Your Second Amendment rights provides each individual the right to bear arms to provide for the common self-defense. The question is, are there limitations? The Supreme Court, while granting the right to bear arms to individuals, still provides restrictions so the United States does not turn into the Wild West. Florida follows the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing individuals to bear arms and places restrictions on its citizens to ensure the safety of its citizens. In order to carry a firearm on your person, it is required to have a concealed carry permit. However, concealed carry permits are not necessary for every situation.
Florida has certain requirements to obtain a concealed carry license. Those requirements include:
- Being at least 21 years old (unless in the armed forces).
- A U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien and currently residing in the United States.
- Provide a certificate of completion from a licensed firearm training class to display competency.
- No disqualifying criminal record.
- You must complete the application, submit payment, and provide fingerprints.
If wanting to obtain a concealed carry permit, certain criminal convictions and charges will stop you. For instance, if you have a misdemeanor on your record, you must wait 3 years before becoming eligible. However, if the misdemeanor is for domestic violence, due to the nature of the crime, you are not eligible for a permit. Lastly, if you have a felony conviction, Florida or federal, you are not eligible for a permit. If the charge, however, results in a withholding adjudication, you must wait 3 years before becoming eligible.
Concealed carry permits are not necessary in every situation. If without a concealed carry permit, you may have a weapon:
- In your home or business (pertaining specifically to business owners)
- Transporting to another location.
- Standing your ground in self-defense.
Otherwise, including when transporting, the firearm must be in a secured case that is not readily accessible. If caught carrying a firearm on your person without a concealed carry permit, it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, resulting in up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. So, imagine you are driving down the road and the gun is sitting in your center console. You do not have a concealed carry permit. Because that gun is easily accessible, even though it is being transported, you can be arrested. However, if the gun is in its case and in the glovebox, that is not easily accessible because you cannot quickly reach and grab for it. In that situation, you are within your rights.
Concealed carry permits allow an individual to carry a firearm on their person. So long as you are carrying your permit with you, in your wallet, purse, backpack, etc., you can take the firearm into stores, restaurants, gas stations, and countless other locations. The welfare of those around you is always a concern, so practicing firearm safety and keeping the weapon concealed are always good practices to limit your chances of law enforcement issues. Even with a concealed carry permit, there are locations that weapons are forbidden. Those include:
- Law enforcement stations
- Detention facilities
- Schools and universities
- Governing body meetings
For more information on firearm licensing and regulations, the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (FDACS) website and Florida Statute 790.06 contains all pertinent requirements and laws for concealed carry permits and an in-depth reading where firearms are and are not allowed.
Firearm laws, both federally and statewide, are challenging. There are even restrictions to getting a concealed carry license permit and allowing gun store owners to sell you a firearm or ammunition. To better understand your Second Amendment rights, understand firearm laws, and obtain a strong defense if ever charged with a firearm offense, call the Law Office of Adams & Luka, P.A. today for a free consultation.