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Gun Laws in Florida

Gun laws vary by state, and in Florida, there are specific legal requirements surrounding the processes for the purchase, carry, and use of firearms. While it is always best to consult with a local attorney about any legal questions surrounding gun ownership, use, and liability, below is a list of commonly asked questions and answers regarding gun laws in Florida.

Do I need a permit to purchase a firearm a Florida?

In Florida, people who are 21 or older may purchase a firearm—unless they fall within the ten categories of people who are unable to legally purchase firearms in Florida. Florida does not require a permit to buy a firearm, nor is there a permit that exempts anyone from the background check requirement. There is a waiting period of up to three days between the date of purchasing a firearm and when it can be delivered.

Can anyone obtain a concealed carry permit?

Concealed carry permits allow someone to carry a firearm in public, on their person, and out of public view. Concealed carry is different from open carry in that the firearm does not need to be visible. In Florida, you must meet specific eligibility requirements to obtain a concealed weapons permit. These requirements are obtained through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). In 2023, new legislation was signed into law that changed the requirements for a concealed carry permit. On July 1, 2023, Floridians no longer need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Is open carry illegal in Florida?

Open carry is when a firearm is visible in public. Generally, open carry is illegal except in certain cases, such as hunting and fishing.

Are there places where you cannot have a gun?

Florida has gun-free zones, where it is illegal for someone to carry a firearm. These zones include private properties that have proper signage, law enforcement agencies and government buildings, such as a courthouse, and schools.

What is the “Stand Your Ground” law?

The “Stand Your Ground” law is a Florida law that states that individuals have the right to use force, including deadly force, to defend themselves or others from a dangerous threat that could result in significant injury and/or death.

Do you need a background check to buy a gun in Florida?

Background checks are required for individuals who are buying a gun through a licensed arms dealer. However, a private sale between two individuals does not require a background check.

Can I be sued for carrying a firearm in Florida?

Using a firearm improperly could result in civil and criminal penalties. It is important to make sure that you are following the lawful requirements for firearm purchases, storage, carry, and use. Generally, to be liable for any harm that results from the use of a deadly weapon, an individual must have acted negligently. Specifically, negligent use of a deadly weapon refers to the use of a weapon in a manner that causes harm to another because of the lack of care or caution by the person using such a weapon. Recklessly using firearms, as well as carelessly handling a knife, are often considered negligent acts.

What happens if you negligently use a deadly weapon?

Discussing the negligent use of a deadly weapon can be a highly emotional topic. Often, negligent use of a deadly weapon can lead to criminal charges and civil liability. Florida Statutes dictate that any person will be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree if they are carrying weapons such as a dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or any other weapon, and they behave in a “rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner,” that is not necessary for the sake of self-defense. The specific consequence of negligent use of a deadly weapon will depend on specific circumstances of the case, including what injuries occurred, and how the weapon was used.

How do you know if someone was negligent or not with a gun?

Negligent use of a weapon not only refers to the careless handling, discharge, or storage of a firearm. To determine whether or not someone has negligently used a firearm, Florida courts may consider what level of training the defendant has had, how much knowledge about guns the defendant has, and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. Typically, negligent use of a firearm involves mishandling, reckless discharge, failing to follow safety rules, inadequate training, or lack of knowledge of firearms.

Is it illegal to shoot a gun into the air in Florida?

While there are many rural areas in Florida where it could seem harmless to shoot a gun into the air, it is illegal to discharge a gun in public. Further, doing so could not only harm someone but it is considered a crime in which the perpetrator could be prosecuted under the full extent of the law.

Should I contact an attorney about gun laws in Florida?

Statutes can be lengthy and include language that can sometimes be difficult to understand. It is always best to consult with a legal professional in your area if you are not sure about whether or not an act is legal or not. At Clayton Trial Lawyers, we can help you understand your rights in Florida.