“(a) The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.”


Florida is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level. There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual. Buyers must be at least 21 years old. Open carry is not legal in Florida, except for a few limited exceptions. Concealed carry is legal for residents and for non-residents with a CCW permit from a state that Florida honors. The Florida CWL allows holders to carry not only a handgun but also other weapons such as electronic weapons, tear gas guns, billie clubs and knives. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. Florida is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no duty to retreat. Instead, you may stand your ground and meet force deadly force.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Florida will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Florida’s license:

“(1) A resident of the United States who is a nonresident of Florida may carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm while in this state if the nonresident: (a) Is 21 years of age or older; and (b) Has in his or her immediate possession a valid license to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm issued to the nonresident in his or her state of residence. (2) A nonresident is subject to the same laws and restrictions with respect to carrying a concealed weapon or concealed firearm as a resident of Florida who is so licensed.”

Duty To Notify Police Officer

Florida does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry but if an Officer asks about a weapon, by law, an answer must be supplied. You must carry your license, together with valid identification, at all times in which You are in actual possession of a concealed weapon or firearm and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a LEO.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Florida allows carrying of long guns in vehicles without a permit. Handguns may only be carried without a permit if they are not readily accessible to the driver, such as being in a locked container or in the trunk.

NFA Items

Florida permits ownership of all NFA items, except DDs, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal. Making, possessing, throwing, projecting, or discharging any destructive device, or any attempt to do so is a felony in Florida.

Self-Defense Laws

Florida has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place You have a legal right to be, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, or occupied motor vehicle.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

“No Firearm” signs in Florida do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in state law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to criminal charges.

Open Carry

Open carry is generally not legal in Florida. Exceptions include in the home, place of work, hunting, fishing, camping, or while practice shooting and while traveling to and from those activities. Florida recently decriminalized the temporary exposure of a firearm by concealed firearms license holders, protecting them from being arrested and charged with a crime for the temporary and open exposure of a firearm.

Waiting Period

Florida imposes a three (3) day waiting period, which does not count weekend or holidays, before purchasing a firearm. This waiting period is waived for holders of a valid Florida license to carry. Holders of a valid Florida license to carry are also exempt from state background checks, but not federal ones. Florida does not require a waiting period for the purchase of long guns (rifle/shotgun).

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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