Florida Constitutional Carry, Concealed Carry and Florida Open Carry Laws
Florida just became the 26th state with a Constitutional Carry law on the books! Effective July 1, 2023
- *UPDATE 4/3/2023: Florida is now the 26th State to pass Constitutional Carry into Law.
- Florida Is Not a Constitutional (Permitless) Carry State
- Open Carry Laws in Florida
- Concealed Carry Laws in Florida
- Concealed Carry Laws in Florida: How to get a CHL in Florida
- Gun permit related statistics in Florida in 2022
- Florida Concealed Carry Reciprocity with other States
- Concealed Carry Laws in Florida: Restrictions FAQs
- Are there places I cannot carry a firearm, even if I have a Concealed Carry Permit in Florida?
- Concealed Carry Laws in Florida: Laws Regarding the Sale or Transfer of Firearms
- FAQ About Firearms Laws in Florida
This article will provide an overview of the state of Florida gun laws. Open Carry and Concealed Carry laws in Florida will also be discussed. Florida is a moderately gun-friendly state. As you will see below, Florida has restrictions on how you may carry a handgun and does require a permit to do so.
Disclaimer: This article is NOT LEGAL ADVICE and is for Informational Purposes Only. Gun Laws can be tricky and unclear at times and changes are made often. We take no responsibility for the use or misuse of any information contained in this article. You are responsible for knowing the gun laws if you are going to carry a gun. Consult a Lawyer with any questions. See Footnote*
*UPDATE 4/3/2023: Florida is now the 26th State to pass Constitutional Carry into Law.
Governor DeSantis has signed into law a Constitutional Carry Law in the State of Florida. Effective July 1, 2023, citizens 21 years of age or older, that are legally allowed to possess a firearm, do not need a permit to carry a firearm to carry concealed. Details to come as I get more information.
Florida Is Not a Constitutional (Permitless) Carry State
Constitutional Carry is not legal in Florida. You must have a Florida Concealed Weapons Permit to carry a handgun.
Carrying a handgun legally without a permit is referred to as “Constitutional Carry” or “Permitless Carry”. Many states (25 in August, 2022) have adopted a version of law to allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights. See: Which States Have Constitutional or Permitless Carry?
Open Carry Laws in Florida
Open Carry is not allowed in Florida. The new law that was just passed applies to Concealed Carry only. It is allowed only in a residence, private business or private property that is owned or legally possessed by the the person carrying the firearm.
There are some exceptions when Open Carry is Legal in Florida. These exceptions include activities such as hunting (where legal), fishing, indoor target practice, etc.
Concealed Carry Laws in Florida
A Florida CWL (Concealed Weapons License) is required to carry a concealed handgun in Florida. A Florida Concealed Weapons License may be referred to as a CWL, CCW, Permit, Concealed Carry Permit or Weapons Permit for the purposes of this article.
Florida is a shall-issue state. This means that as long as a CCW applicant meets the requirements, he/she will be issued a permit, regardless of whether the issuing agent believes applicant “deserves” or has a specific reason to have such a license.
Concealed Carry Laws in Florida: How to get a CHL in Florida
The Florida Gun Permit is called an CWL, which stands for Concealed Weapons License. It may be referred to as a permit, license to carry or concealed carry permit. It all means the same thing for the purposes of this article.
Florida Concealed Carry Permits are issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, also know as FDACS. See Florida Concealed Weapons License Information.
Florida Concealed Weapons License Fee is currently a total of $97, consisting of these Fees:
- License Fee $55
- Fingerprinting Processing Fee $42
The Florida CWL requires a Certificate of completion of a Firearms Training course that included live fire of a firearm and ammunition. Types of courses that are eligible and other requirements can be viewed at Florida Statutes chapter 790.06.
Here is a link to the Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License website.
Here is the online Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearms License Application Manual.
Minimum age to get a Concealed Weapons License (CWL) in Florida
You must be at least 21 years old to apply for a Concealed Weapons License (CWL) in the State of Florida.
Gun permit related statistics in Florida in 2022
- There have been 2.3 Million permits issued in Florida.
- Florida state population is 22 million.
- Percentage of the population of Florida with a permit is about 10.5%.
- States that currently honor the Florida carry permit: 37.
- Florida currently honors 35 other states permits.
- Concealed carry permits in Florida are good for 7 years.
- Florida is a “shall issue” state. (Shall- issue means that if you apply for a permit they will issue you one unless there is a legal reason not to. Such as if you are a convicted felon.)
Firearms Legal Protection
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Florida Concealed Carry Reciprocity with other States
Florida honors and recognizes many other states Concealed Carry Licenses with some restrictions. The Florida CWL is honored in many other states as well. See Florida Concealed Carry Reciprocity for list of states and restrictions.
Concealed Carry Laws in Florida: Restrictions FAQs
Are there places I cannot carry a firearm, even if I have a Concealed Carry Permit in Florida?
Under Florida law, concealed handguns are prohibited in these locations (This is not a complete list):
- Any elementary or secondary school facility or Administration building. (Firearms in vehicles are legal on school property in Florida as long as they stay in the vehicle, but some schools may prohibit this)
- Anyone trespassing on school property is prohibited from possessing any weapon. (“School property” includes the buildings and grounds of nonpublic or public educational properties including: kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools. Also, secondary schools, career centers, post-secondary schools, etc.)
