Possession of Brass Knuckles is Legal In Florida!
Possession of Brass Knuckles is legal in Florida. As opposed to Florida Statute §790.225
, which strictly prohibits the possession, manufacture, use, or sale of ballistic self-propelled knives, other sections merely place limited restrictions regarding certain weapons.
Manufacture or Sale of Brass Knuckles is Illegal!
Florida Statute §790.09
does not prohibit metallic (brass) knuckles in all respects. However, it does prohibit the manufacture, sale or exposure for sale of any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as a brass or metallic knuckles.
What exactly are “metallic knuckles” or “brass knuckles” under Florida Law?
The Florida Statutes do not clearly define metallic knuckles. Further, there appears to be no Florida case law delineating what “metallic” or “brass” knuckles are. The image immediately below reflects typical brass knuckles:
Does A CWFL cover Brass Knuckles?
No, under a Concealed Weapons and Firearms License (CWFL) in Florida it is illegal to conceal carry Brass Knuckles. Florida Statute 790.06
in relevant part states, “[f]or the purposes of this section, concealed weapons or concealed firearms are defined as a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie …” Therefore, even though possession of Brass knuckles is legal in Florida, you may not carry Brass Knuckles concealed, even if you have a CWFL.
Preemption Does Not Apply!
Although the Florida Legislature made it clear that the State of Florida intended to occupy the entire area of gun law, the legislature did not do this for all weapons. Local governments can impose laws regarding all weapons with the exclusion of firearms, which are more restrictive than state law. For instance, in Miami-Dade County, there is a law making possession of Brass Knuckles illegal. The law states in relevant part:
§ 21-14. Dangerous weapons; penalty; trial court
(a) Concealed dangerous weapons.
It shall be unlawful for any person to wear under his clothes, or concealed about his person, or to display in a threatening manner any dangerous or deadly weapon including, but not by way of limitation, … cross-knuckles or knuckles of lead, brass or other metal, or any bowie knife, razor, dirk, dagger, … or any other dangerous or deadly weapon, except as hereinafter provided.
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David S. Katz