Understanding When Owning a Gun Is Illegal in Florida

Gavel, law book and a firearm on a desk.

Navigating gun laws, especially in Florida, may feel confusing. You may have many questions, and finding all the answers you need may feel challenging. Are you able to purchase a gun at the age of 18? What situations can restrict your ability to own a gun? It’s easy to get into trouble if you aren’t well-acquainted with all the Florida gun laws.

If you’ve been charged with carrying a gun illegally in Florida, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you with your case. They may also explain the related laws to inform you for the future better and reduce the consequences you might face. We’re here to help you understand the law and fight your case.

Who Can’t Own a Gun in Florida?

According to Title 18, United States Code 922, many are not permitted to own a gun under federal law. This includes the following:

  1. Convicted of a felony (or equivalent)
  2. Fugitive from justice
  3. Unlawful user or addicted to a controlled substance
  4. Adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed to treatment
  5. Illegal alien
  6. Dishonorable discharge from the US Armed Forces
  7. Renounced United States citizenship
  8. Active protection order (restraining order, injunction for protection, etc.)
  9. Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  10. Under indictment or information for a felony

However, in addition to Title 18, many others are also not allowed to own guns in the state of Florida. For example, if you committed a crime as a minor that would have been a felony if you were an adult at the time, you won’t be able to own a gun until you’re 24 or your record has been expunged.

Who Can Legally Own a Gun in the State of Florida?

In Florida, you must be at least 21 years old to purchase a gun. However, if you’re a correctional officer or service member, you may be allowed to purchase a rifle or shotgun when you’re 18. Florida residents, further, are only permitted to buy a handgun. 

If you travel to Florida from another state to purchase a long gun, you may only do so if the sale complies with the applicable laws in your state of residence. If you’re not a US citizen, you may be able to purchase a gun as well. However, you must provide a valid alien registration number, a border crossing number (I-94), and a valid exception document, depending on whether or not you are a permanent resident of Florida.

Penalties for Illegally Owning a Gun in Florida

Owning an illegal firearm in Florida is a second-degree felony, which means you may face many consequences. In addition, you may face more penalties if you use this illegal weapon while committing another crime. Penalties for illegally owning a gun in Florida may include the following: 

-Up to 15 years in prison

-Maximum fine of $10,000

-Losing your right to own guns

It’s also important to be aware of concealed weapons laws. If you carry a concealed weapon without a valid permit, you may face charges anywhere from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve been charged with illegally purchasing or concealing a firearm, it’s a good idea to look for help. While it may be economically tempting to avoid hiring legal help, this is not advisable. Instead of representing yourself, it’s strongly recommended you hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

Your lawyer may be able to help you throughout the entire legal process, including helping you build your defense arguments, how to follow the laws moving forward, and even how and when to discuss your case. Many criminal defense lawyers are well-equipped to help decrease the penalties you may face after your case closes.

Fight Your Florida Gun Charges With the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford

The Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford knows gun law well, and we may be able to assist you in building a solid case. This means we might be able to decrease your penalties and help you retain your rights as well as allow you to get back to your life more quickly. With over 30 years of experience, Robert H. Hanaford is dedicated to helping his clients every step of the way, and our firm is available at all hours of the day—including evenings and weekends.

If you think an educated, confident, and strong team will be able to assist you, the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford is the right choice. To get more information and contact our talented team, fill out our contact form or call us at (239) 315-9750.

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