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Concealed Weapons

Carrying a concealed weapon is a huge responsibility. While it can be done perfectly within the law, it is vital to be aware of and adhere to all laws surrounding carrying a concealed weapon, or you could be putting your freedom and safety at risk.

The first requirement is a CCW gun permit which allows you to carry a concealed weapon in public spaces. While this is the first and in many ways the most important requirement, there are many other laws which you may be subject to while carrying a concealed weapon.

Carrying a concealed weapon without a CCW permit is a serious offense. It is a felony offense and can carry as much as five years in prison, in addition to fines. If you have been caught carrying a concealed weapon without a permit — or violating other CCW laws — you should seek the counsel of a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately.

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How To Carry Concealed Weapons

To carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida, you must apply for a permit. To apply for a permit, you will need:
  • A valid picture ID proving you are at least 21 years old
  • A document proving that you have an acceptable form of firearms training
  • A licensure fee
After applying, the State of Florida has 90 days to respond to your application. The application can be accepted or denied at the State’s discretion.

If approved, you will be issued a CCW Permit. This will allow you to carry a weapon concealed on your person in public spaces.

While you can carry throughout most the state, it is illegal to carry in certain locations including airports, sea ports, police stations, taverns, polling places, prisons, courthouses, and government meeting areas. Check local laws for any additional restrictions.

Note that Florida is not an open carry state. Your weapon must be kept concealed while carrying it at all times.

Florida’s CCW permits allow holders to carry handguns, tear gas guns, batons, and knives.

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What is a CCW?

CCW is an abbreviation for “carrying a concealed weapon.” In shorthand, the term CCW is often used to refer to the permit which allows you to carry a concealed weapon.

A CCW permit is issued in the form of a license. This license should be kept with you at all times when carrying your weapon.

Can I carry any gun with a CCW permit?

The Florida State CCW permit pertains primarily to handguns. You may carry any type of handgun which is legal to own under Florida state law.

Because Florida is not an open carry state, any weapon carried in public must be carried with a CCW and must be small enough to be concealed on your person such that a passerby may not readily see the weapon.

What is the difference between Open and
Concealed Carry?

“Open” carry refers to carrying a weapon with no intent to conceal. This means the weapon is carried openly in public places and is openly displayed.

A “concealed” carry, in contrast, is a weapon which is concealed beneath your clothing such that it cannot be readily seen or identified by a passerby. It should not be obvious that you are carrying a weapon at all.

Florida is not an open carry state. Only in specific circumstances, such as hunting, can weapons be carried openly.

How a lawyer can help if you’ve been charged
with carrying a concealed weapon

If you have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a CCW permit, or violating the laws regarding concealed carry, it is essential to seek legal counsel immediately.

A qualified attorney will be able to assess the situation and provide advice and representation moving forward. Your attorney will be able to potentially get the charges dropped or the severity of punishment reduced.

Without a lawyer, you are left facing the complexities of the legal system alone and could face far harsher punishments than otherwise necessary.

Carrying a concealed weapon without the proper permit can result in as much as five years in jail.

How to get a concealed weapons permit

If you are a US citizen or legal resident alien over the age of 21, you can apply for a CCW in person at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) or at an an authorized Florida tax collectors office.

To qualify, you must not have any convictions for violent crimes within the last three years. You must also not have two or more DUI convictions within the last three years.

Finally, you must be able to prove that you have completed an approved firearms training course.

Florida CCW FAQ

What states recognize Florida CCW permits?

Thirty six states recognize CCW permits issued by the state of Florida, making it one of the most widely recognized CCW permits in the United States.

The thirty six states are:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming

How can I transport a gun without a CCW permit in Florida?

Even without a CCW permit, you may still carry a loaded firearm in your vehicle in the state of Florida. The firearm must be kept in a closed container, such as the glovebox, center console, or gun case. It must be kept concealed during transport.

Is a gun in a glove box considered to be concealed?

Yes. Any closed container where the gun cannot be seen from the outside is considered a concealed location.


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