Tampa Weapons and Firearms Defense Attorney

Have you been accused of violating Florida firearms laws? Whether you have been charged or are under investigation, it is time to call an experienced firearms attorney. State and local authorities take gun and weapon offenses seriously, and you should not try to defend yourself. Assess all you options and protect yourself, call Brett Metcalf at (813) 258-4800 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Avvo top contributor logo Avvo client's choice award logo National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40 Avvo perfect 10 rating logo Avvo 5 star review logo

Why You Should Choose Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A.

The last thing you want is a weapons offense on your record, and working with Tampa defense attorney Brett Metcalf is the best way to fight charges or avoid conviction. As a responsible gun owner, it should concern you that this conviction could make it illegal for you to own, possess, or use a firearm again. Potential employers, landlords, and financial institutions may also interpret it as a violent offense. You might find it hard to maintain employment, rent a house, go back to school, or obtain loans.

Brett Metcalf is an experienced firearms lawyer who began his career as a prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office. By beginning his career on the other side of the courtroom, he learned about the inner workings of the prosecution. Now, he uses his knowledge of how prosecutors think to benefit his clients.

Since 2012, Brett has fought hard to protect Tampa residents from firearms offenses. When Brett takes on your case at the beginning, he may work to have the charges dropped or reduced. If a prosecutor pursues charges, Brett will prepare to vigorously defend you in court. Depending on the facts, he might pursue a pretrial dismissal, an acquittal at trial, or mitigate your consequences.

Brett’s hard work has led to many outstanding results, and respected legal organizations have recognized his accomplishments. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and has more than 90 five-star reviews and a perfect 10 rating on Avvo.com.

Florida Weapons Charges We Handle

At Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A., we are here to defend you against any and all allegations of violating a Florida weapons and firearms law. Below are some of the many charges we handle.

Carrying a Concealed Firearm

Under Florida Statute 790.01(2), it is unlawful to carry a concealed firearm without a license under Statute 790.06 (a concealed carry permit). This is a third-degree felony.

Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Under Florida Statute 790.01(1), without a license, it is unlawful to carry a concealed weapon or electric weapon on your person. This can include a knife, tear gas, metal knuckles, billy club, or other objects. This is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Open Carrying of Weapons

It is unlawful for you to openly carry any firearm or electric weapon or device under Florida Statute 790.053. This crime does not include briefly displaying a firearm you have a concealed carry permit for, as long as you do not display the gun in a threatening or angry manner. This is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon or Firearm

Under Florida Statute 790.10, it is unlawful to exhibit a dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or another weapon in the presence of one or more people in an angry, careless, rude, or threatening way. This is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Discharging Firearm in Public or on Residential Property

If you knowingly discharge a firearm in a public place or negligently or recklessly discharge a firearm outdoors on residential property, then you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute 790.15(1).

Discharging Firearm from a Vehicle

Under Florida Statute 790.15(2), you knowingly and willfully discharge a firearm from a vehicle within 1,000 feet of another person, you will face a second-degree felony.

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

If you have been previously convicted of a felony, then you cannot knowingly possess, own, or control a firearm under Florida Statute 790.23. This includes ammunition, an electric weapon or device, tear gas, or another chemical weapon. This is a second-degree felony, and if you had actual possession of a firearm, compared to constructive possession, you face a mandatory three years in prison.

Possession or Discharge of a Destructive Device

If you willfully and unlawfully make, possess, throw, project, place, or discharge a destructive device or attempt to do so, then under Florida Statute 790.161, you will be charged with a third-degree felony.

In addition, if you intended to cause bodily harm or property damage, or the act disrupted government operations, commerce, or another person’s private affairs, then it is a second-degree felony. When this results in bodily harm or property damage, it is a first-degree felony. But if it caused a death, it becomes a capital felony.

Consequences of a Weapons Crime

The criminal penalties and the collateral consequences of a gun convictions are serious. Contact a gun attorney right away whether you are looking at misdemeanor or felony charges.

Misdemeanor Offenses

A first-degree misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor offense. If convicted, you can be sentenced to up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and fines up to $1,000. A second-degree misdemeanor is a lesser offense, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, six months of probation, and fines up to $500.

Felony Offenses

For a felony weapons offense, the judge will sentence you based on the Florida Criminal Punishment Code. Every felony is given a specific ranking, which results in a certain number of points.

