In Florida, while in most cases it is lawful to own and possess a gun, there are different rules for carrying a gun. Florida Statute § 790.01(2) criminalizes carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Carrying a gun without a permit will result in felony charges.
If you have recently been arrested or charged with a gun-related crime in Florida, call our defense lawyers at Goldman Wetzel in St. Petersburg for guidance with your case: 727-828-3900.
Is it legal to carry a gun in Florida?
Yes. Florida laws do not infringe upon citizens’ Second Amendment rights. So long as you are not a convicted felon and have not otherwise had your gun ownership rights revoked, you are permitted to own and possess a gun in the Sunshine State. You do not need a license to purchase a gun, nor a permit to own one.
However, you cannot simply carry a gun out in the open in Florida. To carry a gun from one destination to another, you need a concealed weapons permit. Florida Statute § 790.25(3) lists all the lawful uses for guns. Some of the instances in which you are permitted to carry a gun (without a permit) include when:
- You are in your home;
- You are in your place of business;
- You keep it locked in your vehicle; or
- You are “engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition.”
You can also carry a concealed gun when you have been issued a permit.
What are the penalties for carrying a concealed gun without a permit?
Carrying a concealed gun without a valid permit in Florida is a third-degree felony. Punishments include:
- Up to five years in prison;
- Up to five years’ probation; and
- Up to a $5,000 fine.
If you have a felony on your record, you will be charged with “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” a second-degree felony. Penalties will escalate to up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
What are some defenses to carrying a gun without a permit?
To convict you of carrying a gun without a concealed weapons permit, the prosecutor must show that you knowingly had a gun on or about your person and that you concealed it from the ordinary sight of another person.
There are various defenses we can use in concealed weapons cases. For instance, we may attempt to prove that:
- You did, in fact, have a valid permit.
- You were at home or on your property.
- You did not know the gun was in your possession.
- You are a non-Florida resident and had a concealed weapons permit issued in another state.
- You had the gun because you were on your way to or from a fishing, camping, or legal hunting trip.
- You were carrying the gun to or from a gun repair shop or shooting range.
- The gun was locked securely in your vehicle. (Florida Statute § 790.251(3) provides: “It is the finding of the Legislature that a citizen’s lawful possession, transportation, and secure keeping of firearms and ammunition within his or her motor vehicle is essential to the exercise of the fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the constitutional right of self-defense.”)
Protect your future. Consult our defense lawyers in St. Petersburg today.
Swift, staunch defense is critical to defend against gun charges and to avoid or reduce jail time. For aggressive criminal defense lawyers in St. Petersburg who know the ins and outs of gun charges, contact Goldman Wetzel. Our team of attorneys works together on each case, employing their well-developed strategies and fighting to protect clients’ interests.
If you have been arrested for carrying a gun without a permit, call our office at 727-828-3900 to speak with someone about your case today.