Can You Carry a Concealed Firearm in Florida?

Concealed Weapons License

It is illegal to carry a concealed firearm without a concealed weapons license—even if you are a licensed gun owner. See below to learn how to apply for a concealed carry license.

What Happens If You Carry a Concealed Firearm Without a License?

If you are caught and arrested for carrying a concealed firearm without a license, you can be charged with a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, five years of probation, and/or a fine of no more than $5,000.

It is important to note that felony convictions can also restrict certain civil liberties, including an offender’s right to bear arms. Convicted felons are not allowed to own or possess (i.e. own, possess, hold, or use) a gun and violations of this restriction also carry serious penalties.

Legal Defenses for Carrying a Concealed Firearm

To prove that this crime has been committed, the prosecution must establish (beyond a reasonable doubt) that the alleged offender knowingly carried on or about his person a firearm; concealed the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person and at that time, the alleged offender was not licensed to carry a concealed firearm.

Possible defenses against these charges include:

  • The alleged offender did not have knowledge or exclusive control of the firearm.
  • The alleged offender did not possess a firearm.
  • The alleged offender had a concealed carry license.
  • The firearm was in plain sight.
  • The firearm was not readily accessible or was not ready for immediate use.
  • The prosecution lacks evidence and cannot prove a crime was committed.

Even if you have a license, you cannot carry a handgun or concealed firearm in locations including but limited to:

  • A courthouse or courtroom
  • A detention facility, jail, or prison
  • A police, sheriff, or highway patrol station
  • A career center
  • A place of nuisance (see Florida Statute § 823.05)
  • A polling center
  • A school, college, or athletic event
  • A business establishment licensed to sell alcoholic drinks
  • An airport terminal
  • Any location that prohibits firearms under federal law

What Is a Concealed Firearm?

Under Florida Statute § 790.001, a firearm is any weapon that is designed to, will, or can be easily made to release a projectile via an explosion, a firearm muffler or silencer, a destructive device, the frame or receiver of a weapon, or a machine. Antique firearms are not included in this definition unless they are used to commit a crime.

Under the same statute, a concealed firearm is any firearm included in the previous definition that is carried on or about a person (i.e. is readily accessible to a person) in such a way that would obstruct another person from viewing the weapon.

Get Help from Our Experienced Weapon Crimes Attorney

To protect your rights and freedom, you need the help of a reliable attorney. For nearly two decades, the Law Offices of Jeffrey Grossman, LLC has helped clients achieve favorable case results by providing them with aggressive, individualized legal representation. Our attorney understands that each case is different and offers each client:

  • A personalized defense strategy
  • Honest guidance on possible case outcomes
  • Aggressive representation
  • Decades of experience

How to Apply for a Concealed Carry License

You must submit an application to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Under Florida Statute § 790.06, you can qualify for a license if you are:

  • A legal, permanent resident or citizen of the United States
  • At least 21 years old
  • Competent with a firearm (as evidenced by the completion of safety training, and/or an educational course administered by the National Rifle Association, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a law enforcement agency, or other suitable association)
  • Found to have not been committed to a mental institution
  • Not a convicted felon
  • Not awaiting sentencing or serving a suspended sentence for a felony or misdemeanor violent offense (unless 3 years have passed since probation or other conditions have been fulfilled or your record has been expunged)
  • Not deemed an incapacitated person (see Florida Statute § 744.331)
  • Not prohibited from owning, buying, or carrying a firearm by Florida or federal laws
  • Not suffering from a substance or drug abuse problem
  • Physically able to handle a firearm safely (even if you suffer from a physical disability)

To complete the application, you will need the following information and documents as well as the nonrefundable license fee of $55 (for standard issuance; if you are applying for renewal, the fee is $45):

  • Your legal name, address, and birthdate
  • A statement that you adhere to the qualification guidelines
  • A statement that you have read or received a link or copy of Florida Statute § 790.06
  • A statement that you are applying for this license as a means of lawful self-defense
  • An acknowledgment of the warning that you face a second-degree misdemeanor for willfully falsifying information in the application

In Florida, concealed carry licenses are valid for 7 years, starting on the date of issuance. After receiving your license, you should carry your license with you when you have a concealed firearm as a police officer may ask you to prove you are licensed.

If you have been charged with a weapons crime, contact our firm today online or at (954) 280-8811. Once you retain our firm, we can work to investigate the incident, collect evidence in support of your defense, get prosecutorial evidence dismissed, and mitigate your charges.