T. charles Shafer Attorney At Law PLLC.

Who Is Unable To Lawfully Own A Firearm In Florida?


If you’re convicted of a felony, you cannot lawfully possess a firearm. If you continually violate certain statutes pertaining to substance abuse, then you might be deemed incompetent to own a firearm. If you have been involuntarily committed (commonly referred to as being “Baker Acted”) with a finding that you posed a danger to yourself or others, then you will be unable to legally possess a firearm. In addition, certain domestic violence convictions also bar one from owning a firearm, at least for a period of time. Finally, there are various federal firearm restrictions determined by federal law. There may be additional disqualifiers, but the foregoing prohibitions immediately come to mind.

If you have a question of legality, it is best to consult with an attorney to insure that you can lawfully possess a firearm.

What Is The Difference Between Concealed Carry And Open Carry? How Are These Laws Addressed In Florida?

When talking about handguns, “open carry” means just what the name implies: you can walk around in public with a gun visible to any and all onlookers. “Concealed carry” also means what the phrase implies: you can conceal your firearm on your person or in your vehicle in a manner so that it is not visible to people who might be looking at you or into your vehicle’s interior. Open carry generally is prohibited in Florida, unless you are a law enforcement official. There are a couple of exceptions to the carry statutes. For example, if you are going to and from target practice or hunting with either a long gun or a pistol, then you can carry your firearms in the car. However, your pistol still should be carried securely encased in a holster, in a glove compartment, or “otherwise not available for immediate use.”

What Are The Most Common Types Of Gun Cases That Your Firm Handles?

My firm typically handles concealed firearm cases, which oftentimes are part and parcel of other offenses. For example, a person will get stopped by an officer and they will smell cannabis in the vehicle, which under Florida law gives that officer probable cause to search the vehicle. If a firearm is found under the seat, for example, then the person generally also gets arrested for carrying a concealed firearm. Those types of situations are very common. We’ve also dealt with numerous other gun charges, including discharging a firearm in public, aggravated assault with a firearm, and armed robbery and armed burglary. We also handle more serious cases, including murder and attempted murder and manslaughter. However, it is much more common to represent individuals changed with concealed firearms offenses.

What Are The Requirements To Interact With Law Enforcement If You Are Carrying A Firearm?

If you have a concealed carry permit, you are not required to tell law enforcement that you have a firearm in your vehicle. However, if law enforcement asks you whether or not you have a firearm in your vehicle, then you are required to answer truthfully. If you were to get pulled over by an officer, the best practice should be to inform the officer of the firearm immediately and then tell the officer that you have a permit and where both are located to keep a situation calm. Do not tell an officer you have a gun and then start reaching around in the car! We have recently viewed tragic contacts between law enforcement and citizens in that regard. Instead of reaching, just tell them where in your vehicle the firearm is located, and let them know that you have a permit. Don’t make any movements toward anything, because as soon as you say “firearm” to a law enforcement officer, it dramatically escalates the encounter, at least until any perceived alarm can be dispelled.

What Is The Difference Between Misdemeanor And Felony Gun Charges In Florida?

Improperly displaying a firearm is a misdemeanor criminal offense. An example would be if somebody cuts me off in traffic and I show the other driver my firearm. That action portends that something more might happen if the activity does not stop. Such action is a misdemeanor. If you take that same firearm and point it at the other driver, then it is considered aggravated assault with a weapon (in this case, the weapon being the firearm). In Florida, aggravated assault with a firearm is a third degree felony that can carry a maximum five year prison sentence.

What Are The Penalties For Gun Charge Convictions In Florida?

The penalty for gun charge convictions in Florida depend on the crime charged. As stated above, improper exhibition of a firearm is considered a misdemeanor. Shooting a firearm in public or even on your residential property is prohibited. Such actions can land an individual in county jail for up to a year, with a fine of up to $1000.00. If you point a gun at someone and put them in fear of being harmed, then you’ve committed an aggravated assault with a firearm and you would be facing up to a five year sentence. If you are involved with a violent crime and you use or display a firearm, you will face a 10 year mandatory sentence. If you shoot that firearm, you face 20 years as a mandatory sentence. If you hurt or kill somebody by shooting them, then you will face a mandatory life sentence. This is commonly known as the “10-20-life” law. Obviously it is very serious, and if the crime is proven at trial, then the judge has no other alternative but to sentence a defendant to mandatory prison. Armed burglary and armed robbery can also carry stiff penalties: up to thirty years for armed robbery; up to life imprisonment for armed burglary or home invasion robbery.

For more information on Gun & Firearm Charges In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (772) 467-2601 today.

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