Imagine a world where anybody regardless of age, experience, and expertise could brandish a gun. Yikes Right?
Well, this is why before you can legally own a gun, talk less of concealing it; you need to meet certain requirements set out by a certain group of laws known as “gun laws”.
These laws differ in states and the requirements for a concealed carry Florida will be different in some ways, if not its entirety, from that of another state, say Illinois.
We need not worry about Illinois or any other state as we will be focusing solely on concealed carry Florida and all that it entails in this article.
Florida Gun laws
Florida has a relatively strict concealed carry law as it only allows permits for concealed carry weapons (CCW) and frowns upon open carry.
A concealed carry weapon is a gun that is hidden from the plain sight of the public.
It could be under your shirt or in your bag but as long as the person sitting next to you has no idea whatsoever, you are good to go.
An open carry on the other hand is a weapon that is brandished for the whole world to see.
There are however exceptions to the practice of open carry under Florida concealed carry law.
The law, in this case, states that residents and non-residents in the state are allowed to practice open carry in Florida if they meet any of the following conditions:
- If they are traveling to or engaged in camping
- If they are engaged in fishing
- If they are going hunting
- If they are engaged in lawful target shooting
- If they are involved in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms
While Florida concealed carry law is a bit lenient on concealed carry, it doesn’t mean that any Ed, Edd n Eddy can purchase a gun and conceal it.
In order to make this possible, individuals living or visiting in Florida need to meet Florida concealed carry requirements.
We will further explain these requirements below.
Florida CCW Reciprocity
As a “shall issue” state, Florida issues its concealed carry licenses to both residents and non-residents alike as long as they are at least 21 years old or under 21 if he or she is a member or veteran of US armed forces.
They also have CCW reciprocity agreements in place with other states.
This means that they agree to recognize concealed carry weapons whose permits are legal and were issued by other states.
As long as the states agree to also recognize concealed carry weapons issued by them.
The Florida CCW reciprocity recognizes 37 states including Arizona and Ohio while 13 states including California and New York do not recognize the Florida CCW permit.
How Does Florida CCW Reciprocity Work?
As stated earlier, Florida is a “shall issue” state that recognizes concealed carry permits from other states as long as they satisfy Florida concealed carry requirements.
It is pertinent to know that these laws vary in different states and something accepted in a state might be deemed unacceptable in another state.
An example of this is the practice of open carry which is prohibited in Florida but accepted in some states such as Arizona. In this case, such a permit will not be recognized by Florida concealed carry law.
Basically, as long as you have a permit in any of the states the Florida CCW reciprocity covers and you meet the requirements for a Florida concealed carry, you need not go for a Florida CCW application when you visit.
In lieu of this, it is important to read up on the states covered by the Florida CCW reciprocity arrangement and the ones that aren’t so you don’t end up in trouble for ignorance.
Who Can Own a Florida Concealed Carry Permit?
The state of Florida will issue a concealed carry permit to individuals who meet minimum Florida concealed carry permit requirements.
Individuals who are interested and satisfy all the minimum Florida concealed carry permit requirements only need to undergo Florida concealed carry permit application process and hope they are successful.
What Are the Requirements For Florida Concealed Carry Permit
The state of Florida will issue Florida concealed carry permits to individuals who have undergone the Florida CCW application process and satisfy the following minimum requirements:
- They must be at least 21 years old
- They must be able to show competency with a firearm
- They must have completed an approved Florida concealed carry class
- They must be a U.S. citizen (or a legal resident alien)
- Unless they are serving overseas in the U.S. Armed Forces, they must reside in the U.S.
- They must not have had 2 or more DUI convictions in a space of the last 3 years
- They must not have any convictions for a violent crime (be it felony or misdemeanor) in the previous 3 years
- Other requirements required by the federal law.
What is the Age Limit for Florida CCW Application?
Only individuals who are at least 21 years of age and show competency with a firearm would be considered for the Florida CCW application.
What Places Are Off Limits For Concealed Carry Florida?
While concealed carry Florida is not frowned at, individuals who have read everything about Florida concealed carry online and have gone through necessary Florida concealed carry classes still have places they are prohibited from going with their Florida CCW
These places include but not limited to the following:
- Schools, colleges, or university facilities: With the school shootings happening frequently coupled with the fact that kids in schools aren’t usually of legal age to be in possession of or in close proximity to a gun, this is a no brainer.
- Jails, prisons, or detention facilities: The last thing we want is someone harming or arming the inmates or detainees.
- Bars: While no one would stop you from walking into a bar with your CCWs, the problem would arise when you try to handle them while drinking or under the influence of alcoholic drinks.
