Gun ownership and safety is consistently a hot topic of discussion. With the ever-changing laws related to gun ownership, it’s important to, at the least, have a rough understanding of the rules and regulations associated with firearms. While this list below is only a snapshot of Florida gun laws, it will help get you started on the road to understanding gun ownership and policies.
The State of Florida has many regulations associated with personal firearms, such as it is unlawful for:
- a convicted felon to have in his or her possession any firearm or to carry a concealed weapon (at least in most cases).
- drug addicts, alcoholics, mental incompetents, and vagrants to own, possess or use any firearm.
- any dealer to sell or transfer any firearm, pistol, or other repeating rifle to a minor.
- a minor less than 18 years of age to possess a firearm, other than an unloaded firearm at his home, unless engaged in lawful activities.
Unless covered under the exceptions, it is unlawful to openly carry on or about the person any firearm, or to carry a concealed firearm on or about the person without a license.
Exceptions Include (but are not limited to):
- Persons having firearms at their home or place of business
- Enrolled members of clubs organized for target, skeet, or trapshooting, while at, or going to or from shooting practice
- Members of clubs organized for collecting antique or modern firearms while at or going to or from exhibitions
- Persons engaged in fishing, camping or hunting and while going to or from such activity
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. It is unlawful to knowingly discharge a firearm in any public place, except in defense of life or property or in performance of official duties or where expressly approved for hunting. It is unlawful to have or carry a firearm in the presence of one or more persons and exhibit the firearm in a threatening manner, except in cases of self-defense.
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