Florida Legislature approves 'constitutional carry' gun bill

Posted 3/31/23

On March 30, the Florida Senate passed the NRA-backed Constitutional Carry in a 27-13 vote. Florida Gov.

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Florida Legislature approves 'constitutional carry' gun bill


TALLAHASSEE – On March 30, the Florida Senate passed the NRA-backed Constitutional Carry in a 27-13 vote. With the signature of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida will become the 26th in the nation that allows concealed carry of loaded weapons without a special permit.

The Florida Sheriff’s Association has endorsed the legislation. On Feb. 3, the Florida Police Chief’s Association also released a statement in support of the bill.

While the governor has publicly endorsed the open carry of firearms, the legislation did not go that far. Some legislators voiced concerns that approving open carry of firearms in Florida could hurt the state’s tourism industry.

GIFFORDS Florida, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, condemned the passage of permitless carry legislation in the Florida House.

“As a mother of two young children in Florida, I fear for them every day. We do not need people without training or background checks carrying firearms in public. If permitless carry becomes law, arguments will turn into gun fights in our parks and grocery stores,” stated GIFFORDS Florida State Director Samantha Barrio.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) celebrated the gun rights victory. “This is a momentous step in the Constitutional Carry movement as now the majority of American states recognize the Constitution protects the right for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves outside their homes without fees or permits,” said Randy Kozuch, interim executive director, NRA-ILA. “The carry movement began decades ago and the NRA has been working to get this legislation passed throughout America.”

Other “constitutional carry” states include Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

While the law removes the requirement for a concealed carry permit, it requires anyone carrying a weapon to carry valid identification and to “display such identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer.”

Some Florida residents may wish to continue to hold Florida concealed carry permits in order to carry weapons in other states that have reciprocal agreements with Florida.

Florida law continues to prohibit the public from carrying weapons in certain locations such as schools, courthouses, airport terminals, places that sell alcohol and meetings of governing bodies.  

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement provided the following answers to "frequently asked questions" about firearms.

Requirements to purchase a firearm

How do I know if I’m eligible to purchase a firearm?
 There are ten categories of persons who are not eligible to purchase or possess a firearm under federal law (Title 18, United States Code 922(g)(1)-(9), (n)).  They are: 

  1. Convicted of a felony (or equivalent)
  2. Fugitive from justice
  3. Unlawful user or addicted to a controlled substance
  4. Adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed to treatment
  5. Illegal alien
  6. Dishonorable discharge from the US Armed Forces
  7. Renounced United States citizenship
  8. Active protection order (restraining order, injunction for protection, etc.)
  9. Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  10. Under indictment or information for a felony

In addition to federal law, Florida law prohibits persons who:

  • Are adjudicated delinquent of a crime that would have been a felony if committed by an adult until the age of 24 or until record is expunged.
  • Receive “Adjudication Withheld” on any felony or on a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and three years has not yet lapsed since the completion of sentencing provisions.
  • were recently arrested for a potentially disqualifying crime which has not been dismissed or disposed of in court.

What are the requirements to purchase a firearm in Florida?

  • Must be 21 years of age. Rifles and shotguns may be purchased by a person who is at least 18 when that person is a law enforcement officer or correctional officer as defined in F.S. 943.10 or service member as defined in F.S. 250.01.
  • Must be a Florida resident to purchase a handgun. Long guns may be purchased by persons who are residents of other states so long as the sale complies with applicable laws in the purchaser’s state of residence.
  • Legal permanent resident aliens who are Florida residents may purchase a firearm and must provide a valid alien registration number. Non-resident aliens visiting Florida must present a border crossing number (I-94) and a valid exception document .
  • Florida does not require a permit to purchase a firearm nor is there a permit that exempts any person from the background check requirement.
  • There is a waiting period of three days, excluding weekends and state holidays, between purchase and delivery of all firearms. Individual counties and cities have the authority to enact local ordinances extending the waiting period to as much as five days. Please consult local ordinances for more detailed information.
  • There is no limit to the number of firearms that may be transferred in a single transaction. The transaction is considered complete once the dealer has completed and signed the ATF Form 4473. An additional transfer (whether minutes later, the next day, or the next month) requires an additional background check.
guns, NRA, Constitutional Carry, Anybody with a Gun