weapon that has been issued by the state in which he/she currently resides and agrees to abide by Florida laws that regulate the carrying of a concealed firearm or weapon. The person must also agree to abide by all Florida state laws governing carrying and concealment of a firearm. 


Antiques And Replicas 


An antique firearm is not defined as a firearm if it is manufactured before or in the year 1918, or is a replica manufactured before or after 1918, or uses fixed ammunition in or before 1918, where ammunition is no longer manufactured in the U.S. and cannot be obtained from ordinary commercial trade. 


Machine Guns 


Any firearm, which is designed to shoot more than one round of ammunition in succession without reloading, is prohibited unless legally owned under provisions set forth by federal law. 


Range Protection 


Any person who operates or is in use of a range for sport shooting purposes is not in violation of nuisance ordinances if in compliance with noise pollution controls, during construction of the range or the initial operation of the range. 


823. 16. The following will define Sport shooting ranges, outline exemptions from specified rules, exemptions from liability, exemptions from nuisance actions, and contingencies of operation. 


(1) Definitions—In accordance with this act, these terms will have the following meaning: 


(a) “Unit of local government” this will mean a branch of local government created by law, including, but not limited to, a city, county, metropolitan government, town, village, municipality, consolidated government, metropolitan government. 


(b) “Person” refers to an individual, proprietorship, corporation, partnership, association, club, or more than one person having a common interest, or any other legal entity. 


(c) “Sport shooting range” or “range” refers to an area created and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, silhouettes, skeet, trap, pistols, black powder, or other similar kind of sport shooting. 


(2) Notwithstanding any other law, a person operating or using a sport shooting range in the state of Florida will not face civil liability or criminal prosecution relating to noise or noise pollution because of operation or use of a sport shooting range, if the range complies with control laws or ordinances adopted by any local government which applies to the range at the time the range is constructed or in initial operation. 


(3) An operator or user of a sport shooting range is not liable for nuisance, and a Florida court will not enjoin the use or operation of a sport shooting range because of noise or noise pollution, if the range complies with noise control laws or regulations that apply to the range at the time of construction or initial operation. 


(4) Any rules adopted by a state department or agency that limit noise in terms of decibels which may occur outdoors will not apply to a sport shooting range that is exempt under this act. 


(5) Anyone that acquires property that is negatively affected by a permanent and improved, sport shooting range may not take action for nuisance against the range owner to restrict or inhibit the use of the range where there is no change in the range itself or use of the range. This act does not disallow any action for negligent or reckless operation of a sport shooting range or any person who uses the range. 


(6) A sport shooting range that does not violate any existing law at the time an applicable ordinance is enacted will be permitted to continue to operate though the sport shooting range does not conform to the new ordinance or an amendment to an existing ordinance, as long as the range was not violating any law when it was constructed and as long as the range continues to comply with current National Rifle Association shooting range, and gun safety standards. 


(7) Unless otherwise provided in this act, this does not prohibit a local government from governing the construction and location of any sport shooting range after the date, the act is effective. 


MISCELLANEOUS 


Under Florida law, a person may defend himself/herself with deadly force if they perceive that they or another person are in danger of death or great bodily harm and are attacked in a place that they are lawfully allowed to be. 


Any person under the age of 16 is prohibited from using any firearm, BB gun, air or gas-operated guns, or electric weapons or devices, unless under the supervision of a parent or person acting as a parent. 


Any serious felony committed with a firearm, including murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, or burglary carries a mandatory sentence in the state of Florida. If a serious felony is committed while in possession of a semiautomatic firearm or machine gun with magazine capacity of over 20 centerfire cartridges, the penalty will be increased. 


It is illegal to fire a gun in any public place, or on the right of way of a paved, public roadway highway or street or over a street, highway, or road, or building that is occupied unless in the act of defending life or property, while performing official duties or where legally allowed to hunt. 


It is illegal to carry a firearm within national forest limits, unless it is during the hunting season. Persons who possess a special permit issued by the county commissioners or are traveling on state roads with a securely locked firearm, within their vehicle are exempt. 


Except in self-defense situations, it is illegal to display or carry a firearm in in the presence of others while exhibiting the firearm in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner. 


The Florida state legislature is in regulation of firearms and ammunition. Any political subdivision of the state may not legally take action against a firearms or ammunition distributor or manufacturer for legally manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and selling of firearms and ammunition. 


There is limited liability for any owner, operator, or user of a sport shooting range for the accumulation of projectiles on the range. 


Any bullet designed for use in a handgun as an armor-piercing bullet, including a bullet with a steel inner core, or core with equivalent hardness and truncated cone, may not be sold, delivered, or used to assist in the commission of a crime. 


It is illegal to leave or store a firearm within reach or easy access of a minor less than 18 years old. This does not apply to the following:


A gun that is stored securely in a locked box or container, or stored in a location that would be reasonably considered secure, or locked securely with a trigger lock;

A person under the age of 18 who obtains a gun by means of illegal entry or from another person who has entered a location illegally;

A person under the age of 18 participating in a marksmanship competition or practice, or other legal shooting activity for recreation; 

A person carrying the firearm on his person or within close proximity whereby they could retrieve and use it as easily and quickly as if they were to carry it on their own person.

It is a felony of the third degree to leave a loaded firearm within reach or easy access of a minor under 16 years old, through culpable negligence.

If the minor uses the firearm to inflict injury or death on himself/herself or others, the following subsection does not apply: 


If the gun was stored securely in a locked box or container or left in a location whereby a reasonable person would consider it secure, or was locked with a trigger lock securely;If the minor obtains the gun through illegal entry or from another person who has entered a location illegally;


To any injury that results from a target or sport shooting accident or hunting accident orTo Armed Forces, National Guard, State Militia, police or other law enforcement officers, with respect to minor firearms possession in the course of official duties.


STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION


(a) The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.

(b) There shall be a mandatory period of three days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the purchase and delivery at retail of any handgun. For the purposes of this section, “purchase” means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration to the retailer, and “handgun” means a firearm capable of being carried and used by one hand, such as a pistol or revolver. Holders of a concealed weapon permit as prescribed in Florida law shall not be subject to the provisions of this paragraph.

(c) . . . anyone violating the provisions of subsection (b) shall be guilty of a felony.

(d) This restriction shall not apply to a trade in of another handgun.” Article 1, Section 8. The legislature of the State of Florida, in a declaration of policy incorporated in its “Weapons and Firearms” statute, recognizes that adult citizens of the state retain their constitutional right to keep and bear firearms for hunting and sporting activities and for defense of self, family, home, and business and as collectibles. Article 1, Section 8.


Reference:  http://shooting.org

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