Gun Ownership in Florida

Age to Own and Possess a Firearm

As a general rule, a minor under the age of 18 may not own or possess a firearm.  Several exceptions to the rule exist. These exceptions are found in Florida Statute 790.22(3).  For instance, a minor may lawfully possess an unloaded firearm in his or her home.  Without adult supervision, a minor may lawfully possess a loaded firearm while hunting.  If the minor is under 16 years of age, they must be under adult supervision. Although you must be 21 to purchase a firearm, anyone over 18 may own and possess a firearm unless otherwise ineligible.  

Age to Purchase a Firearm

Since 2018 it has been illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase a firearm.  Florida Statute §790.065(13) states that a person under 21 years of age may not purchase a firearm.  This applies to both handguns and long guns. However, it is not illegal for a person 18 – 21 years old to own a firearm.  Although they cannot lawfully purchase a firearm, anyone over 18 years of age who is not otherwise disqualified an own and possess a handgun or rifle.

No License Required

There is no license required to purchase or own a firearm.  A license is required to conceal carry a firearm in Florida. Further, firearms are not licensed or permitted to an individual and a person eligible to carry a firearm is not restricted to a particular gun, but can carry any lawful firearm.

Firearm Registration

There is no legal requirement to register firearms in Florida.  In fact, it is illegal for any government entity, or public or private individual to knowingly keep any list, record, or registry of privately owned firearms or any list, record, or registry of the owners of those firearms per Florida Statute §790.335(2).

Purchasing From A Dealer (FFL)

A Federal Firearms License is needed to sell firearms as a business.  Certain laws apply to firearm dealers that do not apply to private sales.  With very few exceptions, Florida law requires a mandatory 3-day waiting period on all firearm sales made through an FFL.  Florida State 790.0655.  The most common exception is that the purchaser possesses a valid CWFL.

Private Sales (Purchasing from an Individual)

Florida Law allows the sale of firearms between private parties.  This means that a person can legally, buy, sell, gift, or otherwise transfer a firearm to another person unless they are aware that the receiver is not lawfully able to possess a firearm.  One important restriction, however, is that Federal law prohibits the transfer of a firearm between two individuals if they do not reside in the same state. 18 U.S.C. 922

Medical Marijuana

Recently Medical Marijuana became legal in Florida.  However, Marijuana is still listed as a controlled substance under Federal law.  See Section 102 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 802).  Much misinformation circulates around the internet about the ability of a medical marijuana user to purchase and possess firearms.  Under Federal law, a user of a controlled substance is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.  Further, 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3) makes it unlawful for ANY PERSON to sell or otherwise disposes to a person they know or have reasonable cause to believe is a user of marijuana or any other controlled substance.  Do not take legal advice from those who sell medical marijuana or a pro-marijuana website, which often misstate the law.

Firearm Storage

The state of Florida does not require your firearms to be stored in any particular fashion in most cases.  However, if a minor under 16 years of age is around, then your firearm must be on your body or in a location so close to you that you could retrieve it as easily and quickly as if it were on your body or must be secured in a locked box or container or in a location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure or by placing a trigger lock on the loaded firearm as required by Florida Statute §790.174.

Carrying a Firearm

The open carry of a firearm is generally not allowed in Florida per Florida Statute §790.053 with limited exceptions including, hunting, camping, and fishing.  The concealed carry of a firearm is also prohibited in most locations unless an individual possesses a valid Concealed Weapon and Firearm License (CWFL) or recognized out of state equivalent per Florida Statute §790.01.  


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