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In 2018, Florida enacted a mandatory waiting period between the purchase and delivery of any firearm sold by a licensed firearm dealer. The mandatory waiting period is either 3 days, excluding weekends and holidays, or the time it takes to complete the required criminal background check—whichever occurs later.1 Because the waiting period extends beyond three days if it takes longer to conduct a background check, and covers the entire duration it takes to complete the background check, Florida’s waiting period law has the effect of closing the default proceed loophole for many firearm transactions conducted by licensed gun dealers.

However, the mandatory waiting period does not apply to:

  • Holders of concealed weapons permits; 
  • The “trade-in of another firearm”;
  • The purchase of a rifle or shotgun by somebody who has completed a 16-hour hunter safety course and possesses a hunter safety certification card; or to
  • Purchases by law enforcement, correctional officers, or servicemembers.2

The Florida Constitution also imposes a mandatory three-day waiting period between the retail purchase and delivery of any handgun, with specified exceptions.3 In addition, the Florida Constitution authorizes counties to enact three to five-day waiting periods, excluding weekends and legal holidays, in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring in or on “property to which the public has the right of access” within the county.4 This provision is directed at gun shows and other events open to the public outside of retail firearms establishments. Concealed weapons permit holders are not subject to such waiting periods when purchasing a firearm.5

 See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.0655(1).[]
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.0655(3).[]
  3. Fla. Const. art. I, § 8(b).[]
  4. Fla. Const. art. VIII, § 5(b). “Sale” under this provision means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration for any firearm when any part of the transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access. Id.[]
  5. Id.[]