Florida Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW): Gun Laws, Application, Requirements & Online Training
In a world where access to firearms is relatively easy, gun laws play a crucial role in regulating the ownership and possession of guns. In this article, we will focus on concealed carry laws in Florida, exploring the requirements, permits, reciprocity agreements, off-limit places, and other important aspects related to carrying a concealed weapon in the state.
Concealed Carry in Florida
Florida has relatively strict concealed carry laws, which means individuals must obtain a permit for concealed carry weapons (CCW) to legally carry a concealed firearm. Unlike open carry, where the firearm is visible to the public, concealed carry weapons are hidden from plain sight, ensuring that only the permit holder is aware of the weapon’s presence.
Exceptions to Open Carry
While open carry is generally prohibited in Florida, there are exceptions under certain circumstances. Residents and non-residents may openly carry firearms in Florida if they are:
- Traveling to or engaged in camping
- Engaged in fishing
- Going hunting
- Engaged in lawful target shooting
- Involved in the business of manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms
Florida CCW Reciprocity
Florida is a “shall-issue” state, issuing concealed carry licenses to both residents and non-residents, provided they meet the minimum age requirement of 21 years or are a member/veteran of the US armed forces. Florida also has CCW reciprocity agreements with several other states. This means that Florida recognizes concealed carry permits from these states, as long as those states also recognize Florida’s concealed carry permits.
Understanding Florida CCW Reciprocity
It is crucial to remember that concealed carry laws vary from state to state, and what is permissible in one state might be restricted in another. For instance, open carry, which is allowed in some states, is prohibited in Florida. Therefore, a concealed carry permit from such states may not be recognized by Florida law. To avoid legal issues, individuals should familiarize themselves with the states covered under Florida CCW reciprocity.
Eligibility for Florida Concealed Carry Permit
To qualify for a Florida concealed carry permit, individuals must meet certain requirements, including:
- Being at least 21 years old
- Demonstrating firearm competency
- Completing an approved Florida concealed carry class
- Being a US citizen or legal resident alien
- Residing in the US (except for military personnel serving overseas)
- Having no more than 2 DUI convictions in the past 3 years
- Having no convictions for violent crimes (felonies or misdemeanors) in the previous 3 years
- Complying with other federal law requirements
Prohibited Places for Concealed Carry in Florida
While concealed carry is generally allowed in Florida, certain places are off-limits for firearms, and individuals with a CCW permit should not carry their firearms to:
- Schools, colleges, or university facilities
- Jails, prisons, or detention facilities
- Bars when under the influence of alcohol
- Courthouses or courtrooms
- Polling places
- Police, sheriff, or highway patrol stations
- Any other place prohibited by Federal Law
Permitted Places for Concealed Carry in Florida
Concealed carry is permitted in various places throughout the state, including:
- Roadside rest areas
- State parks
- State and national forests
- All other areas not listed as off-limits
Discharging a Firearm in Florida
Discharging a firearm in a public place is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida concealed carry law. This offense carries a penalty of up to a year in jail unless the discharge was accidental, in self-defense, on official duty, or without substantial proof of who discharged the weapon.
Applying for a Florida Concealed Carry Permit
To apply for a Florida concealed carry permit, individuals must follow these steps:
- Satisfy all necessary requirements.
- Gain a solid understanding of the laws governing concealed carry.
- Complete an approved Florida concealed carry class.
- Choose between physical or mail-in application.
- If applying via mail, complete the application and submit fingerprints.
- Mail the application to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- Wait for the permit to be processed and issued, which typically takes 90 days.
Florida Concealed Carry Class Online
A Florida concealed carry class is mandatory for obtaining a CCW permit. The following training courses are approved and acceptable:
- Any hunter safety course approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course
- Any firearms safety or training course or class made available to the general public by a reputable institution
- Any law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified instructor
Cost of Florida Concealed Carry Online Class
The average cost of a Florida concealed carry class online ranges from $40 to $80.
Concealed carry laws in Florida are essential for maintaining public safety and regulating the possession of firearms. By understanding the requirements, restrictions, and permitting process, individuals can exercise their Second Amendment rights responsibly and legally. Whether you are a Florida resident or a visitor, abiding by these laws ensures a safer environment for everyone.
How long is the Florida CCW permit valid?
The Florida CCW permit is valid for 7 years, after which it must be renewed.
What is the processing time for a Florida CCW permit?
After a complete application is received, it takes 90 days to process the Florida concealed carry permit.
Is there a non-resident concealed carry permit?
Florida issues concealed carry permits to both residents and non-residents.
How can I change my name and address on the permit?
Complete the name and address form, along with an additional fee.
What should I do if my permit is missing?
Report the missing permit to the nearest police station or sheriff’s office.