If you consider buying a firearm or already own a gun in Florida, you must understand the requirements of Florida gun law, along with your legal rights and responsibilities.

Florida Gun Requirements

You must be at least 21 years old to buy a gun in Florida. However, if you are at least 18 years old and currently employed as a law enforcement or corrections officer, or are an active service member, you may purchase a rifle and shotgun.

Only residents of Florida can purchase a handgun in the Sunshine State. Other states’ residents can buy long guns (at least 26 inches long) in Florida if their sale complies with the state laws where they officially live.

Immigrants may purchase firearms if they are legal permanent residents of Florida and present a valid alien registration number.

Immigrants who are not Florida residents must present an I-94 (their legal border crossing number) and a valid exception document.

In Florida, you must wait three days to obtain a firearm after buying it. The three-day waiting period, which does not include official holidays and weekends, is required for all firearm transactions at retail establishments, gun shows, gun exhibits, and collector’s shows. Gun buyers in Florida must also pass a background check.

Exceptions to Gun Ownership

Committing certain crimes will result in the government revoking one’s legal right to own a firearm in the United States. These include anyone convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, foreign nationals in violation of federal immigration laws, and those under an active restraining order or other protective order.

Likewise, fugitives from justice, anyone under indictment for a felony or recently arrested for a potentially disqualifying crime, and unlawful users of controlled substances may not own or obtain a firearm.

If you get “adjudication withheld” on a felony or a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you must wait three years after completing sentencing provisions to regain the right to own a firearm. Additionally, if a minor commits a crime that would have been a felony performed by an adult, they cannot own a gun before their 24th birthday or until the court expunges their criminal record.

Other groups who cannot legally own a firearm in the United States include:

  • Individuals involuntarily committed to mental health treatment
  • Anyone who renounced their United States citizenship
  • Veterans dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces

Open Carry in Florida

Open carry of a firearm is not legal in Florida. The only exceptions are when people are engaged in fishing, camping, lawful hunting, or target practice.

Permitless Carry & Concealed Carry in Florida

Open carry of a firearm is not legal in Florida. The only exceptions are when people are engaged in fishing, camping, lawful hunting, or target practice.

On July 1, 2023, Florida became a permitless carry state for firearms. The law allows a Florida resident to carry a concealed firearm or weapon if they satisfy the following requirements:

a.  S. resident, citizen, or permanent U.S. resident;

b.  At least 21 years of age;

c.  Does not suffer from physical infirmity which prevents safe handling of a weapon or firearm;

d.  Is not ineligible to possess a firearm because of felony conviction;

e.  Has not been found guilty of a qualifying conviction under chapter 893 or been committed for the abuse of a controlled substance under the Marchman Act;

f.  Does not chronically and habitually use alcohol or other substances to the point of impairment or have more than one conviction for DUI within the past 3 years;

g.  Has not been adjudicated incapacitated;

h.  Has not been committed to a mental institution under the Baker Act;

i.  Has not had an adjudication withheld or suspended sentence on any felony, misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, misdemeanor crime of violence, or has completed the conditions of supervision or had the offense expunged for a period of three years or more;

j.  Does not have a domestic or repeat violence injunction in effect;

k.  Is not otherwise prohibited from purchasing a firearm under Florida or federal law.

If a person is carrying a concealed firearm, they must also carry a valid identification card at all times and must present that identification card if demanded to do so by law enforcement.

Florida residents may still obtain concealed weapons permits from the Department of Agriculture.  Some benefits of doing so include potential receprocity with other states. A list of these states can be found on the Florida Department of Agriculture website.  Additionally, individuals with a Florida permit also receive an exemption from the three-day waiting period between the sale and delivery of a firearm.

Regardless of whether you are carrying a concealed firearm with or without a permit, there are certain prohibited areas where you may not carry.  These include:

  • Any place of public nuisance (aka anywhere with illegal activity, such as gambling or prostitution)
  • Any portion of an establishment licensed for the dispensation or consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Law enforcement stations, including police, sheriff, and Florida Highway Patrol
  • Detention facilities, prisons, and jails
  • Courthouses and courtrooms
  • Polling places and precincts
  • Government meetings, including county, school district, municipality, and special district
  • Meetings of the Florida Legislature, including legislative committee hearings
  • School, college, and professional athletic events not related to firearms
  • School administration buildings
  • Elementary and secondary school facilities, including administration buildings
  • Colleges, universities, and area technical centers
  • Any career center
  • Inside airport passenger terminal areas
  • Wherever federal law prohibits carrying a firearm

Carrying a Firearm in a Vehicle

In a public conveyance, a person may only carry a concealed firearm if it is securely encased or otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use.

In a private conveyance, a person is authorized to carry a firearm concealed when:

  • A person 18 years or older and if that handgun is “securely encased or otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use” and not carried on his or her person.
  • Carrying a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when carried for a lawful use.
    • Lawful uses include, but are not limited to, when engaging in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from these activities and engaging in target practice or range shooting or traveling to or returning from these activities. The full list of lawful uses is included in Stat. 790.25.
  • A person with a state permit or who meets the requirements for permitless carry to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm on their person while in a private conveyance.