On July 1st, permitless carry (or concealed carry) will become legal in Florida under House Bill (HB) 543.
But we’ve already noticed a lot of people getting confused over what this law means to them, which could put residents and visitors in trouble with law enforcement.
Here’s what the law does and does NOT do:
Florida Concealed Carry Laws: Myths vs Facts
- Open Carry is now Legal in Florida: FALSE
- Open carry is still ILLEGAL in Florida in almost all circumstances.
- Open carry is permitted only if you are engaged in or traveling to or from: fishing, camping, hunting or test/target shooting.
- You can carry a gun anywhere: FALSE
- The places you can legally carry a firearm have NOT changed.
- You cannot legally carry a firearm in any location where a private business or property owner has prohibited them; or in any location legally prohibited including schools, colleges, universities, bars, courthouses and in government meetings.
- Anyone can get a gun without a background check: FALSE
- The new law doesn’t change who can purchase a firearm or the waiting period to purchase one.
- Licensed retailers must complete the appropriate paperwork for the buyer and provide the buyer’s info to FDLE.
- It will then be checked in the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center databases.
- There is a mandatory 3-day period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.
- Legal gun carry is no longer restricted: FALSE
- Concealed firearm carry in Florida still requires criteria to be met, including owning a concealed weapons license.
- You must be a U.S. citizen, 21 years old or more, with 0 felony convictions or other disqualifying conditions.
- Concealed Weapon licenses will be going away: FALSE
- Permits will continue to be maintained and issued by the Florida Dept. of Agriculture.
- Concealed Weapons Licenses (CWLs) will still have benefits, including reciprocity in other states that recognize Florida’s CWL. It will also continue to respect the ability to purchase and take delivery of firearms same-day instead of the 3-day waiting period.
Firearm Safety Tips
The Florida Dept. of Agriculture states all gun owners must:
- Never store or handle a loaded firearm in the home.
- Keep a trigger-locking device on the firearm.
- Keep it locked away.
- Store and lock firearms and ammunition in separate locations.
- Never point a firearm at anyone, loaded or unloaded.
- Educate everyone in your home about the importance of firearms safety – inside and outside the home.
Florida Gun Statistics
- Every year, 2,660 people die by guns in Florida.
- That’s 12.2 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Florida has the 27th-highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S.
- 63% of gun deaths are suicides and 35% are homicides.
- Around 1,686 people die by gun suicide each year in Florida.
- Around 942 people die by gun homicide each year in Florida (the 19th highest in the U.S.)
Pinellas County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Sean McQuaid is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County. He is the president at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with the reputation and connections to make things happen.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300