Is it a crime to have an unregistered gun in Florida?
The State of Florida does not have any requirements that guns be licensed or registered with the state, so it is not against Florida’s criminal law. In fact, Florida Statutes section 790.335 actually prohibits any state or local government entity from keeping any list or registry of privately owned firearms or of the owners of firearms.
Do private sellers of guns have to do background checks before selling a firearm to somebody else?
As long as the buyer is a Florida resident and is not a convicted felon, or otherwise prohibited by criminal law from possessing a gun, private sales are not subject to any background checks or wait times. Additionally, at this time there is no way for a private citizen to do the background check required for commercial gun dealers to be in compliance with criminal law.
What are the criminal consequences of carrying a gun in my car?
It is not a crime for people who can legally possess a gun to carry it concealed in their vehicles. As long as it is securely encased in a closed gunbox, snapped holster, zipped-up gunbag or something similar and not on your person, it is not against the law.
What about the “three moves” rule that I’ve heard about regarding carrying a gun in my car?
The so-called “three move” rule was a way of explaining that the gun cannot be readily accessible for immediate use, and therefore a crime under the old, vague law regarding carrying a concealed weapon in your vehicle. It has been replaced by the “securely encased” requirement.
What about those guys that have shotguns in the rack in the rear window of their truck? Those aren’t encased at all.
The securely encased requirement only applies to concealed handguns. It is not a crime in Florida to openly carry a long gun in your vehicle.
Does it matter that I have a license to carry a concealed weapon?
Yes. A holder of a State of Florida license to carry a concealed weapon may carry the weapon in the vehicle without committing a crime even if it is on their person or not securely encased.
I have a license issued by another state. Can I carry the gun on my person?
Some states have a reciprocity agreement with the State of Florida that would allow holders to carry as though they had a Florida license without committing a crime. The list of States varies from time to time. It is best to consult an attorney or law enforcement in your area to know whether it is legal or not.
Randall Grantham is an attorney with offices located in Pasco County, Florida. The above FAQ are intended to be for general informational purposes only and are NOT to be construed as legal advice. If you have any specific questions on these or any other criminal law issues, you should consult an attorney of your choice.