Generally, Florida law allows a responsible adult to own a firearm without a license. Adults who have not been barred from owning a firearm are allowed to have the weapon in their home or may carry the weapon in their car provided the gun is not on the person. The exception to the law is those who have obtained a concealed carry permit which allows you to carry a firearm on your person where it cannot be readily seen by another person. Florida Statues, Section 790.001(2) states a concealed firearm is “any firearm…which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person“.
Who may apply for a concealed carry permit?
Florida law allows an adult over the age of 21 to apply for a concealed carry permit provided they are not prohibited from doing so by other statues. Some of the offenses which could result in a denial include:
- Prior drug possession arrests
- Domestic violence charges that are fewer than three years old
- Those who have had a history of drug or alcohol abuse
Those who apply for a concealed carry permit must also demonstrate they are capable of properly handling a weapon which can be accomplished by taking a firearms course. Some of the persons exempt from applying for a concealed carry permit include off duty law enforcement officers, judges and those who were discharged from the military under honorable conditions.
When concealed carry is not permitted
There are certain situations where even with a concealed carry permit you may not have a weapon in your possession. Some of these include when you are visiting a prisoner in jail, when you are entering a courthouse or a police station and other locations as determined by Florida statutes. In addition, you may not show your weapon in order to intimidate another person while you have a concealed carry permit.
Arrests and concealed carry
Any person who has a concealed carry permit and has a handgun on their person at the time of their arrest must inform law enforcement officers they have the weapon. Law enforcement officers may seize the weapon until such time as you are no longer under the jurisdiction of law enforcement unless the charges you are facing prohibit you from retaining your weapon. Some of these charges include (but may not be limited to) domestic violence charges and drug charges.
It is also important to note that under Fla. Stat. § 741.31(4)(a)(8), there is not a mechanism for the courts to order someone to surrender their guns. When a person has a restraining order or protective order placed against them however, the courts may order them to surrender their guns and concealed carry permit and it is illegal to refuse to follow this order.
If you have a concealed carry permit and feel your rights are being violated or you are trying to get your concealed carry permit reinstated after an arrest, you may need the assistance of a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.