- College and University Facility or building
- Any School, College or Professional Athletic Event (that is not related to firearms)
- Any Vocational-Technical center
- Any Career Center
- Any building or premises declared a place of “Nuisance” as defined by Florida Statutes 823.05
- A Sheriff, Highway Patrol or Police Station
- Detention facilities and Correctional institutions (jails, prisons, etc)
- Restricted Areas of Airport terminals
- Facilities that care for those with mental illness.
- Any meeting of the legislature or committee thereof, or any county, school district, municipality or special district governing body meeting.
- Any Courthouse
- Any polling place
- Bars or bar areas of restaurants.
- Savannas State Reserve
- Any area the federal government prohibits firearms.
You should be attentive for signs warning of restricted areas especially when carrying firearms into public places.
Can I carry in Restaurants or Bars in Florida?
Yes and No. You can carry in restaurants, but not the bar areas. You CANNOT carry in Bars in the state of Florida.
Can I carry concealed in a vehicle in Florida?
Yes, but must have a Florida CWL permit, or a permit from a state that Florida Honors. If you do not have a permit, firearms must not be available for immediate use, meaning it must be encased in the glove compartment, in a pistol case, in a zippered case, etc. It does not need to be a locked compartment.
Can I Carry in State Parks, National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas of Florida?
Yes, but you must have a Florida CWL Carry Permit, or a concealed Carry Permit from a state that Florida honors.
Concealed Carry Laws in Florida: Laws Regarding the Sale or Transfer of Firearms
Here are some common questions dealing with the purchase of a gun in Florida.
Is a permit required to purchase firearms in Florida?
No permit is needed to purchase a handgun in Florida.
Does Florida have a waiting period when buying a handgun?
Yes. If you do not have a Florida CWL, the waiting period is 3 days, or whatever time it takes to complete the paperwork, whichever is longer.
There is no waiting period after buying a handgun before taking possession if you have a Florida CWL permit.
Do Private-party sales and transfers require a background check in Florida?
No. Private party Firearms sales in Florida do not require a background check. Without a Florida CWL, see note below for exceptions.
However, the Florida Constitution Article VIII Section 5b states that: “Each county shall have the authority to require a criminal history records check and a 3 to 5-day waiting period, excluding weekends and legal holidays, in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring within such county. For purposes of this subsection, the term “sale” means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration for any firearm when any part of the transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access. Holders of a concealed weapons permit as prescribed by general law shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection when purchasing a firearm.”
Do I need to Register my handguns in Florida?
No. There is no requirement for handgun registration in Florida.
Does Florida have magazine limits for handguns?
No, Florida does not have any restrictions on magazine capacity.
Are there restrictions on the purchase of ammunition in Florida?
Yes. Florida has a few restrictions on ammunition. The following are prohibited:
- Exploding bullets.
- Shotgun shells referred to as “dragon’s breath”.
- Bolo shells and flechette shells.
- Armor piercing ammunition.
FAQ About Firearms Laws in Florida
Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding gun laws in Ohio. Please read these if you are going to be legally carrying a gun and want to do it right!
Can I carry at Walt Disney Resorts in Florida?
No. Guns, knives, ammunition or weapons of any kind are prohibited at all Disney Resorts and Parks, including the parking lots. See Walt Disney Resorts rules.
Does Florida allow Concealed Carry of Weapons other than Handguns with a Florida CWL?
Yes. It is legal with a CWL to concealed carry tear gas guns, knives, billies and electronic weapons/devices.
Are Stun guns and Tasers legal to own and/or carry in Florida?
Yes. Florida allows the open carry of tasers and stun guns without a license or permit. However, these items are NOT allowed on any school property or at any school sponsored event.
Is There a Duty to Retreat in Florida?
Is there a ‘Red Flag” law in Florida?
Yes, Florida does have a Red Flag Law. This allows a Law enforcement Officer or Agency can file a petition for a Risk Protection Order effectively prohibiting a person from buying, possessing or receiving a firearm or ammunition for a period of up to 12 months.
Are “No Guns” signs enforced by law in Florida?
No. Florida Law does not allow for the enforcement of “No Guns” or “No Weapons” signs. The establishment can, however ask you to leave.
Is there a Duty to inform law enforcement that I am carrying a gun in Florida?
No. In Florida, you are not required inform a law enforcement officer that you are carrying a firearm unless they ask you, then you are required to answer honestly.
If and when you do inform law enforcement, simply tell the officer you are legally carrying a concealed handgun. Never touch or reach for the gun, just hand the officer your permit (if applicable) along with your drivers license or ID and wait for his or her instructions. Always keep your hands in plain sight and make no sudden or furtive movements.
A Word of Advice and Additional questions
I will just leave you with a word of advice. Always use common sense when carrying a handgun in Florida or any other location, concealed or otherwise.
You must avoid confrontation at all times and never allow yourself to get into an argument of any kind with anybody. If you are carrying, you are essentially bringing a deadly weapon into every interaction you have in your daily life.
- If someone cuts you off in traffic, LET IT GO.
- If someone cuts in line in front of you, LET IT GO.
- If someone starts trouble, LEAVE or CALL 911.
You must never instigate a problem or escalate an issue. If you get into an argument on the street and it ends with you drawing your weapon, you had better be the picture of innocence if you want to claim self defense.
If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them.
Please keep in mind that these Florida gun laws can change at any time and it is your responsibility as the gun owner to know the laws in the states, counties, buildings and properties where you will be carrying your firearm.
Do not base your decision to carry your firearm in Florida or any other location solely on this article. I make no guarantee that this information is accurate at the time you read it, although I will endeavor to keep it up to date and accurate. I am not a lawyer. I am simply providing this information that I have gathered from various trustworthy sources in one place for your convenience.