- Courthouses or courtrooms
- Any polling place
- Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol
- Any other place prohibited by the Federal Law
What Places Are You Permitted For Concealed Carry Florida?
Just as there is no ying without a yang, there can’t be off-limit places for concealed carry Florida without there equally being permitted places.
The following are the places where Florida CCWs are permitted:
- Roadside rest areas
- State parks
- State and national forests
- All other areas of the states not listed as off-limits
Discharging a Gun/Firearm in Florida
Knowingly discharging a gun or firearm in any public place has been classified as a first-degree misdemeanor by the concealed carry Florida law.
This offence is punishable by up to a year in jail provided there was an absence of the intent to hurt or frighten anybody.
However, a person found guilty of this could be let off the hook if they (either by themselves or with the help of an attorney) are able to come up with any or some of the following defenses:
- The CCW was discharged accidentally or in a non-public place
- They discharged the Florida CCW out of self-defense, be it on life or property
- If they were on an official duty
- The prosecution doesn’t have substantial proof as to who discharged the weapon
- The prosecution doesn’t have substantial proof that it was the accused weapon that was in fact discharged.
How Can I Apply For Florida Concealed Permit
Applying for a Florida concealed carry permit is a pretty straightforward process. However, it starts from before you obtain and fill the necessary forms.
Satisfy All Necessary Requirements
In order not to waste time and resources that would have been better off expended somewhere else, it is pertinent to satisfy all the required minimum requirements as stated by the state of Florida gun laws.
Have a Solid Grasp of the Laws
It is equally important to have a solid understanding of the various laws governing Florida concealed carry permits particularly the ones focusing on ownership and possession (790.25).
Complete the Florida Concealed Carry Online Course
In order to improve your chances of being granted a Florida concealed carry permit, you need to complete a Florida concealed carry course online or any other approved training.
Proceed To Apply
Applications for concealed carry Florida can be done either physically or via mail.
For the physical option, all you need do is go to a Florida Department of Agriculture and Customer Services or any authorized Florida tax collector’s office near you to schedule an appointment.
To apply via mail, you need to go through the following steps:
- Download the Application instructions
- Download a Florida CCW application
- Book an appointment at a police department or sheriff’s office near you to submit your fingerprints
- Complete the application and mail it to the following address:
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Licensing
P.O. Box 6687
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6687’
If successful, your Florida concealed carry license should arrive 90 days after submission.
Florida Concealed Carry Class Online
As earlier mentioned in this article, Florida concealed carry classes are a prerequisite for a successful Florida CCW application and an eventual Florida concealed carry permit.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the following training courses are approved and acceptable:
- Any hunter safety course approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course
- Any firearms safety or training course or class made available to the general public by a reputable institution
- Any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class conducted by a state-certified instructor or by an instructor certified by the National Rifle Association
What Does the Florida Concealed Carry Class Entail?
Below are some of the topics and essential things you would learn by enrolling in Florida concealed carry online:
- Knowledge about storage, handling, and firearms safety.
- Knowledge about applicable State laws 790.fs and use of force laws 776 fs.
- Advice on concealed carry methods, firearms maintenance, and care.
- Fundamentals of shooting and handgun operation.
What Is the Cost of Florida Concealed Carry Online Class?
The average Florida concealed carry class online ranges from $40-$80.
Concealed Carry Florida FAQs
How Long Is The Florida CCW Permit Valid for?
For concealed carry Florida, the CCW permit is valid for a duration of 7 years, after which you would have to renew it or apply for a new one.
What Is The Processing Time For A Florida CCW Permit?
After receipt of a complete application, it takes the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 90 days to process Florida concealed carry permit.
Is There A Non-resident Concealed Carry Permit?
Florida is a “shall issue” state and would issue Florida CCW permits to residents and non-residents as long as they meet the minimum requirements.
How Can I Go About A Change Of Name And Address On A Permit?
To accomplish this, all you have to do is make a copy of the name and address form, print it with the new details.
P.S. This will attract an extra fee.
What Can I Do If My Permit Is Missing?
In case this happens, please endeavor to report to the nearest police station or sheriff’s office to you.
How Soon Can I Apply For Florida CCW Permit As A New Resident?
Application for Florida CCW permit is not seasonal. It can be done whenever you feel you have met the minimum requirements.
Is A Previous Permit From Another State Transferable?
Permits from other states are not transferable. The only time they become void is when they expire.
However, if you are in a state that has a CCW reciprocity agreement with your state, you need not worry about this.
Is A Concealed Carry Florida Permit Valid In Another State?
If you had effected the name and address change before moving to your new residence, then yes, the Florida CCW permit is valid and usable.
What States Honor Reciprocity with Florida?
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What States Have Restricted Reciprocity With Florida?
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island