If you’re interested in purchasing a gun in Florida or if you already own one, it’s smart to become familiar with gun laws in the state. There are specific guidelines that describe when someone can purchase a gun, how it might be used to protect yourself, and what could happen if you violate any laws. Here’s a brief overview of Florida gun law and how it affects you as a private citizen.
How Do I Purchase a Firearm?
Florida created separate stipulations when it comes to purchasing a handgun versus a long gun. Both types of purchases require a full background check, and you might be denied the sale for any of the following reasons:
- You’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence
- You have a felony on your record
- Under Indictment for a crime punishable by one year or more
- There is a warrant out for your arrest
- You have an active restraining order
- You have an illegal alien status
- You were dishonorably discharged from the military
This list is not all-inclusive, but mentions the more common reasons why a purchase might be denied.
If you’ve cleared your background check, you must wait three days from the sale to actually take possession of a handgun. Buying a long gun, for example a rifle or shotgun, does not have a waiting period. You must be 18 years old to buy a long gun, while Florida requires you to be 21 to purchase a handgun.
Can I Use My Gun for Self-Defense?
In 2005, Florida introduced legislation referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” law. Essentially, this law allows people to use deadly force in self-defense when there is a perceived threat to their safety. The law specifies that an individual must be at risk of death or great bodily harm to himself, herself or another to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
The “Stand Your Ground” law is especially important for homeowners because if someone breaks into your home, it is presumed that you have a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm, thus you have every right to use a gun to protect yourself.
What Penalties Are There for Violating Gun Laws?
One of the more noted policies under Florida gun law is the requirement for proper registration and permits to carry a concealed weapon. If a person is found with a concealed firearm and does not have a permit, they are charged with a third degree felony. The maximum punishment for this offense is up to five years in jail.
People can also find their way into trouble for brandishing a firearm, meaning they are showing their weapon in public. This charge comes as a first degree misdemeanor and can have a penalty of up to one year in jail.
Are you a gun owner in Florida and find you are being charged with a crime related to your firearm? Contact The Law Offices of Sabrina Puglisi for assistance with your defense.