I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Florida, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
Based on our most recent research, the USCCA has identified just two states with statutes against carrying a concealed firearm while wearing a mask: California and Illinois (although sheriffs and county prosecutors in Illinois have made statements indicating that wearing a mask to protect others from COVID-19 while carrying a gun isn’t illegal as long as the wearer isn’t wearing the mask while committing a crime). Due to the large number of inquiries, some states have publicly addressed their laws regarding wearing masks, clarifying that they actually refer to individuals concealing their identity with the intention to commit illegal acts or to specifically hide their identity, and do not address wearing a mask while legally carrying a concealed firearm. Both the Fort Myers Police Department and Hillsborough County officials have clarified that there is no law against carrying a gun while wearing a mask.
The following statutes were identified in Florida, that apply when the masks are worn with the intent to deprive any person or class of persons of their civil rights:
876.12 Wearing mask, hood, or other device on public way.—No person or persons over 16 years of age shall, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter upon, or be or appear upon any lane, walk, alley, street, road, highway, or other public way in this state: and
876.13 Wearing mask, hood, or other device on public property.—No person or persons shall in this state, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter upon, or be, or appear upon or within the public property of any municipality or county of the state; and
876.155 states that no person or persons wear any mask, hood, or device with the intent to deprive any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws, to injure, intimidate, threaten, abuse, harass or interfere with any person.
If you have further questions, we recommend that you reach out to your local law enforcement office, or district attorney.
Florida is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual. Buyers must be at least 21 years old to purchase any firearm and although several counties have enacted ordinances establishing waiting periods for some purchases from non-licensed sellers (often at gun shows), CWL holders are exempt.
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 for residents with a Florida Concealed Weapons License (CWL) and for non-residents with a CCW 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. Applicants 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. In terms of reciprocity, Florida will only honor resident CCW licenses from states with which Florida has a reciprocity agreement.
Florida is a Castle Doctrine state. Under Florida law, there is no duty to retreat if you are attacked in any place you have a lawful right to be. Instead, you may stand your ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others.
Use of Force A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.
Use of Deadly Force A person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony or to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground provided that the person is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
The use of deadly force is further justified when a person is resisting any attempt to murder such person or to commit any felony upon him or her or upon or in any dwelling house in which the person is located. If the defendant is in his or her home or vehicle, the law will presume that the defendant had a reasonable fear of imminent death or bodily harm if the alleged victim unlawfully entered or remained or attempted to remove another person against their will. A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter another’s home or vehicle is furthermore presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Florida?
Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. They can be openly carried for defensive purposes. However, they are not allowed at school-sponsored events or on the property of any school, school bus, or school bus stop without authorization.
A nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes can be carried in a concealed manner without a permit.
Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Florida?
Yes, with a Florida Concealed Weapons License or a CCW permit from a state that Florida honors. 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.
Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Florida?
Yes. with a Florida Concealed Weapons License or a CCW permit from a state that Florida honors.
Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?
Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Florida?
Yes, with a Florida Concealed Weapons License or a CCW permit from a state that Florida honors except as forbidden by federal law. See theNational Parks webpage for links to each National Park in Florida. Furthermore, Florida state law allows open carry while engaged in fishing, camping or lawful hunting.
Can you carry a firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Florida?
You can concealed carry in the restaurant area of an eatery that serves alcohol with a Florida concealed carry permit or a permit/license from a state that Florida honors, unless posted. However, concealed carry is not allowed in bars or the bar areas of restaurants.
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Florida?
Florida statutes don't specifically address firearms at hotels. Please note that each hotel develops their own policies and the individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See the Handguns at Hotels page for additional information.
Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?
Does Florida have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?
No public or private employer may prohibit a customer, employee or invitee from possessing a legally owned firearm or ammunition locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle in a parking lot. In addition, no employer may inquire regarding the presence of a firearm or ammunition inside or locked to a private motor vehicle in a parking lot or search a private motor vehicle in a parking lot to ascertain the presence of a firearm within the vehicle. Further, no employer may take any action against a customer, employee or invitee based upon verbal or written statements of any party concerning possession of a firearm or ammunition stored inside a private motor vehicle in a parking lot for lawful purposes.
Employers may not condition employment on whether the applicant possesses a license to carry a concealed firearm or on the existence of an agreement by the applicant not to possess a firearm or ammunition in a locked vehicle in a parking lot.
There are exceptions for correctional institutions, nuclear-powered electricity generation facilities, national defense businesses, aerospace businesses, homeland security businesses, and businesses that involve the manufacture, use, storage, or transportation of combustible or explosive materials. Please note that School districts may adopt written and published policies that prohibit the possession of concealed firearms within the interior of a private vehicle for the purposes of student and campus parking privileges.
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Florida? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
No. Florida does not enforce "No Weapons Allowed" signs.
Does Florida have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?
