Understanding Florida’s New Concealed Weapons Laws

Understanding Florida’s New Concealed Weapons LawsIf you own guns in Florida or plan to buy weapons in the near future, it is a good idea to be well-informed about the various laws involved so that you can avoid criminal charges and other legal issues. This is especially true if you plan to carry your firearm in public.

The laws regarding concealed weapons were changed on July 1, 2023, with Florida residents now allowed to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Permits are still available from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services if a gun owner desires one.

It is important to know that not all people in Florida can legally carry concealed weapons. There are various requirements that must be followed:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien
  • At least 21 years old
  • No felony convictions

Note that there is concealed carry of a firearm (when the firearm being carried is not visible to others) and open carry of a firearm (where the firearm is visible). Open carry is a misdemeanor except when hunting and fishing. Firearms can also be visible for display or self-defense.

However, concealed carry is not always available in the state. In Florida, private property owners can legally prohibit others from bringing firearms onto their property. They can do so by designating the property as a so-called “gun-free zone.” This usually involves posting signs to that effect, but there are some exceptions to this general rule:

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  • Firearms are not permitted on properties designated as gun-free zones under Florida law, such as schools, jails, courthouses, and bars.
  • There is a parking lot exception, in which firearms can be kept in a locked vehicle parked on an owner’s property, even in a gun-free zone.
  • There is a home exception, in which firearms may be kept by an occupant in their rented home, even if the landlord has designated the premises as a gun-free zone.
  • There is a place of business exception, in which firearms may be kept by the operator of a business and its employees in their rented business, even if the landlord has designated the premises as a gun-free zone.

Florida law, as well as the Second Amendment, also allows homeowners and renters to defend themselves in their homes. This means that a person may own and use firearms in their own home, regardless of any other restrictions. Ownership of the home is not a requirement. Even a rented apartment unit or hotel room can be considered a home under the law if that is where a person resides.

Contact Us Today

When carrying a firearm — even a concealed one — it is a good idea to understand the laws involved.

Firearm charges can result in serious penalties. It is important to have an attorney when it matters. See how the experienced Orlando criminal defense attorneys at HAWM Law can help you get a fair outcome. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with our office today by calling (407) 802-3223 or going online.

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