Carrying a Concealed Firearm
Even if you have a license for a firearm that you legally own, that does not necessarily mean that you have the right to carry it in a concealed manner. It is a third-degree felony under Florida Statute 790.01 to carry a concealed firearm on or about your person without a license to do so. If you are carrying a “concealed weapon or electric weapon or device” rather than a firearm, and you do not have a license to do so, the offense is a first-degree misdemeanor.Exceptions
There are however, some exceptions. The statute does not apply to someone who carries a concealed firearm – which he or she legally possesses – if he or she uses it in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency. The state of emergency must be declared by the governor of Florida, or by a local authority, and the concealed carrying must take place within 48 hours of the mandatory evacuation order. (However, the 48-hour period may be extended by the governor.)
It is also legal if, “for purposes of lawful self-defense,” someone carries:
- a self-defense chemical spray,
- a nonlethal stun gun,
- a dart-firing stun gun, or
- any other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes.
In addition, under Florida Statute 790.051, law enforcement officers are exempt from these restrictions when they are acting within the scope of their official duties, or when they are acting “in the line of, or performance of, duty.”What About Concealed Carry Permits from Other States?
If you are not a resident of Florida, and you have a valid license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm that was issued in your state of residence, then it may be possible for the license to be considered valid in Florida. Florida Statute 790.015 lays out the regulations for out-of-state concealed carry licenses.
Under 790.015, if you are at least 21 years old, and you are a resident of the United States, and you have in your immediate possession a valid license from your state of residence allowing you to carry a concealed weapon or firearm, then you may carry the weapon or firearm in a concealed manner.
If you have a concealed carry license from a state other than Florida, and you move to Florida, your license will be in effect for 90 days after the date on which you establish legal residence in Florida by either:
- registering to vote,
- making a statement of domicile, or
- filing for a homestead tax exemption on property in the state of Florida.
If you’ve been charged with any type of violation involving firearms or other weapons, you may wish to contact a lawyer, such as Fort Lauderdale attorney Mark S. Lowry. A former prosecutor, Mr. Lowry now runs a private practice specializing in criminal defense. On his website, he maintains a list of his recent successful case results. You can call or email the office today to schedule a consultation, and learn more about your rights.