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.
- Gun Laws at a Glance
- Firearm License Requirements
- Background Checks
- Gun Shows
- Ammunition and Hardware Restrictions
- Prohibited Persons
- Prohibited Places
- Concealed Carry Laws
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|
|Large Capacity Magazine Ban||No|
Firearm License Requirements
Florida does not require gun owners to obtain any kind of license.
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.
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
|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.|
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
|Schools||Firearms are prohibited on school grounds. This includes:
|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
|“No Gun” Signs||No|
|State Park Carry||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:
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.