A new Florida law allowing permitless carry goes into effect on July 1, 2023 making Florida the 26th state to recognize permitless carry. Florida has tipped the scales so the United States has become a permitless-carry majority and constitutional-support nation.
Brief Overview of the New Law
The new Florida law allows eligible citizens 21 years of age and up to carry a firearm without asking the government for a license and without paying a fee. The law does not change who is otherwise qualified to carry a firearm in public. Those who still wish to get a license/permit may do so under the law. And gun purchasers will still need to undergo a background check and a three-day waiting period will still be required to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, before receiving a purchased handgun. The mandatory waiting period does not currently apply to holders of concealed weapons licenses in Florida. The new law empowers Floridians to exercise their Second Amendment rights without bureaucratic and government limitations, affirming the fundamental right to self-defense.
Background Check Still Required for FFL Firearm Transfer
The passage of the permitless carry law would allow Floridians to carry concealed weapons anywhere without a weapons license, without an extra layer of background checks, and without training. Florida statutes still require a completed background check before a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) may transfer a firearm to a non-licensed person, when buying or transferring a handgun. A news release for the law says that it “leaves in place the current licensing process and background screening, so that those who choose to obtain a permit for reciprocity or other purposes are free to do so.”
The FL law eliminates the need for a concealed weapons license, which previously required a mandatory background check and a firearms training course, before you could carry hidden weapons or firearms on your person, provided you still met other gun ownership requirements.
Valid Identification Needed to Carry Concealed
Gun owners, Florida residents and non-residents will need to hold a valid identification to carry a concealed weapon, with a fine of $25. for failing to do so. People who are barred from buying or carrying guns under other Florida laws would still not be able to under the new law. The law will make the majority of U.S. states permitless or constitutional carry.
School Safety Provision Included
Under the new law, people would still be prohibited from bringing a firearm into places including police stations, courthouses, government meetings, and in most cases, schools and college campuses.
The law expands Florida’s school guardian program into private schools. The “Coach Aaron Feist Guardian Program” empowers trained personnel, such as teachers or security officers, to carry a firearm on campus. Supporters say the law will increase school safety, such as creating a standardized school threat assessment process and expanding a program that allows school district employees to carry guns at schools.
- Under previous law, residents had to undergo firearms training, clear a background check and pay fees when applying for a concealed-carry license.
- With the new law, a person will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon without a license if they meet the current requirements needed to obtain a license, including not having been convicted of a felony or found guilty of a crime relating to controlled substances within a three-year period.
Does the Concealed Weapons Law Change Who Can Buy a Firearm?
Briefly, no the same rules apply. You must be a resident 21 or older in Florida unless you are a law enforcement or corrections officer or are in military service. There are existing regulations which still apply for gun ownership for people convicted of a felony, dishonorably discharged, adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed to treatment, convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, or other conditions recognized by the state.
Openly carrying a gun is still illegal, as before the new law, in Florida. It’s a second-degree misdemeanor with a $500 fine or a maximum of 60 days in jail, with exemptions for law enforcement, corrections officers, game wardens, forest officials, military, guards, members of firearms clubs while at gatherings or traveling to and from them, people on firing ranges, people who manufacture firearms while they’re on the job, and anyone “engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting or going to or returning from a fishing, camping, or lawful hunting expedition,” per Florida Statute 790.25.
Can A Florida Resident Carry In Other States Without A Carry License/Permit?
The Florida concealed carry program will continue for people who need proof in other states of the lawful right to carry a concealed firearm. Since state regulations vary significantly from state to state, recognize that requirements vary and will change when you cross state lines into another state. Some states that have constitutional or permitless carry may allow you to continue carrying your firearm concealed even if you don’t have a license/permit, while others may not. So if you want to travel with your concealed firearm from/to certain states, e.g. Florida, that now allows permitless carry for residents and non-residents, you will need to get a concealed carry permit/license when you travel from your home state for that reciprocity.
Is Firearm Safety and Basic Training Necessary?
Many believe that the government should not mandate training or a license as a requirement for a person to carry a gun, while also believing that having sufficient training in safety issues and gun fundamentals are necessary. It seem very obvious to most righteous and answerable people that responsible gun owners should seek training, so they can be safe and use the gun properly, legally, and effectively. Certainly anyone carrying a gun should most definitely know the deadly-force and concealed carry laws of their state, as well as the related federal laws. For example, do you know your state, and the federal, laws affecting when to shoot and when not to shoot, in addition to the situational variables that will influence your decisions in a life-and-death matters? You will be still be liable for any bullet that leaves your gun’s barrel, even if your motive, means, opportunities, and situations are absolutely correct to yourself, in any shooting involving an aggressor. And you still must justify your use of deadly force used, probably even in court. If traveling to other states with a gun, it is important to know and understand the same laws, requirements, and deadly-force factors of that state as well. Everyone needs training in the basics of not only handgun marksmanship and handling and using their gun properly and safely, but also in the many legal considerations. Do not neglect to get proper training, even though not now required in Florida and 25 other states.
The new Florida Permitless Carry law allows eligible citizens 21 years of age and up to carry a firearm without asking the government for a license and without paying a fee. The law does not change who is otherwise qualified to carry a firearm in public. Those who still wish to get a license/permit may do so under the law.
The Florida law eliminates the need for a concealed weapons license, which previously required a mandatory background check and a firearms training course, before you could carry hidden weapons or firearms on your person, provided you still met other gun ownership requirements.
Under the new law, people would still be prohibited from bringing a firearm into places including police stations, courthouses, government meetings, and in most cases, schools and college campuses. The law expands Florida’s school guardian program into private schools.
Every firearm owner and user needs training in the basics of not only handgun marksmanship and handling and using their gun properly and safely, but also in the many legal considerations. Do not neglect to get proper training, even though not now required in Florida and 25 other states.
Safety First Always!
Photo by author.
* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2023 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col. Ben Findley at ColBFF@gmail.com.