Florida gun laws do not necessitate the
the registration of shotguns, rifles, or handguns. Also, there is no required Florida gun permit to purchase firearms. Under Florida gun laws, individuals that classify as eligible to purchase and possess firearms must be no less than 18 years of age. Though it is illegal for a minor to purchase or possess a firearm, the exception is that a minor may do so only with the permission of the parent or legal guardian.
This provision also includes other types of weapons such as air guns or BB guns; the only weapon that may be sold to a minor is an ordinary pocket knife, as stated under Florida gun law. Furthermore, the minor may only be in possession of a weapon only while engaged in sporting, hunting, and recreational activities that are considered as legal, and under the supervision of a parent, legal guardian, or certified or qualified instructor. Otherwise, a minor may only possess a firearm if he/she is at the place of residence, and the firearm is unloaded.
A licensed firearms dealer must also obtain a completed form from the prospective buyer of a firearm and receive approval for the transfer of a firearm by the Department of Law Enforcement, pending a background check of the individual.
It is considered illegal for a licensed firearms dealer to deliver a weapon to a buyer without having completed the aforementioned process. Those that are not subject to the background check include other licensed dealers, law enforcement and military personnel, and individuals that have already obtained a permit to carry concealed weapons. There is a three day waiting period to purchase a handgun from any licensed firearms dealer. The waiting period is waived for those individuals that have concealed weapons permits or are trading in another handgun.
There is no required permit to carry shotguns or rifles under Florida law on guns. However, those wishing to carry handguns must apply for a license or permit to do so. To carry a concealed handgun, one must apply for a license to the Department of Agriculture. The requirements of an eligible applicant are that the individual must be at least 21 years of age, a legal U.S. resident, not a convicted felon, has not been convicted of a crime in the past three years under misdemeanor, felony, or domestic violence statutes, and can provide for adequate and appropriate reasons to carry a concealed weapon.
The license is valid for a total of five years and includes the name, address, race, date of birth, and occupation of the licensed carrier. Under Florida gun laws, it is considered illegal for an individual to carry any firearm–concealed or in the open–in public, with only the following exceptions:
Individuals involved with firearms with the purpose of sport and target shooting, and while traveling to and from such locations.
Individual involved in hunting or trapping, and while traveling to and from such activities.
Law enforcement and military personnel.
Individuals involved in the firearms business, such as dealing and repairing.
A firearm may be transported in a private vehicle as long as the firearm is in a secured case and is not easily accessible by anyone traveling in the vehicle. This particular juncture pertains specifically to handguns. Rifles and shotguns may be transported anywhere in a private vehicle, as long as the use of such firearms is considered to be within the constraints of the law, and the firearm is not concealed on the person.
A unique facet of Florida gun laws is that it allows for a no “duty to retreat” clause in its legislature. Essentially, this provision of the law states that an individual has the right to defend him/herself by any means necessary–including deadly force–if he/she is attacked on a location, as long as the individual is not trespassing. An individual has the right to defend him/herself if the person feels it is absolutely necessary to prevent harm or death to him/herself or others.