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Florida’s residents appreciate the freedom of owning a gun. That’s why it’s not surprising that gun owners account for 32.5% of Florida’s population.
Are you a Floridian who’s thinking about buying a gun? Or are you about to visit Florida, and you already have a firearm? If so, it’s your responsibility to be up to date on Florida gun laws. What are FL gun laws?
Read on to learn about 5 gun laws in Florida you need to know
1. Florida Gun Laws
Florida gun laws make it illegal to openly carry a gun. You can, however, openly carry other items for self-defense purposes. For instance, non-lethal tasers or pepper spray, are items you can openly carry to protect yourself.
While openly carrying a weapon is generally illegal, certain situations allow you to possess a firearm. Here’s a short breakdown of the places you can carry a gun in Florida:
- In a private vehicle (gun must be securely encased)
- Public transportation (gun must be securely encased and out of reach)
- Your place of residence
- Your place of business
If you’re taking a public mode of transportation, you can have your firearm with you. However, Florida law states that the firearm has to be out of your manual possession. Law also requires you to have the gun securely encased.
You can have a firearm in your home or personal business. However, if you have children at home there are specific laws for storing your gun. If there’s a chance that someone under the age of 16 can access the firearm, you’ll need to secure it with a trigger lock.
Finally, anyone who is actively fishing camping or hunting, or is about to be, can have a firearm with them.
2. Florida Gun Purchase Waiting Period
Florida law 790.065 states that you have to wait 3 days before you can receive a firearm. During the 3 days, the person selling the firearm has to do a background check on you. Next, law enforcement has the option to inspect the background check if they want to.
Here are the requirements to buy a gun in Florida:
- Your name and address
- Government-issued identification
- No declaration of mental illness
- No record of substance abuse
- No felony offenses
- No misdemeanor domestic violence convictions
- No domestic violence deferrals in the last 3 years
- No stalking, resisting law enforcement, treason, or explosives convictions
- You must pay for the criminal background check
Are you planning on buying a handgun? Go ahead and check out this handgun guide, to help make the purchasing decision easier.
3. No Duty to Retreat
According to Florida law, gun owners don’t have a “duty to retreat”. This means that if you’re attacked, you have the right to defend yourself. However, the attack has to take place somewhere you’re legally allowed to be.
Gun owners have the right to stand their ground in Florida. Meeting force with force, you’re allowed to shoot to kill if you think it’s necessary.
For deadly force to be legally necessary, you have to think that you’re preventing death, or stopping great bodily harm. You can be protecting yourself from death and harm, or other individuals who are present.
4. Florida Concealed Carry Laws
So far we’ve been discussing Florida gun laws about carrying a firearm in the open. Now, let’s move on to discuss the FL gun laws about carrying a concealed firearm.
According to Florida Statutes Chapter 790 (law 790.06), only certain people are eligible to carry a concealed firearm. Here’s a list of requirements for eligibility to receive a concealed carry permit in Florida:
- You have to be 21 years old
- You must be physically capable of using the firearm
- You can’t have any felony convictions
- No substance abuse conviction in last 3 years
- No alcohol abuse
- You have to be eligible to own a firearm according to federal law
- No active domestic violence personal protection order
- Apply to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Sign an oath stating your applications truthful
- Provide a colored photograph of yourself
If you’re looking to get your concealed carry permit, remember that the gun can only be for self-defense. Once you have your permit you can carry a concealed handgun, as well as other self-defense weapons. For instance knives, billy clubs, and tear gas guns, can all qualify with a concealed weapons permit.
Gun Safety Courses
Finally, you’ll also have to provide proof that you’ve successfully finished gun safety. The safety course will have to be one that the state approves.
You’ll find that there are gun safety courses specifically tailored to help you get your concealed carry permit. However, other classes cover other material as well, that can still satisfy the course requirement. For instance, certain law enforcement training classes will suffice.
5. Concealed Carry Reciprocity
What if you have a concealed carry permit from another state and you’re visiting Florida? Reciprocity laws refer to a permit’s ability to be valid, even across state lines. In the state of Florida, if you have an out of state concealed carry permit, it’s not automatically valid.
The state your permits from must offer reciprocity to Florida concealed carry permits. Next, the permit holder has to be 21 years old. If you’re able to meet both of these requirements, you’re out of state permit will work in Florida.
Keep in mind, however, that you’ll now have to comply with Florida’s concealed carry laws. That means that you must have your license in your possession, any time you’re carrying your firearm.
Arm Yourself With Knowledge
Now you know a few of the most important Florida gun laws. When it comes to owning a firearm, the more information you can have about the state’s laws, the safer you’ll be. We hope that our article was able to teach you at least 1 new thing about firearm laws in Florida. For more articles like this one, go ahead and explore the rest of this site.