If you are moving to Florida, and you are a Second Amendment supporter, you are in luck! Florida is considered very second-amendment friendly. With more active concealed carry licenses than any other state, we have the moniker ” The Gunshine State”
As a “Republic” our elected representatives exercise and sometimes wield political power. Thus, all of our states have different and sometimes far reaching gun laws. If you live here in Florida, and are of the 2A ilk, you are very lucky. Concealed Carry is a thing, and is fairly easy to obtain. Unlike many states, you do not have to provide a reason, as our Representatives, for the most part, understand “The right to keep and bear arms”! More on getting a Florida Concealed Carry Permit below.
If you own firearms, and are moving here from a different state you must make sure you understand our Florida Gun Laws, albeit they are probably less stringent than from whence you came. An overview of Florida’s Gun Law can be found here. If you’re moving to Florida, there may be less to do than somewhere else you have lived.
If you plan to move to Florida, or visit us by car, you need to store your firearm correctly before you cross our state line. Your weapon must be securely encased or otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access. You also may be coming from a state that requires you to register your firearms, welcome to freedom. There is no gun registration in Florida, you will not have to register your gun you are bringing, or any purchases you make in the future.
While there are many states who share some form of Concealed Carry reciprocity with Florida, Florida will require you to get a Concealed Carry Weapon license once you are a resident here. Your reciprocal permit will only be valid for 90 days after establishing your residence. Unfortunately you can’t just transfer your permit over, so you’ll have to file for a new one from Florida. The actual permit cost is currently less than $100, and it’s valid for seven years. Be aware though, it will probably take up to three months to process, so you will want to get that done sooner rather than later if you plan to conceal carry.
To get a Florida CCW, you will need to be at least 21 years old, have completed an approved firearms training class, be a US. citizen, and reside in the US. You also cannot have two or more DUI convictions or any convictions for a violent crime in the last three years. There are some perks to having a CCW. For starters, if you don’t have a CCW and you purchase a firearm from a Gun Store, there’s a three-day waiting period before you can actually take the weapon home. With the CCW, you can typically buy and leave with your new firearm on the same day once your background check clears. Additionally, having a CCW changes how you can carry your handgun in your car. Without a permit, you have to keep it securely encased and not readily accessible for immediate use. This means it needs to be in a case, glove compartment, or any type of container that requires a lid or cover to be opened for access. With the permit, none of that really applies. You just have to keep the firearm concealed.
Regardless of your Concealed Carry Permit, there are a few places you cannot have firearms, such as a police station, courthouse, schools, and airports to name a few. Although, Florida is considering a Constitutional Carry Bill (see our Blog from 12/9/2021) Currently you can carry in state parks, national forests, roadside rest areas, your car, and pretty much anywhere else that isn’t deemed off-limits.
What if you come from an open carry state? As of this blog, one can only Open Carry in Florida while you’re fishing, camping, or hunting. Again, this is subject to change depending on Florida Bill HB-103.
Lastly, and God forbid, if you need to use your firearm, when can you actually use it? Florida does have a “stand your ground” law which has in place since 2005. It allows gun owners to use their weapons for “home protection, against deadly force, or when there is a presumption of death or great bodily harm.” This can and will impact on your freedoms and your patience, as Stand Your Ground is very often tried in the courts and the court of public opinion. There are several companies who provide a sort of safety net for anyone who is forced to defend themselves by providing Concealed Carry Liability Insurance. It would do one good to at least peruse the ever growing list of companies and make an informed decision, as to, if this type of insurance is a good fit for your situation.
To date there are nearly two million active concealed carry licenses in Florida, far surpassing any other state, including Texas. So, one could definitely say Florida is a very second-amendment friendly state. Purchase, train, get your CWP, keep training and stay safe out there. Oh yeah, if you are coming here from a far left leaning Liberal State, or City, leave your politics at the Florida border. Please do not muck up our Florida!
(Please note we are not attorneys, nor do we play on on television. We did not even sleep at a Holiday last night. We are however trying to shed some light on a subject that is near and dear to us. If you need legal advice, or council there are some really good local 2A friendly attorneys out there.)