Violent crimes went up 2.3% in Florida.

A 2.3% increase means there were 1,850 more violent crimes. Crimes like aggravated assault and murder. If you want to protect your home and your loved ones, you’ve probably thought about buying a firearm.

However, with all of the different choices and laws to abide by, it can be challenging to know what steps to take. To help simplify things, we’ve put together this article. We’ll go over everything you need to know about purchasing a firearm in Florida, so you can shop with confidence.

What do you need to know about Florida gun laws? Read on to find out.

Preparing for Firearm Ownership

Buying a firearm starts by knowing what you want. If this will be your first time making a purchase, we suggest getting a handgun. However, shotguns and rifles can be great for hunting expeditions.

You’ll want to look for firearms that can give you the best protection without going over your budget. You’ll also need a gun that you can use with a low level of training to be highly proficient in home defense. 

Go Used

If you’re working with a strict budget, consider buying a used handgun. You’ll be able to widen your option of significantly widening your purchasing options when you open things up to the used market. You might be able to get 25% or even 50% off of a regular retail price.

Buy Into a Warranty

Often Florida firearms manufacturers will provide a lifetime warranty. That lifetime warranty attaches to the gun, not the owner. So even if you buy a used gun, you might be purchasing into a warranty that already exists.

Are You Eligible to Purchase a Firearm?

You have the perfect gun picked out, and you’re ready to start shopping for the best deal online. But before you can make a purchase, you’ll need to determine if you’re eligible for buying a firearm in the first place.

There are a few categories of individuals who aren’t allowed to purchase or own a gun in Florida, based on federal law. For one, convicted felons and fugitives are ineligible for buying or possessing firearms.

Other ineligible individuals include anyone who’s been dishonorably discharged from the US armed forces, anyone convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence, and anyone who has renounced their United States citizenship.

Florida law goes a little further than Federal law by prohibiting firearm purchases from anybody who was recently arrested for a disqualifying crime. Florida also states that if you receive an adjudication withheld on any misdemeanor or felony relating to domestic violence and it hasn’t been over 3 years, you can’t buy a gun.

As long as you’re not dealing with a criminal background, Florida gun laws make the purchasing process easy and straightforward.

Florida Gun Laws

What are the requirements that make you eligible to purchase a firearm? For starters, you need to be at least 21 years of age. Rifles and shotguns can be bought by someone who’s 18 if that person is a member of law enforcement or they’re a correctional officer.

Being a Florida resident will make things easier and faster. If you don’t live in Florida, you can still purchase handguns and long guns.

The sale just has to comply with all applicable laws in your state of residence. For instance, legal permanent resident aliens who live in Florida will need to provide a valid alien registration number.

It’s important to note that there is a waiting period when you want to buy a firearm in Florida. The waiting period is 3 days long and it doesn’t include state holidays or weekends. So plan accordingly.

In some situations, the waiting period could be longer. Each county and city within Florida has the authority to extend the waiting period to 5 days. You’ll need to contact your local ordinance for more details about their policy for extending the waiting period.

Did you want more than one firearm? There isn’t any limitation on the number of guns you can buy. You can buy as many firearms as you want in a single transaction as long as the dealer has completed the proper paperwork and the necessary background check.

Who Needs a Concealed Weapons Permit?

What type of license or permit do you need to buy a firearm? When you’re purchasing in Florida, there aren’t any licenses or permits that you have to acquire.

Except for a few special situations, open carry isn’t legal in Florida. For instance, if you’re camping, fishing, or hunting lawfully, open carry can be acceptable.

If you have your firearm with you for daily activities, you’ll need to learn more about obtaining a concealed weapon permit. These permits are sometimes referred to as CWL for concealed weapons licenses.

However, you may also see the acronym CWP for concealed weapons permit. Both CWL and CWP refer to the same permit that allows you to carry a concealed weapon.

Concealed carry is only for legal residents of Florida who have an active permit. Non-residents will need their own concealed permit from a state that Florida honors.

Your concealed weapons license gives you the power to carry a handgun and other weapons. For instance, your concealed weapons permit gives you permission to carry tear gas guns, knives, electric weapons, and Billie clubs.

You’ll need to be at least 21 years old to obtain your concealed weapons permit, and you’ll also need to complete a firearms training course. Sometimes you can find package deals that include the training course, and permit course all in one.

Buying a Firearm the Right Way

Once you know exactly what type of handgun, shotgun, or rifle you’d like, buying a firearm is straightforward. You won’t have to worry about obtaining any special permits or licenses, and the waiting period is only 3 days long.

So if you purchase a firearm today, you could start training with it by the end of the week! What are you waiting for? Start shopping for a gun that checks all of the boxes and look to get your concealed weapons permit too.

Want more tips? Check out another blog post.

By Manali