Florida operates at the state level and can be considered lenient towards other states. The states policy is “Shall Issue” for a concealed carry license with the licenses being issued to both residents and non-residents. Florida is part of the 5 states which ban open carry although it should be known open carry is allowed in certain situations. The state has full preemption over all gun laws for handguns and long guns.
Florida has a stand your ground law which allows for no retreat if there’s self defense, and this has been widely copied by other states. There’s no requirement for background checks on private gun sales or to register firearms. If you reside in Florida you can file your license application at a Fast Track Office. Everything required for your application can be obtained in these offices, letting you complete the process in one trip. All applicants are required to complete a firearms training course
Florida Gun Laws Quick Facts
✅ Yes - Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 543 into law on April 3, 2023, marking Florida the 26th state in the US to allow constitutional carry of firearms. On July 1st, 2023, the new law will become active.
Open Carry Permitted?
❌ No - Florida is a little unclear about this, but the main opinion is no. There is language where a person with a concealed carry permit may briefly display openly except if you're brandishing with intent to harm. You can also open carry if hunting but there's a specific set of circumstances for that.
Carry In Vehicle?
✅ Yes - If an individual possess a Florida CWL (concealed weapons license) or a reciprocal CCW from another state Florida recognizes, then that individual may travel with their firearm concealed on their person or in the vehicle. If you do not have an appropriate permit then the firearm must be stowed away in a secure enclosing (recommend to keep it in a gun case within a glove box or trunk).
Carry In State Park?
✅ Yes - with the Florida CWL or a permit from another recognized state. It should also be noted that Florida allows for open carry so long as the individual is engaged in hunting, camping, or fishing.
Carry In Restaurants?
✅ ❌ Yes/No - Florida does allow for individuals to conceal carry in a restaurant, given the appropriate permit and there's no signage indicating no firearms allowed. However, it does not allow for concealed carry within establishments that serve only alcohol or the bar section of a restaurant.
No Weapon Sign Enforced?
✅ ❌ Yes/No - We could not find language stating that no weapons signs have the official rule of law behind it. However, within Florida code there is language stating that carrying a weapon into an establishment with a "No Weapons" sign could be prosecuted as an "armed trespassing" felony.
Must Notify Officer?
❌ No - Technically there is no duty to inform law within Florida. However, as a CWL holder you must carry appropriate permits and ID's and produce them upon being asked by an officer.
States Honoring CCW
* Restricted Reciprocity with Florida
States NOT Honoring CCW
Honors These States CCW Permits
State statutes allow Florida to accept licenses from other states only if that state agrees to honor a Florida concealed carry license. Florida reciprocity law is governed by section 790.015 of the Florida statutes.
Florida currently has reciprocity agreements with 36 other states. A Florida concealed carry license is valid in all these states with a few exceptions as noted at the bottom of this section.
Firearms laws vary with each state and a Florida license holder will be subject to the laws of whatever state they are traveling in.
Reciprocity Agreements In Florida
Florida: Where Is CCW Allowed?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- Churches and places of worship
- State Fairgrounds
- All areas of the state, except those listed as Off-Limits
Places Not Allowed
- Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station
- Any detention facility, prison, or jail
- Any courthouse or courtroom
- Any polling place
- Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district
- Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof
- Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms
- Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building
- Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
- Any area of a vocational-technical center
- Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05
- Any college or university facility
- Inside the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Florida: Conceal Carry Laws
No, Open Carry is considered illegal in Florida if you do not have a permit or license. However, if you do have a concealed carry permit, Florida is slightly more loose with their open carry laws.
There is language in the code which states that an individual with the appropriate permits is allowed to briefly display a firearm openly. The opinion on this is to protect gun owners who might have covering accidents (for example when a shirt gets lifted so to reveal a concealed handgun). However, you are not allowed to display your firearm in a threatening way, except for self-defense.
Here some specific scenarios where you would be able to open carry:
Under section 790.25(3)(h)(j)(k) of the Florida statutes there are some limited situations were it is legal to open carry such as traveling to and being engaged in lawful target shooting, fishing, hunting, and camping.
The Law 790.053 790.25
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, if you have an appropriate concealed weapons permit (the Florida CWL or a permit from a reciprocal state Florida recognizes) then you may travel with your firearm concealed on your person or within your vehicle.
It is lawful for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purposes within the interior of a private vehicle, WITHOUT a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.
The Law 790.25 790.001 790.17
Carry In State Parks
Yes, it is legal to carry in the following areas:
- State Parks: YES
- State/National Forests: YES
- State Game Management Units: YES
- Road Side Rest Areas: YES
The Law State Park Rules
Carry In Restaurants
Yes/No, in Restaurants that serve alcohol you are not permitted under Florida law to carry in a bar area that serves alcohol.
The law states that “any portion of an establishment that dispenses alcohol…. which is primarily devoted to such purpose”. So it is widely interpreted in Florida to mean that you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol, as its primary purpose is to dispense food and not alcohol.
However, if the restaurant has a bar area you cannot enter that area while carrying a firearm. And you certainly cannot enter a fully licensed bar. That is classed as a misdemeanor with a possible 60 days jail or $500 fine.
Note: If the restaurant has posted a no firearms sign and you enter then you could be charged with armed trespass which is a felony.
The Law 790.06 (12)
Yes, the Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 543 into law on April 3, 2023, marking Florida the 26th state in the US to allow constitutional carry of firearms. On July 1st, 2023, the new law will become active.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
Yes/No, any “No Firearms” signage in Florida generally does not have the law behind it. Unless, the sign is posted in an area that falls within the Off-Limits law.
The area must be specifically stated in the section of law as being off limits. Even if the law does not backup a “No Firearms” sign you can still be arrested for trespass if you enter the property. So it's best to not enter any property with such a sign posted.
Must Notify Officer
No, there is nothing in Florida gun laws that states you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. You are required by law to carry your permit, together with photo ID, at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.
The Law 790.06