Basic Carry Laws: Florida

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Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task armed Americans must undertake. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in Florida below.

Getting a Permit to Carry

Open carry is not legal in Florida, except for a few limited exceptions such as when engaged in fishing, camping, lawful hunting or target practice at an indoor range. Concealed carry is legal with a Florida Concealed Weapons License (CWL) or a concealed carry permit from a state that Florida honors.

The Florida CWL allows holders of the license to carry not only a handgun but also other weapons such as electronic weapons, tear gas guns, Billie clubs and knives. An applicant must be at least 21 years old or a member of the military or an honorably discharged veteran and have completed a firearms training course. CWLs are issued to residents and non-residents. In terms of reciprocity, Florida will only honor resident CCW licenses from states with which Florida has a reciprocity agreement. You may also openly or concealed carry a stun gun or Taser for defensive purposes, as they are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. However, they are not allowed at school-sponsored events or on the property of any school, school bus or school bus stop without authorization.

Permits are not required when buying a handgun, and there is no firearms registration in Florida. Florida does not restrict the capacity of magazines for firearms. No background check is required when buying a handgun from a private individual. A purchaser must be at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun. There is a mandatory minimum waiting period for handgun purchases of three business days or as long as it takes to complete the required criminal background check — whichever occurs later. However, the waiting period does not apply to holders of concealed weapons licenses.

Where Can One Carry?

In terms of locations where a concealed handgun may be carried, anyone with a Florida CWL or a concealed carry permit from a state that Florida honors can carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Florida. There is a duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you’re carrying a concealed firearm only when specifically asked by law enforcement. Without a permit, the firearm or other weapon must be securely encased or otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, locked or unlocked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, locked or unlocked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.

Other areas where permit holders can carry concealed are:

  • Restaurants that serve alcohol in the restaurant area only, unless posted
  • State/national parks
  • State/national forests
  • Wildlife Management Areas
  • Roadside rest areas
  • Places of worship, unless posted

Locations where carry is prohibited even for permit holders include:

  • Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building
  • Any college or university facility
  • Any school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms
  • Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05
  • Any police, sheriff or highway patrol station, detention facility, prison or jail
  • Any courthouse or courtroom
  • Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof, or any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality or special district
  • Any hospital providing mental health services
  • Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • Savannas State Reserve
  • Inside the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport
  • Any polling place
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation

Visit the USCCA Florida gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer

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