April 5, 2021

Criminal Defense: Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Florida

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Today, a person has the right to bear arms and, in some circumstances, carry a concealed weapon. However, some restrictions are attached to this law, and failure to follow the law can result in criminal penalties and charges.

This article has all the information you need to know about legally and safely carrying a concealed weapon in Florida.

Legal Definitions:

Florida Statute, S 790.001 (3) defines a concealed weapon as “any dirk, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person.” 

Florida Statue S 790.001 (2)f defines firearms as “any firearm, as defined in subsection (6), which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person.” Subsection 6 defines firearms as “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun. The term “firearm” does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime.” 

Can I Carry A Concealed Weapon or Firearm? 

In Florida, you can carry a concealed weapon if you have a Concealed Weapon or Firearm License. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to issue a concealed weapon or firearm license to persons who meet the following qualifications: 

  • A United States resident or a permanent resident alien
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Does not have physical infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a weapon
  • Has not been convicted of a felony
  • Has not been committed for the abuse of a controlled substance in the last three years
  • Has not been deemed a habitual offender regarding use of alcoholic beverages
  • Demonstrates competence with a firearm through safety courses offered to the public or has been previously licensed to carry a firearm in Florida

Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licenses are valid for seven years. The licensee must carry the license along with valid identification at all times. Violations may constitute a noncriminal violation with a penalty of $25.

Penalties For Unlawful Concealed Carry 

First degree misdemeanor – If you are convicted of carrying a weapon that is not a firearm, the penalty may include upon up to a full year in jail and a fine up to a $1,000.

 Third-degree felony – If you are convicted of carrying a concealed firearm, the penalty may include up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. 

If you have been accused of carrying a concealed weapon, it’s essential to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Florida immediately. Your attorney will be able to defend your rights through the following:

  • Active license – If you have an existing license.
  • Reciprocity – Florida has reciprocity with over 30 states for concealed carry.
  • Concealment challenge – The state may not have met the necessary factors for concealment.
  •  Weapons not included in the statute.


It is legal to carry a concealed weapon or firearm in Florida as long as you have a valid license. You must meet all the requirements and finish firearm safety training courses if you want to get a license. For safety, be sure to carry your license and valid identification at all times. If you’ve been accused of carrying a concealed weapon or firearm, your first action should be to contact a local criminal defense attorney.

The Dorsey Law Firm has over 45 years of Jacksonville law experience, and we have an impeccable reputation as criminal defense lawyers. We have represented clients in numerous trials in state and federal courts in Florida before nearly every judge in all the northern Florida counties. If you are in need of representation, contact us. We’re here to help.


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