What Weapons Are Covered Under Florida’s CWFL?

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What Weapons Are Covered Under Florida’s CWFL?

CWFL Covers More Than Just Firearms!

A Florida Concealed Weapons and Firearms License (CWFL) covers more than just firearms.  So, what weapons are covered under Florida’s CWFL?

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 790.06(1), with a CWFL, one may carry concealed a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie, but the term does not include a machine gun as defined in § 790.001(9).

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 790.001 (3)(a), “Concealed weapon” means any dirk, metallic knuckles, 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.

Under Florida Statute § 790.001(13), “Weapon” means any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.

CHEMICAL SPRAY IS COVERED UNDER FLORIDA’S CWFL

Under Florida Statute § 790.001(3)(b), “Tear gas gun” or “chemical weapon or device” means any weapon of such nature, except a device known as a “self-defense chemical spray.” “Self-defense chemical spray” means a device carried solely for purposes of lawful self-defense that is compact in size, designed to be carried on or about the person, and contains not more than two ounces of chemical.

If your chemical spray (pepper spray) is under two ounces, under Florida law, one can openly or concealed carry for lawful self defense purposes.

Pepper Spray

ELECTRIC WEAPON OR DEVICE IS COVERED UNDER FLORIDA’S CWFL

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 790.001(14), “Electric weapon or device” means any device which, through the application or use of electrical current, is designed, redesigned, used, or intended to be used for offensive or defensive purposes, the destruction of life, or the infliction of injury.

There is no requirement to have a CWFL to carry, openly or concealed, a nonlethal electric weapon or device, including a non-lethal stun gun and tasers (dart firing stun guns).  That requirement ended in 2006.  Still, you cannot possess these weapons at restricted locations.

KNIVES ARE COVERED UNDER FLORIDA’S CWFL

For knives, a common pocketknife is not a weapon unless it is used as a deadly weapon, therefore, a CWFL is not required to carry a common pocketknife concealed.  Under Florida law, if a folding knife has a blade of four inches or less, it is considered a common pocketknife and not a weapon.  (See C.R. v. State, 73 So 3d 825 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011.))

Florida Statute §790.001(13) exempts from the definition of “weapon” the “common pocket knife”. However, the statute does not define the parameters of a “common pocket knife”.  That task has been left to the courts.

In L.B. v. State, 700 So.2d 370, (Fla. 1997), the Florida Supreme Court held that a folding knife with a 3¾ inch blade and an approximate overall length of 8½ inches was a “common pocket knife” and was, therefore, not a weapon.  Some case law has suggested that the manner in which the knife is carried can be an important factor.  For example, in Walls v. State, 730 So.2d 294 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999), the court held that whether a folding knife with a blade of approximately four inches when carried locked in the open position was a question for the jury to decide and was not per se a common pocket knife.  A similar decision was reached in Porter v. State, 798 So. 2d 855 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001).

However, in different districts, there could be different case law, so be cautious.  Under Federal Law, a common pocketknife is considered to have a blade less than two and one-half inches.  18 USC 930(g)(2).  It must be noted that common pocketknife is still ILLEGAL in any sterile area of an airport.

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 other weapons.  Local governments can impose laws regarding all weapons with the exclusion of firearms, which are more restrictive than state law.

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