Florida does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed firearm on or about his or her person if the person has a license to carry a concealed firearm.1 Florida is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must issue a concealed weapons license if the applicant meets certain qualifications.
The Department must issue a license to carry a concealed weapon if the applicant:
- Is a U.S. resident and a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien of the United States, or a certified consular security official of a foreign government that maintains diplomatic relations and treaties of commerce, friendship, and navigation with the U.S.;
- Is 21 years of age or older;
- Does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon or firearm;
- Is not ineligible to possess a firearm due to a felony conviction;
- Has not been committed for the abuse of a controlled substance or found guilty of a crime under the Florida drug abuse prevention and control statutes or similar laws of any other state relating to controlled substances within the previous three years;
- Does not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. An applicant is presumed to chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired if, within the previous three years, the applicant:
- Was committed under Florida’s substance abuse services provisions or similar laws of any other state;
- Was convicted of using a firearm while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances;
- Was deemed a habitual offender for disorderly intoxication; or
- Has two or more convictions for driving under the influence;
- Desires a legal means to carry a concealed weapon or firearm for lawful self-defense;
- Demonstrates competence with a firearm (see below);
- Has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person, unless five years have elapsed since the applicant’s restoration to capacity by court order;
- Has not been committed to a mental institution, unless the applicant produces a certificate from a licensed psychiatrist stating that he or she has not suffered from disability for at least five years prior;
- Has not had an adjudication of guilt withheld or the imposition of a sentence suspended on any felony unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled, or expunction has occurred;
- Has not had an adjudication of guilt withheld or the imposition of a sentence suspended on any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled, or the record has been expunged;
- Has not been issued an injunction that is currently in force and effect and that restrains the applicant from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence; and
- Is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm by any other provision of Florida or federal law.2
In addition, people subject to risk protection orders that temporarily prohibit them from possessing, acquiring, or attempting to acquire any firearms while the order is in effect are ineligible for concealed carry permits.3
The Department must also deny a license if the applicant has been found guilty of, had an adjudication of guilt withheld for, or had the imposition of a sentence suspended for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or the record has been sealed or expunged.4 The Department must issue a license or deny an application within 90 days after receiving the application materials.5 If the Department receives criminal history information with no final disposition on a crime which may disqualify the applicant, the time limitation can be suspended until receipt of the final disposition or proof of restoration of civil and firearm rights.6
Firearm Safety Training
An applicant for a Florida concealed firearms license must demonstrate competence with a firearm through one of the following methods:
- Completion of a hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a similar agency of another state;
- Completion of a National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course, or a firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
- Completion of a firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ;
- Completion of a law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement; or
- Presents evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service.7
Duration & Renewal
Florida concealed firearms licenses are valid for a period of seven years from the date of issue.8 The Department must mail to the licensee a renewal form no less than 90 days before the expiration date of the license.9 A person whose license has been permanently expired may reapply for licensure; however, a full application must be submitted and background investigation conducted.10
Disclosure or Use of Information
Personal identifying information of an individual who has applied for or received a license to carry a concealed firearm held by the Department is confidential and exempt from state public records provisions and access to public records and meetings provisions.11 The Department maintains an automated listing of license holders and related pertinent information, and such information is available on-line, upon request, at all times to law enforcement agencies through the Florida Crime Information Center.12
A resident of the United States who is a non-resident of Florida may carry a concealed firearm while in Florida, provided that:
- The non-resident is 21 years of age or older, and has in her or his immediate possession a valid license to carry a concealed firearm issued to the non-resident in her or his state of residence; and
- The non-resident’s state of residence honors Florida concealed firearm licenses.13
- A person who carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person without a license commits a felony of the third degree, although this restriction does not apply to a person who carries a concealed weapon, or a person who may lawfully possess a firearm and who carries a concealed firearm, on or about his or her person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the Governor or by a local authority. Fla. Stat. § 790.01(2), (3). Note, too, that the license requirements of Fla. Stat. § 790.06 do not apply in various circumstances involving military personnel, law enforcement officers, government employees, security guards, messengers, regularly enrolled members of shooting or firearms collecting clubs (while at or going to/from club events), persons “engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting” (or while going to/from such expeditions), or persons possessing arms at their home or place of business, among others. Fla. Stat. § 790.25(3).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(2). A license may be suspended or revoked per Fla. Stat. § 790.06(3), (10).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.401(7)(a).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(3). Application and other license requirements are detailed under Fla. Stat. § 790.06.
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(6)(c).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(6)(c)(3).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(2)(h).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(1).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(11).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.0601(1). Information made confidential and exempt must be disclosed: 1) With the express written consent of the applicant or licensee or his or her legally authorized representative; 2) By court order upon a showing of good cause; or 3) Upon request by a law enforcement agency in connection with the performance of lawful duties, including access to any automated database containing such information maintained by the Department. Fla. Stat. § 790.0601(2).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.06(7).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.015. A list of states that honor Florida concealed firearm licenses is posted on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity page of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing.