Common Carrysense: Open Carry Gun Laws in Florida 

 February 9, 2016

By  LMW Attorneys

According to a recent study published the academic journal Injury Prevention, over 30 percent of Floridians are gun owners. Gun ownership can offer individuals the chance to participate in the many opportunities our state offers for hunting, as well as recreational activities like competitive target shooting and Sporting Clays. Some individuals may own guns for protection reasons, or even choose to purchase and keep them as collectibles that can accrue monetary value over time. Whatever reason you decide to purchase a gun, it is important to be aware of the laws that govern the ways Floridians can legally use and carry them.

The Current State of Florida’s Gun Laws

Thanks to concealed carry laws in Florida, it is possible for civilians to have guns on their person in public. To be in compliance with Florida’s concealed carry laws, civilians must have a concealed carry license issued from Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Florida will also recognize concealed carry licenses issued in other states when the non-Florida resident is at least 21 years of age.

What You Should Know About Florida’s Concealed Carry Laws

Concealed carry licenses issued by the state of Florida are valid for seven years from the date that they are issued. As the name of the law suggests, individuals who have a concealed carry license must make sure their gun is hidden from view in public places. They must also have their license with them while carrying in public. Individuals who have acquired concealed carry permits cannot take their guns with them to jail, schools or universities, and are not permitted to bring them to polling places.

Open Carry Bill That’s Still in Play in Florida State Legislature

It should be said that Florida is not currently considered an open carry state. However, there have been laws put forth in the state legislature that seek to change that. As it currently stands, Floridians who are employed by or enrolled in local universities and who also have concealed carry permits are not allowed to open carry their guns on college campuses.

According to MyPalmBeachPost.com, HB 4001 and SB 68 proposed to reverse that provision. While these appear to have lost steam in the state senate, this could allow Floridians with concealed carry permits to carry their guns out in the open. While open carry legislation regarding college campuses remains uncertain, open carry bills that apply to the general public may still have a chance of becoming law.

Call Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins for Open Carry Concerns

The experienced attorneys at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A. stay up-to-date on all the latest developments in Florida law. If you live in West Central Florida and have questions or concerns about open carry laws and policies, we are here to help. Call us today for legal advice concerning your right to carry and own firearms, or any recent changes regarding gun control laws.