By September 13, 2017 Read More →

‘It’s The Law’ by Greg Wilson- ‘Do You Understand Florida’s Gun Laws?’

There are rules and regulations everywhere you look, and it’s important to be cognizant of the law.  As they say, ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse’, and a number of laws are important to know and understand.

In this series of articles, we will be explaining some of the laws with which you should probably be familiar, and today we will address the question ‘Do You Understand Florida’s Gun Laws?’.

Each state’s gun laws vary significantly. If you are new to Florida, or are purchasing a gun for the first time, it is important to make sure that you understand your rights and limits when it comes to owning and operating a firearm.

Florida supports your Second Amendment right to bear arms; however, this right comes with a number of responsibilities. Do you know Florida’s primary gun control laws?

Do you need to register your firearm?

Florida does not have firearm owners register their guns. And there are no gun licensing requirements. Under Florida law, it is illegal for the government to keep a list of firearm users. They argue that keeping a record of firearm owners could lead to profiling, and abusing citizens who are acting within their Constitutional rights.

Therefore, if you own firearms and have just moved to Florida, you do not re-register your firearms in Florida.

There are exceptions to Florida’s lack of registration. Individuals who used firearms in a crime, the firearms used in a crime and stolen firearms are all documented.

What firearms are not allowed in Florida?

In addition to weapons banned by federal law, Florida does not allow short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shot guns or machine guns.

Can everyone own a firearm?

You cannot own a firearm if:

  1. You are under the age of 21
  2. You are a convicted felon
  3. You were convicted for abusing a controlled substance within the last 3 years
  4. You abuse alcohol or other drugs
  5. You were determined to be either mentally or physically incapacitated
  6. You committed acts of domestic violence

Can you carry a concealed weapon?

You must be issued a license to legally carry a concealed weapon. If you have a license, you must carry it with you along with valid ID when you carry a weapon.

It is considered a felony to carry a concealed firearm without a license. Note that this does not apply if you are fishing, hunting or camping.

What is a “stand your ground law?”

Florida follows a self defense “stand your ground” policy which allow threatened individuals to use their firearms with deadly intent.

This differs from states that follow a “duty to retreat” policy. In “duty to retreat” states, firearm carriers must retreat from any threat as much as possible before they resort to violent force.

In Florida, firearm owners are legally allowed to use force to defend themselves without first attempting to retreat from the danger.

There can be serious consequences if you are accused of a firearm crime in Florida. Contact an attorney who can help you determine your rights, and fight for your best interests.

This series is not meant to constitute legal advice, and you should always consult an attorney when in doubt, when making life-changing legal decisions or when accused of a crime.  If you have a suggestion for an article, please submit your idea in email to greg@gregwilsonlaw.net.

Greg Wilson is an attorney practicing law in the greater Panama City, Florida area, with offices in Marianna, Chipley, Bonifay, Blountstown and Panama City.  For more information please call Greg Wilson at 850-600-7088.

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