Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Section 8 of Article I tothe Constitution of the State of Florida and the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution both guarantee the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Floridians are also allowed to carry concealed firearms or weapons in most places so long as they have obtained concealed weapons licenses from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
When people carry concealed weapons without such licenses, they can face criminal charges. Despite the fact that many alleged offenders accused of this offense had no criminal intent, they can face serious penalties if convicted.
Lawyer for Carrying a Concealed Weapon Defense in Tallahassee, Florida
If you were arrested for the alleged unlicensed carrying of a concealed firearm or weapon in Florida, you will want to immediately retain legal counsel. Pumphrey Law can fight to get criminal charges reduced or completely dismissed.
Our Tallahassee criminal defense attorneys serve communities throughout Taylor County, Madison County, Leon County, Jackson County, Gulf County, and Calhoun County. Call (850) 681-7777 or submit an online contact form right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyers review your case.
Leon County Carrying a Concealed Firearm Information Center
- What is the difference between a concealed firearm and a concealed weapon?
- How does the type of concealed weapon impact the criminal charges?
- Where can I learn more about concealed carry licenses and laws in the Sunshine State?
Florida Statute § 790.001(2) defines a concealed firearm as any firearm which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person. A firearm is defined in Florida Statute § 790.001(6) as any weapon—including a starter gun—which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, any destructive device, or any machine gun.
Under Florida Statute § 790.001(3), a concealed weapon is defined as any dirk, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person.
Florida Standard Jury Instruction Chapter 10.1 states that in order for a prosecutor to prove the crime of carrying a concealed weapon or firearm, the State needs to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The alleged offender knowingly carried on or about his or her person a firearm or weapon; and
- The firearm or weapon was concealed from the ordinary sight of another person.
The phrase “on or about his or her person” means physically on the person or readily accessible to that person. It not only means in that person’s hands or pockets, but can also mean inside an alleged offender’s automobile.
The phrase “ordinary sight of another person” is defined as meaning the casual and ordinary observation of another in the normal associations of life, although a firearm or weapon does not need to be completely hidden for it to be considered concealed. A firearm or weapon is not concealed if, although not fully exposed, its status as a firearm or weapon is detectable by ordinary observation.
Florida Statute § 790.01 establishes two grades of crimes for unlicensed carrying of concealed weapons or concealed firearms:
- First-Degree Misdemeanor if an alleged offender carries a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device on or about his or her person; and
- Third-Degree Felony if an alleged offender carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person.
Under Florida Statute § 790.01(3), these crimes do not apply to people who carry concealed weapons on or about their person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the governor or a local authority. The phrase “in the act of evacuating” is defined as the immediate and urgent movement of a person away from the evacuation zone within 48 hours after a mandatory evacuation is ordered, although the 48-hour period can be extended by an order issued by the governor.
People are also allowed to carry any of the following for purposes of lawful self-defense in a concealed manner:
- Self-defense chemical spray;
- Nonlethal stun gun;
- Dart-firing stun gun; or
- Other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes.
Florida Concealed Weapon License Application Information | Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services — Apply for or renew a Florida concealed weapon license at this website. First-time applicants must determine whether they are eligible for a concealed weapon license, demonstrate competency with a firearm in order to qualify for a license, and submit their applications in person or by mail. You can also learn how to replace a license or change your address at this website.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Plaza Level 10, The Capitol
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Florida Statute § 790.01 — View the full text of the statute relating to unlicensed carrying of concealed weapons or concealed firearms. This statute also links to Florida Statute § 790.06, the statute concerning concealed carry licenses. Elsewhere in Chapter 790, you can learn more about state laws governing weapons and firearms offenses.
Florida Standard Jury Instructions | Florida Supreme Court — Chapter 10 of the Standard Jury Instructions concerns weapons offenses. You can download the full document for Chapter 10.1, which covers jury instructions for carrying a concealed weapon or firearm offenses. While the standard jury instructions often serve as the basis for instructions provided to juries in most cases, they are rarely used verbatim.
Find a Carrying a Concealed Weapon Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee, FL
Have you been charged with unlicensed carrying of a concealed weapon or firearm? Pumphrey Law works tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcome for people facing all kinds of firearm and weapon charges.
Our Tallahassee criminal defense attorneys represent clients in Wewahitchka, Port St. Joe, Graceville, Perry, Marianna, Malone, Blountstown, and many other communities in Northern Florida. You can receive a complete review of your case during a free consultation as soon as you call (850) 681-7777 or complete an online contact form.
Article last updated October 22, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.