In 2018, after a 19-year-old carried out a mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the state enacted a law prohibiting minors under age 21 from purchasing firearms.1 The law also prohibits licensed dealers from making or facilitating the sale or transfer of a firearm to a person under 21 years of age.2 However, Florida law does not prohibit minors between ages 18 and 21 from possessing firearms. In addition, the minimum age prohibitions for firearm purchases do not apply to the purchase of a rifle or shotgun by a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or servicemember.3
Florida generally prohibits a person under age 18 from possessing a firearm.4 However, this prohibition does not apply to unloaded firearms in the minor’s home.5 It also does not apply if the minor is:
- Engaged in a lawful hunting activity and is at least age 16 or, if under age 16, is supervised by an adult;
- Engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice or other lawful recreational shooting activity, and is at least age 16 or, if under age 16, is supervised by an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian; or
- Transporting an unloaded firearm directly to or from one of the aforementioned events.6
Florida law penalizes any parent or guardian, or other adult responsible for the welfare of a minor, who knowingly and willfully permits the minor to possess a firearm in violation these provisions.7
Florida penalizes any person who knowingly or willfully sells or transfers a firearm to a minor without the permission of the minor’s parent or guardian.8 Note that federal age restrictions also apply, and generally prohibit licensed firearms dealers from selling handguns to persons under age 21. For other child safety measures, see the Florida Child Access Prevention section.
See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.