Carrying a firearm in Florida is generally NOT allowed unless you possess a valid Concealed Weapon and Firearm License (CWFL), although there are exceptions.
Concealed Carry is allowed in Florida with a valid CWFL. Concealed Carry is also valid if you hold a valid license from another state that is recognized in Florida (Reciprocity). The laws that govern concealed carry are found in Florida Statutes §790.06. Florida is a shall issue state, which means that the state is required to issue a CWFL, unless it can prove the individual applicant is disqualified.
A person possessing a valid CWFL or out of state equivalent may carry a firearm concealed on or about their person almost anywhere in the state. Although a CWFL holder may carry in most places, Florida Statutes §790.06(12)(a) lists some prohibited areas. Per Florida Statutes §790.06(12)(a), a CWFL does not give the holder the right to carry in the following places:
1. Any place of nuisance as defined in s. 823.05;
2. Any police, sheriff, or highway patrol station;
3. Any detention facility, prison, or jail;
4. Any courthouse;
5. Any courtroom, except that nothing in this section would preclude a judge from carrying a concealed weapon or determining who will carry a concealed weapon in his or her courtroom;
6. Any polling place;
7. Any meeting of the governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district;
8. Any meeting of the Legislature or a committee thereof;
9. Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms;
10. Any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building;
11. Any career center;
12. Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;
13. Any college or university facility unless the licensee is a registered student, employee, or faculty member of such college or university and the weapon is a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile;
14. The inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport provided that no person shall be prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the terminal, which firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking such firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft; or
15. Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.
Reciprocity in Florida (Licenses recognized in Florida)
Florida Statutes § 790.015, allows Florida to recognize concealed weapon licenses issued by other states if the other state agrees to recognize Florida concealed weapon licenses. The Florida Department of Agriculture maintains a list of recognized licenses on its website. To see the list of recognized licenses visit their website or click here. Although Florida will issue a CWFL to non-residents, it does not recognize a license or permit issued to a non-resident. In other words, you must live in the state that issued your carry license or permit, or Florida will not recognize it.
Reciprocity Outside Florida (Places that recognize your CWFL)
The Department of agriculture also maintains a list of places that recognize your CWFL. A word of warning, however, this list is often outdated and incorrect. In one case, we notified the Department of Agriculture of an error on their list regarding Maine. We did not hear back from them for almost 3 months while the error was still posted on the website. Eventually, we received an email thanking us and indicating the error had been fixed. The list maintained by the Department of Agriculture can be found by clicking here.
The open carry of firearms is generally prohibited in Florida, with some exceptions found in Florida Statutes §790.25(3). Open carry is allowed on your own property and at your place of business. It is also allowed when you are participating in or going to or returning from: 1) a hunting, camping or fishing expedition; 2) firing a weapon for testing or target practice under safe conditions and in a safe place not prohibited by law.
Florida allows both those with and those without a CWFL or out of state equivalent to carry a firearm within their car. How you carry depends on whether you have a recognized license. Those with a valid CWFL or recognized out of state license/permit may carry concealed on their person in their vehicle or may have a loaded firearm anywhere in their vehicle if it is concealed from the ordinary view of others. Florida Statute 790.25(5) allows those without a CWFL to carry a firearm, loaded in their vehicle as long as it is securely encased or not readily accessible for immediate use.
Carry at your place of work or business
Florida Statute 790.25(3)(n) also authorizes the open or concealed carry (with a CWFL) of a firearm at a person’s place of business. This means that even if your place of employment is not authorized under 790.06 such as a bar, open or concealed (with a CWFL) is allowed at your place of employment.
Carry at Religious Institutions and Services
There is no general statutory prohibition against carrying a firearm with a CWFL at churches, temples, mosques or other religious organizations. However, if there is a school on the same property the rules for carrying on school property apply.
Carrying on School Property
Various state and federal laws deal with the carrying of a firearm on the property of any school. This is a complex and confusing area of law. Generally, those without a valid license issued by the state they are located cannot come within 1,000 feet of a school under Federal law with some exceptions. 18 U.S.C. 921. Florida Law prohibits the carry of a firearm onto school property with very limited exceptions. Florida Statute § 790.06.