Florida gun laws are wide-ranging. In the state of Florida, individuals classified as “eligible” for the purchase and ownership of a firearm must be at least 18 years old. In general, no permit is required for the purchase of most firearms.
What Requirements Must Be Met for Gun Ownership?
Any individual over the age of 18 can purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun without a permit or registration. Similarly, no licensing of owners is required for the possession of rifles, shotguns and handguns. This provision similarly includes air guns, paintball guns, and BB guns. Currently, the only weapon available for sale to a minor is a pocket knife, reports gun.laws.com.
A minor can be in possession of a firearm when engaged in hunting, sporting, and recreational activities considered to be legal while supervised by a parent, legal guardian, or one licensed to be a qualified instructor. A minor may otherwise only possess a firearm if they’re at their own place of residence handling an unloaded firearm.
Who Can’t Own a Gun in Florida?
While Florida gun purchase and possession laws are considered to be non-restrictive, several parties are not allowed to purchase or own of a firearm in the state. Currently, it is unlawful for a convicted felon to have any firearm or concealed carry weapons in their possession until their civil rights have been restored.
Additionally, those without a concealed carry license may not carry a handgun on their person. Within the state of Florida, only handguns may be carried with a concealed carry license. It is additionally unlawful for an individual to control a firearm or ammunition if they’ve been given a financial injunction currently in effect.
Illegal Gun Possession Offenses
Unlawful possession of a firearm in Florida is considered to be a serious offense. While different circumstances result in different offenses, the Florida legislature has created severe penalties to deter unlawful ownership.
In addition to those with felonies, individuals found to be a vagrant, drug addict, or mentally incompetent may be charged with unlawful gun ownership. Similarly, those subject to an active domestic violence situation or charge can be disallowed from gun ownership. While penalty severity differs, many convictions under these charges span from misdemeanors to felonies depending upon a case’s surrounding facts.
Can a Convicted Felon Possess a Firearm Legally?
While gun laws prohibit a felon’s ownership of a firearm, several avenues exist granting previous felons access to gun ownership. A 1965 amendment to the 1938 federal Firearms Act grants felons the ability to obtain “relief from the disability of not being able to possess a gun.”
In short: a previous felon can attempt to convince the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms that a previous crime’s surrounding circumstances should remove the individual’s status as an at-risk party.
Additionally, a felon’s crimes must be punishable by at least one year of imprisonment for a firearm ownership restriction to be placed. Felons whose convictions have additionally been expunged are no longer considered to be “convicted” and may own a firearm.
White collar crimes resulting in a felony conviction will not prohibit the felon from owning a firearm either, and several states can reinstate a felon’s right to obtain and own a firearm once their sentence has expired.