Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state.
Similar to permit requirements, the processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry permit, what the permits/licenses are called, whether permits include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, permit duration, permit costs and turnaround times vary greatly by state. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of character references (non-relatives).
Read about the process for getting a Florida Concealed Weapons License (CWL) below.
Concealed Carry Permit Basics
Florida is a shall-issue state, with concealed weapons licenses issued at the state level by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). This means permitting authorities in Florida are compelled to issue a permit as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements.
The Florida CWL allows a licensee to carry a handgun and other weapons, such as electronic weapons, tear gas guns, billy clubs and knives. An applicant must be at least 21 years old and have completed a firearms training course or be a current member of the military or an honorably discharged veteran. CWLs are issued to residents and non-residents. A CWL is valid for seven years.
Federally Prohibited Persons
The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry license/permit, as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.
What Are the Permit Requirements in Florida?
An applicant must:
- Be at least 21 years old or a member of the military or an honorably discharged veteran
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien
- Have completed an approved firearms training class (waived for current members of the military and honorably discharged veterans)
- Not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon or firearm
- Not be ineligible to possess a firearm due to a felony conviction
- Not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired
- Not have two or more DUI convictions within the previous three years
- Not have convictions for a violent crime — either misdemeanor or felony — in the last three years
- Not have been adjudicated an incapacitated person unless five years have elapsed since the applicant’s restoration to capacity by court order
- Not have been committed to a mental institution, unless the applicant produces a certificate from a licensed psychiatrist stating that he or she has not suffered from disability for at least five years prior
- Not have had an adjudication of guilt withheld or the imposition of a sentence suspended on any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled, or the record has been expunged
- Not have been issued an injunction that is currently in force and effect and that restrains the applicant from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence
- Not be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm by any other provision of Florida or federal law
- Demonstrate competence with a firearm
- Meet the federal law requirements mentioned above
Do I Need Firearms Training in Florida?
Florida law requires you to submit proof of competency with a firearm. A copy of a Certificate of Completion or similar document from any of the following courses or classes is acceptable:
- NRA training course
- Hunter safety course that has been approved by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission or by a similar organization in another state
- Any firearms safety course offered by a college, law enforcement agency, private or public institution with instructors who are certified by the NRA, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or Criminal Justice Training Commission
- A firearms training course with a state-certified instructor
- DD Form 214 or military orders (for active-duty or former members of the military)
- Documents from participation in an organized shooting competition
No additional training is required for license renewals.
How Do I Get a Concealed Carry License in Florida?
Florida has an online application process, but you may apply in person by making an appointment to complete the online application at either an FDACS Regional Office or a Tax Collector’s Office. (Please note that this option may be limited due to COVID-19.) There is no need to complete an application in advance.
Step 1: Complete your firearms training course, if required.
Step 2: You will need the following documents:
- Your firearms training certificate
- A digital, passport-style photo taken within the last 30 days
Step 3: Submit your application either online or in person and pay the $97 fee as well as the optional $12-$22 convenience fee the Tax Collector may require.
Step 4: For an in-person application, staff will take your fingerprints and photo. For an online application, have your fingerprints taken by a Division of Licensing Regional Office or Law Enforcement Agency within 90 days of submitting your online application.
Step 5: You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.
For more information, 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.