You Can Face Prison if Caught Carrying a Gun
without a Permit
The Constitution gives all Americans the right to bear arms, but as with any such right, this one is not unlimited. States, counties, and cities have all created various types of limitations on your right to buy, sell, own, or carry various types of guns. Florida is no different in this regard. In Florida, residents may carry a concealed gun on or near their body as long as they have a permit.
A recent case involving a Florida woman shows that, even if you have no plans to use it, you should always get a permit if you are going to carry one. As recently reported, a Florida woman could be facing charges after her gun accidentally went off and shot her friend in the leg while both were at a local coffee shop.
Police say gun accidentally discharged
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the two ladies were at Starbucks located in the Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg. When they went to pay, one of them dropped her purse. As the purse hit the ground, a .25-caliber gun that she had in the purse went off. Her friend ended up with a bullet in her leg. The woman explained to police that her father had given the gun to her as a gift, and she’d been carrying it for about a year. Unfortunately she hadn’t ever taken out a permit.
The police are agreeing with her that the incident was innocent as to the shooting. However, the case was sent to prosecutors with regard to her failing to obtain the needed permit.
Florida’s Concealed Weapons Law
The woman could face up to five years in prison for her oversight in not getting a concealed weapons permit, assuming prosecutors decide they have a case. According to Florida law, carrying a concealed firearm in Florida without a permit is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both. It’s illegal to carry a concealed weapon at certain places, such as schools, even with a license
Permits can be obtained through the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Under certain conditions, Florida recognizes valid concealed weapons permits from residents of other states who are visiting Florida. For more details, consult the complete text of the Florida concealed weapons law here. In order to obtain a license, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen or legal resident
- 21 years old or older
- Not have been convicted of a felony
- Not be an alcoholic
- Not suffer from a physical ailment which prevents you from safely handling the gun
- Eligible to possess a firearm under Florida and federal law
- Not have been committed within the past three years for the abuse of a controlled substance or been convicted of laws relating to controlled substances.
- Show competence handling a firearm.
If you have any questions regarding weapons laws in Florida, or if you have been arrested or are about to be arrested for any firearms related crime, you can contact the law offices of Eric A. Kay.