Domestic Violence charges: Can I get a concealed carry permit?
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provide direction for those who wish to apply for a concealed carry permit under Florida law. There are some basic requirements including:
- You must be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident
- You must be able to use a weapon effectively
- You must be at least 21 years of age
It is important to remember that the right to possess a firearm is governed both by state and federal law and there are times when these laws may appear to be in conflict with each other. Under Florida law, if more than three years has passed since a criminal conviction for a violent crime, you may be eligible to apply for a concealed weapons permit.
- However under federal laws, there are restrictions on purchase and ownership of any firearm or ammunition that apply to misdemeanor domestic violations including:
- Conviction with physical force against a current or former spouse
- Conviction with physical force against a parent or guardian
- Conviction with physical force when you formerly lived with the victim as spouse, parent or guardian
- Conviction with physical force when you and the victim have a child
When Charges are Pending or Arrest Occurs
When someone files a restraining order as a result of domestic violence charges against you, you will not be allowed to request a concealed weapon permit nor can you legally purchase a firearm or ammunition. This is consistent with federal gun laws.
Anyone who is arrested for a domestic violence charge will have their concealed carry permit removed pending the outcome of the charges. Keep in mind, under Florida laws, the victim does not have to initiate charges, the prosecutor has discretion over filing all charges.
Too often, domestic violence charges are filed out of spite during divorce proceedings or after the breakup of a long-term relationship. These charges should never be taken lightly. A conviction for domestic violence charges cannot be sealed or expunged under Florida law and may impact your ability to own a weapon or even purchase ammunition under federal laws. Even though Florida allows you to apply for a concealed carry permit if more than three years have passed since adjudication, depending on who the victim was, you may face challenges under federal laws.