Yes. The state has full preemption over all gun laws for handguns and long guns. In addition, a local official who knowingly and willfully violates the statute shall be fined up to $5,000; may not be indemnified for the costs of defending himself or herself; and may be removed from office by the governor.
Yes. A petition for a risk protection order may be filed by a law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency prohibiting the respondent from having in his or her custody or control, purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or any ammunition for up to 12 months.
No. However, if any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of improper exhibition of a firearm.
Does Florida have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or chemical substances?
A person may not discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in the person’s hand while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in § 877.111, or any substance controlled under § 893, when affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. However, this statute does not apply to persons exercising lawful self-defense or defense of one’s property.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Florida?
No. A permit is not required when purchasing a handgun in Florida. The minimum age to purchase a firearm is 21.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Florida?
No. Florida has no law requiring a background check on the purchaser of a firearm when the seller is not a licensed dealer. However, the Florida Constitution states the following:
"Each county shall have the authority to require a criminal history records check and a three to five day waiting period (excluding weekends and legal holidays) in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring within such county. For purposes of this subsection, the term 'sale' means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration for any firearm when any part of the transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access. Holders of a concealed weapons permit as prescribed by general law shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection when purchasing a firearm."
Does my current Florida concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Florida?
Yes, it is either 3 business days or the time it takes to complete the required criminal background check — whichever occurs later. However, the waiting period does not apply to holders of concealed weapons permits.
Do handguns need to be registered in Florida?
No. Florida does not require handgun registration.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Florida?
You must be at least 18 years old to possess or transport a handgun in Florida, except in the following situations.
A minor under 18 years of age may not possess a firearm, other than an unloaded firearm at his or her home, unless:
The minor is engaged in a lawful hunting activity and is: 1. At least 16 years of age; or 2. Under 16 years of age and supervised by an adult.
The minor is engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice or other lawful recreational shooting activity and is: 1. At least 16 years of age; or 2. Under 16 years of age and supervised by an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.
The firearm is unloaded and is being transported by the minor directly to or from an event authorized in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Florida?
(3)...it is lawful for the following persons to own, possess, and lawfully use firearms and other weapons, ammunition, and supplies for lawful purposes: (h) A person engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition.
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State Constitutional Provision
(a) The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law. (b) There shall be a mandatory period of three days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the purchase and delivery at retail of any handgun. For the purposes of this section, ‘purchase’ means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration to the retailer, and ‘handgun’ means a firearm capable of being carried and used by one hand, such as a pistol or revolver. Holders of a concealed weapon permit as prescribed in Florida law shall not be subject to the provisions of this paragraph. (c) . . . anyone violating the provisions of subsection (b) shall be guilty of a felony. (d) This restriction shall not apply to a trade in of another handgun. The legislature of the State of Florida, in a declaration of policy incorporated in its "Weapons and Firearms" statute, recognizes that adult citizens of the state retain their constitutional right to keep and bear firearms for hunting and sporting activities and for defense of self, family, home and business and as collectibles."
Florida will only honor resident CCW licenses from states with which Florida has a reciprocity agreement. The minimum age to carry in Florida is 21 years old. Residents must have a Florida Concealed Weapons License (CWL) in order to carry in the state.
Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.
States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Florida
Florida law allows permit holders to conceal carry stun guns, billy clubs and knives. However, the laws in these states only allow for handguns and pistols to be conceal carried. In addition, some states will honor only resident Florida permits, and they are noted.
Florida offers resident and non-resident permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors Florida resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).
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 3 years;
Not have convictions for a violent crime in the last 3 years, either misdemeanor or felony;
Not been adjudicated an incapacitated person, unless 5 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 5 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 3 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;
Florida issues licenses to non-residents.The process is the same as for residents.
Notify the Division of Licensing in writing within 30 days after a change of address. You may change your address online or submit your notification to us in writing at the following address:
Division of Licensing P.O.Box 6387 Tallahassee, FL 32314-6387
Effective February 12, 2010, the Division of Licensing no longer prints the licensee's residence address on the Florida concealed weapon license. The law does not require you to obtain a revised license after a change of address so you may continue to carry your current license until it expires. If, however, you would like a revised license, please send a written request with a check or money order in the amount of $15 made payable to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You do not need to send a passport-type color photograph until it is time to renew your license.
For name changes, provide a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or court documentation.
You will need to submit a notarized statement explaining that your license has been lost, stolen or destroyed and a $15 replacement fee to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Mail your request to:
Division of Licensing P.O. Box 6387 Tallahassee, FL 32314-6387
Moving to Florida and interested in applying for a resident license? How soon can you apply? Florida issues licenses to residents and non-residents. You can apply for your Florida resident license once you have registered to vote, made a statement of domicile or filed for a homestead tax exemption on property in Florida. If you have a valid concealed carry license issued in your former home state, that license remains in effect for 90 days following the date on which you establish legal state residence in Florida.