The higher the felony, the more points on your CPC scoresheet. A score of fewer than 44 points does not require imprisonment, but a score over 44 points subjects you to a minimum amount of time in prison. The judge uses the minimum and maximum sentences dictated by the CPC to decide your penalty.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Brett is the best attorney I’ve ever had. I would recommend his services to anyone in need.
Pink Taylor

Google reviews logo
Warning: Division by zero in /nas/content/live/metcalfprod/wp-content/themes/metcalf/block-testimonials.php on line 106
out of 5 rating based on 44 Reviews

Weapons Crimes FAQ

What Is the Stand Your Ground Law In Florida?

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law authorizes the justifiable use or threatening of deadly force if you reasonably believe such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. You are only protected by the law in specific situations and locations such as your residence or vehicle.

Who Can’t Legally Own a Gun?

If you have been convicted of a felony in Florida, you cannot possess, own, or control a firearm. You also may not possess a firearm if you have an injunction against you for domestic violence, stalking or cyberstalking.

Will Having a Gun Make Other Charges Worse?

Possessing a gun can result in harsher penalties for some offenses. Florida’s 10-20-Life law requires mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years, 20 years, or 25 years to life for certain felony convictions involving the use or attempted use of a firearm. Felonies where these minimum sentences apply include:

  • Aggravated assault or battery
  • Manslaughter
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Arson

What if You Are Investigated or Arrested?

If you learn the police are investigating you, or the police stop and arrest you in public, the first thing you should do is invoke your right to remain silent, and the second is to invoke your right to legal counsel.

You cannot simply not talk. If all you do is keep quiet, the police will keep asking you questions. They will lie and manipulate you until you respond. Your silence also can be used against you in court.

You should clearly and specifically say, “I am invoking my right to remain silent, and I want a lawyer.”

Defenses to Gun Crimes

You should not try to defend yourself against a weapons or firearms offense. Getting the best possible result requires working with an experienced gun lawyer. By partnering with Brett, you have someone who prioritizes protecting your rights and freedom throughout the criminal court process.

In crafting your defense, we will look at all the details of your case. We’ll talk about whether you had actual knowledge of the weapon or firearm, or whether it was in another person’s possession. We’ll also ask if the firearm was loaded or functional.

We’ll review the circumstances of your stop, arrest, and the police investigation. We leave no stone unturned in examining the evidence.

Once we have all the facts, we can develop an aggressive strategy. We may use pretrial motions to suppress unlawfully obtained, irrelevant, or prejudicial evidence. We will prepare for jury selection, determine who will testify, and prepare each witness for direct and cross-examination.

Though not every weapon offense case goes to trial, we believe in always being prepared and presenting your case in the best possible light.

Potential defenses to firearms charges include:

Defense of Property

Under Florida law, you are entitled to use non-deadly force to protect your land, home, or other personal property, like your vehicle. If you are accused of using a firearm unlawfully, but it was in response to a threat, trespasser, or home evasion, talk with a lawyer right away. This is an affirmative defense, but there are limits. Florida does not allow you to use deadly force to protect property.


Florida’s Stand Your Ground law protects you if you have to use force to protect yourself or others. We will seek to show you reasonably believed it was necessary to defend yourself against another person’s imminent use of force against you or others. In some circumstances, Florida excuses the use of deadly force. You can only use deadly force if it is necessary to prevent a violent felony or to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others.

Lack of Intent

Certain firearms offenses require you to act willfully, knowingly, or intentionally. We may seek to prove you lacked the necessary intent to commit the criminal conduct. Instead, we might show the conduct occurred by accident or due to carelessness. This might result in an acquittal, or useful in having a felony reduced to a misdemeanor.

Mistake of Identity

You might face gun charges for something you did not do. If you have been wrongfully accused and charged with a weapons crime, we will fight hard to prove there has been a case of mistaken identity. We may seek to establish your alibi for the time of the offense.

Work with a Lawyer to Understand All Your Options

There are many benefits to working with a firearms lawyer from the beginning of your case. One is that you can candidly review all your options. After a thorough investigation, Brett can offer a professional opinion on whether your case is likely to be dropped or dismissed.

We’ll also discuss the likelihood of an acquittal at trial or the benefits of a plea bargain. It may be that you have a strong defense. But if the evidence is stacked against you, our conversation may shift to mitigating the consequences of a conviction.

Call a Tampa Weapons and Firearms Defense Attorney Today

When you are facing a firearms or other weapons charge, call a lawyer right away. It is best to begin protecting and defending yourself as soon as possible. We recommend contacting Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A. online or at (813) 258-4800. We are available 24/7 to defend you.