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Florida Gun Laws – Buying & Owning Firearms

How To Buy A Gun In Florida

Florida is a state that regulates the sale, possession, and use of guns and ammunition. Due to continuous shooting incidents in the state, we’ve seen changes in Florida gun laws take place. To guide you, our team gathered the specific process for buying a gun in Florida.

5 Steps in Buying A Gun in Florida

1. Meet The Age Requirement

Based on the gun laws implemented by Florida, a purchaser must be at least 21 years old to be allowed to purchase a firearm in Florida. However, there are exemptions to this rule. 

If you are a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or one of the service members of the armed forces, you can purchase long guns if you are at least 18 years old.

In addition, minors or those are allowed to possess a gun if they participate in a lawful recreational shooting activity, legal target shooting, lawful marksmanship competition, and transporting an unloaded firearm.

2. Meet Other Eligibility Requirements

Unlike other states, the state of Florida can be straightforward when it comes to other eligibility requirements. Aside from meeting the age requirement, you must be a law-abiding citizen to make it easier for you to purchase a firearm.  

Some of its eligibility requirement is your permanent residency or permanent resident alien card for Resident Aliens, and deployment documentation if a serving overseas in the US Army. In addition, you must pass the background check, not have any criminal records like felony and domestic violence, mental illness, or history of substance abuse.

Meet Other Eligibility Requirements

3. Visit A Federally-Licensed Dealer

Florida does not require firearms dealers to secure a state license. However, the Federal Law and the ATF requires gun sellers to secure a federal-level license when selling firearms [1]

We highly recommend buying on a dealer with a firearm license from Federal Law to avoid any problems in the future. In addition, when buying a gun from a licensed dealer, make sure to bring your identification card to prove your age and identity.

4. Pass The Background Check

After deciding what gun to purchase, you will now undergo a background check with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A form from the firearms dealer should be filled with your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, and contact information. 

This process is required and not disregarded even if concealed weapons permit holders from Florida or planning to transfer a gun with private parties. In addition, this step is needed for every purchase of guns. The FFL dealer will call the Florida DLE for an instant background check. 

Pass The Background Check

5. Wait For A Few Days To Get Your Gun

After submitting your form for background checking, it will take waiting periods before you bring home your gun. A mandatory three-day waiting period happens to prevent impulsive acts by giving them time to cool down. 

This process is one of Florida’s initiatives in preventing shooting incidents, and only ten states require a waiting period when buying a gun. 

However, this mandatory waiting period does not apply to law enforcers, correctional officers, holders of concealed weapon permits, trade-in of another firearm, a 16-hour hunter safety course, or possess a hunter safety certificate card.

Also Read:

Concealed Weapon License

Concealed Weapon License

How To Get It

Open carry is illegal in Florida, but concealed carry and church carry are not. So, if you plan on bringing a loaded firearm for personal protection like concealed weapons, you must secure a concealed weapon permit. Bringing concealed weapons without a license and trigger lock can be a crime charged with a felony. 

To get a concealed weapon license, you must demonstrate competency with your weapon by completing courses. You must complete courses either on State Hunter education course, National Rifle Association training course, Firearms Safety Course from law enforcement agency or as part of a job training.  

The Requirements To Meet

Aside from providing your competency to use the firearm to conceal carry safely, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services needs additional eligibility requirements. You must be at least 21 years old and must provide proof of residency to be allowed to file for a concealed carry license. 

You should not have committed any crime or demerits on your official record, such as felony, driving under the influence of any controlled substance for the last three years. In addition, there should not be any record of a misdemeanor crime, misdemeanor domestic violence, and dishonor discharge from the armed forces.

Who Can’t Buy A Gun in Florida

Who Can’t Buy A Gun
  • Purchaser younger than 18 years old
  • People with certain crimes like felony convictions and domestic violence
  • With violent misdemeanor conviction and adjudication withheld
  • Those fugitives and illegal immigrants
  • Those unlawful users of controlled substance and alcohol
  • People who are adjudicated mentally defective
  • Members of the Armed Forces that are dishonorably discharged
  • People who renounced their citizenship in the US
  • Those under active protection order and adjudicated delinquent in crimes
  • With completing sentencing provisions
  • People with the inability to handle a firearm safely
  • With DUI convictions for the last three years
  • Failing to provide proficiency with the gun
  • Recently arrested on potentially disqualifying crime

Places Where You Can’t Carry Your Gun

Places Where You Can’t Carry Your Gun
  • Police, Highway Patrol, and sheriff’s stations
  • Courtrooms and courthouses
  • Detention facility, Jails, and prison 
  • Polling places
  • School, Administration and University zones
  • Passenger terminal, airport, and aircrafts
  • State and National Parks
  • Common and Public No carry zones
  • Any place of nuisance
  • License establishments with alcoholic beverage consumptions
  • Professional athletic events not related to firearms
  • Any place barred by the Federal Law

FAQS

No, non-Florida residents cannot buy guns in Florida. You must present proof that you are a Florida resident and not an illegal immigrant before you are allowed to purchase a firearm in Florida.

No, you do not have to report your lost gun to Florida Law Enforcement. The state of Florida does not regulate the registry of handguns. Since there is no license required nor limit number when you purchase a handgun, you are not required to report a lost gun or get legal advice.

Purchasing a Gun in Florida

There is no need to secure a permit or license when buying a gun in Florida, and you have the right to use any deadly force if threatened. As long as you meet the age requirement and other eligibility, possession of a firearm is very accessible. It would be easier for a reasonable person to purchase a handgun for hobby or protection with this.

However, since the gun laws of Florida promotes safe gun ownership, you may need to pass a background check. You also need to wait for a three-day waiting period, excluding weekends, before you can get your handgun.

References:

  1. https://www.atf.gov/firearms/apply-license

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