Here you will find helpful information about eligibility and ineligibility for a Concealed Firearm Permit in Florida
Clients often ask how to get their Concealled Firearm Permit, and whether they are eligible to apply for one. It is essential for any gun owner to understand the laws surrounding gun ownership and what is permitted when you do not have a permit. A client recently faced charges regarding his lawfully owned firearm because he misunderstood the law; in spite of doing everything right, the client still suffered legal consequences. This Legal Guide provides important tips and resources regarding carrying a concealed firearm and the permitting process.
Who is eligible?
In order to apply for a concealed weapon permit, the applicant must be (a) 21 years of age or older, (b) able to demonstrate competency with a firearm, and (c) reside in the United States AND be a U.S. citizen or deemed a lawful permanent resident alien by Homeland Security. The only exception to the residency requirement is a person serving in the United States Armed Forces who can provide deployment documentation.
What if I have been arrested or convicted of a crime
There are a number of reasons that you may be found ineligible. A felony conviction, unless having your civil AND firearm rights restored, will disqualify you. Additionally, having a crime of violence in your past (felony or misdemeanor), can either disqualify you or there may be a three year waiting period before applying. Two or more DUI convictions, having a domestic violence injunction against you, and even a dishonorable discharge are all reasons you can be denied a permit. When in doubt, contact an attorney to assist you with the process.
What if I lawfully own my gun?
Just because you own your gun does not give you the authority to carry it as you wish. There are even locations that if you have a permit, you are not lawfully permitted to carry a firearm (for instance, a courthouse, airport, jail, law enforcement station, etc.). If you have a question about whether you can carry your firearm to a certain location, it is best to consult an attorney familiar with the applicable Florida statute.
Does a permit allow me to carry my firearm openly?
No. You may not, even with a permit, openly carry your firearm in Florida. A permit allows you to carry it on your person, in a concealed manner. You cannot display your firearm out of anger or in a threatening manner when not acting in self-defense. There is a law in Florida called 10-20-Life, which permits minimum mandatory sentences in firearms cases. For instance, pulling out a firearm and pointing it in a threatening manner can carry a 3 year minimum mandatory sentence. Using a firearm in the course of committing a felony and NOT pulling the trigger can get you a 10 year minimum mandatory sentence.
How can I carry my firearm in my car?
This is the number place arrests occur for violating the law when it comes to carrying a concealed firearm. The answer is - it depends. If you have a permit, you can have your firearm in an accessible location. If you do not have a permit, it cannot be in your ready reach; this means, it needs to be stored in a glove box, trunk, or gun box, out of reach. If you are pulled over and do not have a permit, a firearm sitting in the door storage compartment, on the floorboard, or in the area around you can call result in an arrest.
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