Florida is not a constitutional carry state, and you are required to own a gun permit before you can conceal carry. The state has a shall-issue policy for the application of firearms. Once you meet all necessary requirements, you will be issued a gun permit. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is in charge of processing gun licenses in Florida.
You do not need a gun permit or purchasing license to buy firearms from private dealers in the state or gun shows. In the same vein, you do not have to complete a criminal record background check. However, counties, municipalities, and local government areas are allowed to determine waiting periods for private sellers to unlicensed individuals. The minimum age requirement to buy a firearm is twenty-one years old.
Get Your Concealed Carry Weapon Permit Online in Minutes
Possession of Firearms in Florida
Florida is one of the few states in the USA that does not allow the open carry of firearms. The state legislature only makes few exemptions. One of them is for activities such as hunting, fishing, and camping. You can also open carry if you are a dealer, repairer, or manufacturer of firearms in Florida. Also, you can open carry for live-fire sessions during firearm training, target practicing, and range shooting in the state. But the state prohibits the possession of firearms in certain locations, and it does not matter if such firearms are meant for the aforementioned purposes.
To conceal carry in Florida, you must have a state concealed carry license. Only residents of Florida are allowed to apply for the concealed license. Non-residents that want to conceal carry will need a gun license from any of the states that Florida has a reciprocity agreement with. If you have a Florida concealed carry license, you can also conceal some weapons like knives, tear gas, and clubs. The minimum age requirement to apply for the concealed license is twenty-one years old. The state also requires you to complete firearm training before applying for the license. Only members of the military or veterans are exempted from completing firearm training before applying for the concealed weapon license.
You can carry a firearm in a private car if you have a Florida pistol permit or that of any other state that Florida honors. If you do not have a permit, then make sure that the firearm is securely concealed in a compartment or make sure that it is safe and not accessible for prompt use.
Places, where you can keep the firearm if you do not have a permit are in glove compartments, belt holsters, gun cases, etc.
If you have a Florida gun permit or anyone from a state it honors, then you can legally possess firearms in roadside areas of the state. Also, with a Florida gun permit or that of any state that it honors, you can make use of firearms in forests, parks, and wildlife areas. However, it is essential that you first enquire about this from the park's management.
Florida gun law does not prohibit concealed carry in the eatery part of places where alcohol is being sold. If you have a Florida Gun Permit or that of any other state it honors, you can conceal carry anywhere with exceptions to places that have signage prohibiting the possession of firearms in the premises, and restricted areas of the state.
For lodging businesses, the possession of firearms in hotels or similar establishments in the state is dependent on the policies of the hotel management. Regardless of if you are a permit holder or not, you must respect hotel policies for the possession of firearms.
You do not have to inform any law enforcement officer or peace officer about concealed carry if you have a permit to do so.
Places Where You Cannot Possess Firearms in Florida
When it comes to restricted places for the possession of firearms in Florida, it does not matter if you are a licensee or not. Those that may be exempted and may possess firearms in these areas are law enforcement officers, peace officers, or members of the US military.
- You cannot open carry or possess a firearm in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, universities, technical institutions, and their facilities.
- You cannot open carry in any stadium or event center used for professional sporting activities that do not have to do with firearms events.
- You cannot open carry or possess a firearm in police or local sheriff offices and patrol stations.
- You cannot open carry in jails, detention homes, and correctional facilities.
- You cannot possess your firearm in a law court or during a court proceeding.
- You cannot open carry in any polling unit during an election.
- You cannot open carry during legislative sessions or any meeting organized by the governing body of a municipality, district, or county in Florida.
- You cannot open carry in hospitals or any mental health home.
- You cannot open carry or possess a firearm in bars or anywhere that has the license to sell alcohol for onsite consumption.
- You cannot open carry in safety zones of airport areas and terminals.
- You cannot open carry in areas prohibited by federal laws.
Application for Florida Gun License
To apply for a Florida gun license, first, submit your application together with your firearm training certificate to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You can also choose to mail the application to them.
You will be notified about your approved application after the processing period. Other documents that you will have to provide for the application include proof of Florida residency, firearm training certificate, and fingerprints. Most counties in the state will require further physiological tests before processing a gun permit. A mail will be sent to you if your permit processing is successful.
The permit is valid for seven years; after which you have to apply for a renewal. Both permit application and renewal permits are only available to residents of Florida, and the process for application is the same thing.
To change important details on your Florida permit, like dates and names, you have to write a letter notifying the licensing division within at least thirty days from the time that you effect the change of name or address. You can submit the address via mail or physically.
For stolen, misplaced, or destroyed Florida gun permit, you must write a statement in the presence of a notary officer, explaining details on how the permit was stolen, lost, or destroyed. If you need to replace your permit in Florida, the cost is fifteen dollars.
New residents that want to apply for the gun license upon moving to Florida can do so as soon as they register to vote, or file for taxation. In case you have a firearm permit from your former state of residence, it will remain valid until ninety days after you establish residency in Florida.
Requirements to Apply for Florida Gun Licenses
If you apply for a gun license in Florida without meeting all necessary requirements, the application will be denied. But if you meet all requirements, being a shall-issue state, Florida will be obligated to issue your license.
- You must meet the age requirement of twenty-one years old,
- You must be a legal citizen of the United States of America.
- You must undergo the necessary training class licensed by Florida gun permit laws.
- You must not have any physical deformity such that it affects the handling of firearms.
- You must not be a felony.
- You must not be an alcohol addict or frequent user of substances that can affect rational thinking faculties.
- You must not have more than one conviction for driving under the influence in the past three years preceding the permit application.
- You must not be a convict for any violent crime that is either a misdemeanor or a felony in the last three years before the application.
- You must not be an incapacitated person, except it has been more than five years that you gained capacitation.
- You must not be a patient of any mental institution, except five years after you have been cleared.
- You must not have any restraining or protection order for cases related to domestic violence.
- You must not have any prohibition for the purchase or possession of firearms in Florida or any part of the United States of America.
- You must be able to demonstrate firearm competency.
- You must meet all federal laws for the possession of firearms in the USA.
Is Constitutional Carry Florida Permitted in Certain Parts of the State?
Florida has preemption laws for local government areas such as municipalities, districts, and counties. However, the general state law supersedes all other provincial laws in the state.
Preemption gun laws prohibit local government areas from regulations, enactment of gun laws, and ordinances concerning the possession, manufacturing, sales, purchase, licensing, and transportation of firearms, ammunition, and their components.
This means that permitless carry in Florida is prohibited in every part of the state. And no political subdivision can enact laws that will lead to the legalization of permitless carry.