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Florida Gun Laws

Florida gun laws are not particularly restrictive. The state of Florida generally accepts the right to bear arms and has only a few laws that infringe upon that right. Although Florida enforces anti-gun regulations like waiting periods and ammunition restrictions, it is relatively easy to obtain a firearm in the state. There are no licensing or registration requirements, and local governments may not make gun laws that are intended to override state legislation. Furthermore, Florida is a ‘shall issue’ state, which makes obtaining a concealed carry license fairy simple. Florida is a largely gun-friendly state, despite a few outstanding restrictions.

Florida Gun Laws at a Glance


Concealed Carry Premit Required Yes
Open Carry Premitted No
Waiting period before purchasing Yes
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting No
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check No
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements


Florida does not require gun owners to obtain any kind of license.

Background Checks


Firearms dealers in Florida must initiate background checks by contacting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Florida law prohibits a licensed dealer from selling inventory to any individual without:

  • Obtaining a completed form from the buyer and inspecting photographic identification
  • Calling the FDLE and for a check of “the information as reported and reflected in the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center systems as of the date of the request”
  • Receiving an approval number from FDLE and recording that number and the date on the buyer’s form

Florida law does not require that private sellers perform background checks on the transfers of firearms.

Gun Shows


Florida does not explicitly regulate gun shows. However, buyers must observe a three-day waiting period when purchasing handguns at gun shows.
Florida also permits counties to enact ordinances that do require background checks on firearm transfers occurring on property that the public may access.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons No restrictions
50 Caliber Rifles No restrictions
Machine Guns Florida law prohibits anyone from possessing or owning machine guns, but does not mention the: manufacture, transfer, transportation, licensing, or registration of machine guns.
Large Capacity Magazines No restrictions
Ammunition The following types of ammunition are prohibited by Florida law: armor-piercing bullets, exploding bullet, “dragon’s breath” shotgun shells, bolo shells, and flechette shells.

Prohibited Persons


Florida law prohibits any person from owning a firearm if he or she:

  • Has been convicted of a felony
  • Is under 24 years of age and has been convicted of a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult
  • Is the subject of a final injunction that restrains the person from committing acts of domestic violence
  • Is a violent career criminal
  • Has been adjudicated mentally defective or has been committed to any mental institution
  • Is the subject of a risk protection order that prohibits that person from possessing, acquiring, or attempting to acquire any firearms

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Firearms are prohibited on school grounds. This includes:
  • Elementary or secondary administration buildings or facilities
  • Technical or career centers
  • School, college, or professional athletic events not related to firearms.
  • Colleges and Universities
None.
Vehicles Individuals who are 18 and over are allowed to carry a handgun in a vehicle without a concealed carry permit as long as the weapon is "securely encased." This means that the gun must be stored in a place where it is not immediately accessible, such as in a closed glove box or in a zippered gun case.
Long guns can be stored anywhere in a vehicle as long as they are being transported by the owner for a lawful purpose.
Business owners cannot prevent employees or customers from keeping a lawfully owned firearm in a locked vehicle in the company's parking lot.
Public Courthouses Firearms are prohibited in any building or structure owned, operated, leased, or rented by any county or municipality or by the state. None.
Locations and events selling alcohol Firearms permitted with proper licensing. None.

Concealed Carry Laws


Notify Officer No
“No Gun” Signs No
In-Vehicle Carry Yes
Restaurant Carry Yes
State Park Carry Yes
While Hunting Yes

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

To carry a firearm for personal protection in the state of Florida, an individual must possess a Concealed Weapon License (CWL). This concealed carry permit is different from that of other states because it authorizes its holders to conceal and carry weapons beyond guns, such as knives, billy clubs, and stun guns. Without a CWL, it is legal to carry a nonlethal electric weapon or a chemical spray that was developed specifically for the purpose of self-defense.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
An applicant for a concealed carry license in Florida must:
  • Be over 21 years old, a member of the military, or be an honorably discharged veteran
  • Have completed an approved firearms safety and training class
  • Be a US citizen or legal resident
  • Not suffer from any physical condition which prevents the safe handling of a firearm
  • Not be ineligible to possess a firearm to a felony conviction
  • Not habitually use alcohol or other substances to the extent that he or she becomes impaired
  • Not have two or more DUI convictions in the previous three year period
  • Not have convictions for a violent crime in the past 3 years
  • Not have been determined to be an incapacitated person by a court, unless 5 years have passed since the applicant’s restoration to capacity (by court order)
  • Not have been committed to a mental institution (unless the applicant can produce a certificate from a licensed psychiatrist that he or she has not suffered from any disability for the past 5 years
  • Not have had an adjudication of guilt or a suspended sentence on any misdemeanor crime of violence (unless 3 years have passed since probation or other conditions have been fulfilled adequately, or unless the record has been expunged)
  • Not be currently under an injunction that restrains the applicant from committing acts of violence or domestic violence
  • Demonstrate competence with a firearm
  • Be eligible to possess a firearm under Federal and Florida law

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

Applicants must also be able to demonstrate competency with their firearms, which can be done by completing a National Rifle Association training course, a firearms safety course during training for jobs in law enforcement, or a safety course taught by any certified agency.

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a valid concealed carry license, you may not possess any concealed firearms at, on, or in:

  • An elementary or secondary school building
  • Any college or university facility
  • Any school, college, or professional athletic event not pertaining to firearms
  • Any areas of a vocational-technical center
  • Any career center
  • Any place of nuisance
  • Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station
  • Any detention facilities (including prisons and jails)
  • Any courthouse
  • Any polling place
  • Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof
  • Any meeting of the governing body of any county, school district, municipality, or special district
  • Any hospital that provides mental health services
  • Any portion of an establishment licensed to sell or distribute alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption
  • Savannas State Reserve
  • Inside the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport
  • Any place where firearms are prohibited by state or federal law or regulation

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.