Florida law prohibits any legal action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, distributor or dealer, or firearms trade association, on behalf of Florida or its agencies, or on behalf of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state, for damages, abatement, or injunctive relief, arising out of the lawful design, marketing, distribution, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.1 This law, however, does not prohibit a person from bringing an action against such an entity, for breach of a written contract, breach of an express warranty, or injuries resulting from a defect in the materials or workmanship of a firearm or ammunition.2 Furthermore, actions against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, distributor, or dealer are permitted for:
- Breach of contract or warranty in connection with a firearm or ammunition purchased by a county, municipality, or other political subdivision or agency of the state; or
- Injuries resulting from the malfunction of a firearm or ammunition due to a defect in design or manufacture.3
For any civil actions brought in violation of these provisions, a defendant to such action may recover all resulting expenses, including attorney’s fees, costs and compensation for loss of income, from the governmental entity bringing the action.4
Florida also immunizes any sport shooting or training range from lawsuits brought by the state and any of its agencies or political subdivisions for any claims associated with the use or accumulation of a projectile on or under the range, or any other property over which the range has a legal right of use, if the range owner or operator has made a good faith effort to comply with the appropriate environmental management practices.5 For more information, see the Florida section of our State Preemption / Local Authority to Regulate Firearms policy summary. A separate Florida law immunizes any person who operates or uses a sport shooting range from civil liability or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution resulting from the range.6
For detailed information about government and private party lawsuits against the gun industry, the status of litigation involving gun industry immunity statutes in various states, or pending gun industry immunity legislation, visit the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Gun Industry Immunity page.
See our Immunity Statutes / Manufacturer Litigation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(2). Moreover, a county, municipality, special district, or other political subdivision or agency of the state may not sue for or recover from a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, distributor or dealer, or firearms trade association, damages, abatement, or injunctive relief in any case that arises out of or results from the lawful design, marketing, distribution, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public. Fla. Stat. § 790.331(3). ⤴︎
- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(2). ⤴︎
- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(4). According to Florida law, the potential of a firearm or ammunition to cause serious injury, damage, or death as a result of normal function does not constitute a defective condition of the product, and a firearm or ammunition may not be deemed defective on the basis of its potential to cause serious injury, damage, or death when discharged legally or illegally. Fla. Stat. § 790.331(5). Florida law includes a statement that the manufacture, distribution, or sale of firearms and ammunition by duly licensed manufacturers, distributors, or dealers is a “lawful activity” and “not unreasonably dangerous.” Fla. Stat. § 790.331(1). It also states that “the unlawful use of firearms and ammunition, rather than their lawful manufacture, distribution, or sale, is the proximate cause of injuries arising from their unlawful use.” Id. ⤴︎
- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(6). ⤴︎
- Fla. Stat. § 790.333(5)(a); see also Fla. Stat. § 790.333(4). However, nothing in this law is intended to impair or diminish the private property rights of owners of property adjoining a sport shooting or training range. Fla. Stat. § 790.333(5)(b). ⤴︎
- See Fla. Stat. § 823.16(2), (3). ⤴︎