What are the Laws Relating to Gun Possession in Florida and How Do They Differ From Other States?

By  //  August 15, 2022

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In the United States, gun laws regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition. State laws vary consistently, but the federal government can pass bipartisan gun legislation into law. The state of Florida has been tightening up gun laws in the past decade.

What are Florida’s Gun Possession Laws?

As of writing, Florida does not have laws pertaining or preventing permits, registration, assault weapons, magazine capacity, peaceable journey, or background checks for private sales. 

Florida does mandate certain aspects of its gun laws, including the following:

■ Waiting Period

The waiting period is 3 days, excluding weekends, holidays, or expires upon the completion of background checks. Individual counties can request a waiting period of up to five days. The period is waived if you have a concealed weapons license.

■ Red Flag Law

If a person is deemed a danger to themselves or others, the police can confiscate firearms for up to a year with express approval from judicial courts.

■ Concealed Carry (Handguns Only)

Florida is a “shall issue” state for lawful permanent residents and citizens who are 21 years or older (may not carry over to other US states).

■ NFA Restrictions

Destructive devices and bump stocks are banned.

■ Stand Your Ground Law

In Florida, residents may use deadly force if they reasonably believe it’s necessary to defend against violent crime. Also called the “castle doctrine.”

■ State Preemption of Local Restrictions

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■ Purchase Age Restrictions

The sale or transfer of firearms cannot be made with a person younger than 21 years. Sales or transfers can only be conducted by a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer. Long guns may be restricted in Florida soon.

Firearm owners are subject to the firearm laws of the state they’re in. If you’re a Florida resident, some of your gun laws could be extended or retracted if you leave the state. However, some states will recognize certain permits, non-permits (shall issue), or the Second Amendment. 

How do Gun Possession Laws Differ in Other States?

Laws vary depending on the state. If you were charged with unlawful possession of a handgun in New Jersey, you would have to defend yourself in court. In Florida, it would be difficult to be charged with illegal possession, as you can legally possess a handgun if you’re over 21.

Here are the common subjects in state law that are regulated differently in each state:

■ State Permit

Connecticut requires a state permit, while California has a partial permit.

■ Firearm Registration

Hawaii requires registration of handguns and long guns, while New York only requires registration for handguns. Washington has partial registration.

■ Concealed Carry

Colorado and Connecticut require a license for concealed carry.

■ Open Carry

Georgia doesn’t require a permit for open carry, while Hawaii has strict laws around the permit, but there aren’t any laws against open carrying long guns.

■ State Preemption

Illinois has partial laws for local restrictions and preemptions. 

■ Semi Automatic Gun Restrictions

“Assault Weapons” are often regulated separately from other guns, like in New York, Washington, Minnesota, and Connecticut. 

■ NFA Weapon Restrictions

New Jersey restricts possession of short-barreled guns. 

■ Stand Your Ground Laws

38 states have a Stand Your Ground Law.

■ Peaceable Journey

Most states won’t allow leeway for those traveling with a gun.

■ Background Check

New Mexico requires background checks for private sales.

■ Red Flag Laws

Oklahoma is the only state that doesn’t have red flag laws.

Besides these laws, most states will change the minimum age to purchase firearms, whether a minor can possess firearms under the supervision of an adult, and if there’s a sporting rifle ban. Some states will recognize out-of-state permits, vehicle carry, and minimum waiting periods.