Moving from Florida and have a Florida resident license? Does that license transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Florida license remains valid? If a person with a Florida concealed weapons license establishes residency in another state, the license is valid until it expires provided you notify the Division of Licensing of your change of address as required.
Go to your appointment. You will complete your application at a computer station. You will need the following documents:
Driver’s license or State ID and
Staff will take your fingerprints and your photo. You will pay the fee.
Some counties may require you to take a psychological test to assess your moral character and judgment.
You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.
Online Application Process Step 1: Complete your firearms training course, if required. Step 2: You will need the following documents:
Your firearms training certificate and
A digital, passport-style photo taken within the last 30 days.
Submit your application and pay the fee. Step 3: Within 90 days of submitting your online application, have your fingerprints taken by a Division of Licensing Regional Office or Law Enforcement Agency. Step 4: You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.
Note to Military Members and Veterans The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is now expediting all Florida concealed weapon or firearm license applications submitted by active military members and veterans.
Active military personnel who want to apply for a concealed weapon license should include a copy of their Common Access Card or other form of official military identification with their applications. FDACS will also accept a copy of service members' current orders as proof of active duty status.
Honorably discharged veterans should submit a copy of their DD 214 long form with their applications.
You may need to complete a training course that includes live-fire using a firearm and ammunition. A copy of a certificate from one of the following courses is required:
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 that 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); or
Documents from participation in an organized shooting competition.
No additional training is required for permit renewals.
Approximately 150 days prior to the expiration date of your license, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) will send you a renewal form with complete instructions on how to renew your license. If you fail to renew your license by its expiration date, you may renew it up to 6 months after it has expired. However, there is a late fee of $15 for renewing after the expiration date.
If your license has been expired for longer than 6 months, it cannot be renewed. You must apply for a new license.
An acceptable picture ID; for example, a driver license or state-issued identification card.
Payment method: cash, check, debit or credit card. Please note, our third-party payment processor will charge a 2.5% convenience fee for credit and debit card transactions. Checks must be made payable to David Jordan, Lake County Tax Collector and not to the Department of Agriculture.
Regional offices will accept payment by personal check, cashier’s check or money order. Regional offices cannot accept cash and cannot accept credit or debit cards for renewals.
Tax collector offices may charge an additional convenience fee of up to $12 for renewal licenses. Contact your local tax collector to determine the precise amount you will need to pay and which payment methods are accepted.
If arrested since the last issuance of your concealed weapon permit, for a non-disqualifying offense, bring with you certified copies of the court documentation reflecting the final disposition of the charge(s) filed against you.
Any legal documentation associated with a name change.
Your renewal notice.
A tax collector deputy will take your photograph and submit your renewal application electronically to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for processing. Staff will also take fingerprints when applicable; fingerprints are required for out-of-state renewals.
If renewing by mail, complete your renewal form and mail it to the address below:
Concealed Weapon or Firearm License Renewal Division of Licensing P.O. Box 6387 Tallahassee, FL 32314-6387
At a regional office: You should be able to complete the entire process of applying for a renewal license in an hour or less. Your application will be processed while you wait and you will receive your license in minutes.
At a tax collector's office: Eligible Florida residents should be able to complete the entire process of applying for a renewal license in an hour or less; your application will be processed while you wait and you will receive your license in minutes. If you are a non-Florida resident or your application requires a name change, you will receive your license by mail.
If renewing by mail, you should receive your license within two weeks of the date we receive your application.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired/separated LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
The State of Florida adopted Fla. Stat. § 943.132 in order to facilitate implementation of LEOSA. The Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC) established firearms qualification standards and authorized a process under Fla. Admin. Code Rule 11B-27.014 that allows qualified RLEOS to seek to satisfy the firearms proficiency portion of HR 218. The law authorizes the CJSTC to issue a confirmation card to persons who pass the firing range testing component. The proficiency is based on meeting the firearms minimums applied to active officers. The law authorizes, but does not require, agencies to open their ranges to retirees.
Several county Police Agencies/Sheriff’s Offices conduct qualification shoots. RLEOs should contact their local county police dept to determine if LEOSA qualification can be obtained through these organizations.
Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? You can concealed carry in the restaurant area of an eatery that serves alcohol. However, concealed carry is not allowed in bars or the bar areas of restaurants.
Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No. Without a permit the firearm or other weapon must be securely encased or otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use.
Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Yes.
Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Carry in Florida State Fairgrounds? Yes.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Florida?
Places off-limits even with a permit/license
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;
Open carry of knives is legal. All types of knives are legal with the exception of ballistic knives. Ordinary pocket knives less than 4 inches in length can be carried in a concealed manner without a permit. Anything 4 inches or longer requires a permit in order to carry concealed.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
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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