Ammunition Regulation in Florida

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Florida law prohibits the possession of ammunition by the same persons who are directly prohibited by Florida law from possessing firearms, although the persons who are prevented from obtaining firearms through the background check process required by Florida law are not similarly prevented from obtaining ammunition.1 The federal ammunition purchaser prohibitions also apply.

Florida prohibits the manufacture, sale or delivery of any armor-piercing bullet or exploding bullet, or “dragon’s breath” shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell.2 The state also prohibits the possession of an armor-piercing bullet or exploding bullet with knowledge of its armor-piercing or exploding capabilities loaded in a handgun, and the possession of a dragon’s breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell with knowledge of its capabilities loaded in any firearm.3 Each of these terms is defined.4 The definition of “armor-piercing bullet” differs from the definition of “armor-piercing ammunition” in federal law, which also restricts the manufacture, sale, importation and delivery of such ammunition.

Florida law does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require a license for the purchase or possession of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers;
  • Require the safe storage of ammunition; or
  • Restrict the locations where ammunition may be carried.
Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. §§ 790.23-790.235. ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.31(2)(a). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.31(2)(b). ⤴︎
  4. “Armor-piercing bullet” is defined as any bullet which has a steel inner core or core of equivalent hardness and a truncated cone and which is designed for use in a handgun as an armor-piercing or metal-piercing bullet. Fla. Stat. § 790.31(1)(a). “Exploding bullet” is defined as any bullet that can be fired from any firearm, if such bullet is designed or altered so as to detonate or forcibly break up through the use of an explosive or deflagrant contained wholly or partially within or attached to such bullet. Fla. Stat. § 790.31(1)(b). The term does not include any bullet designed to expand or break up through the mechanical forces of impact alone or any signaling device or pest control device not designed to impact on any target. Id. “Dragon’s breath shotgun shell” means any shotgun shell that contains exothermic pyrophoric misch metal as the projectile and that is designed for the sole purpose of throwing or spewing a flame or fireball to simulate a flamethrower. Fla. Stat. § 790.31(1)(d). “Bolo shell” means any shell that can be fired in a firearm and that expels as projectiles two or more metal balls connected by solid metal wire. Fla. Stat. § 790.31(1)(e). “Flechette shell” means any shell that can be fired in a firearm and that expels two or more pieces of fin-stabilized solid metal wire or two or more solid dart-type projectiles. Fla. Stat. § 790.31(1)(f). ⤴︎

Background Checks in Florida

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Florida is a point of contact state for the NICS. As a result, firearms dealers in Florida must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).1 More specifically, Florida law prohibits a licensed dealer from selling or delivering a firearm from his or her inventory at his or her licensed premises to anyone except a licensed dealer, importer, or manufacturer, without:

  • Obtaining a completed form from the buyer or transferee, and inspecting proper photographic identification;
  • Calling the FDLE and requesting a check of “the information as reported and reflected in the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center systems as of the date of the request;” and
  • Receiving a unique approval number from FDLE and recording that number and the date on the form.2

Upon receiving a request for a background check, the FDLE is required to review any available records to determine if the buyer or transferee is prohibited from purchasing a firearm because he or she has been:

  • Convicted of a felony;
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; or
  • “Adjudicated mentally defective” or “committed to a mental institution” by a court.3

Florida law provides definitions of the terms “adjudicated mentally defective” and “committed to a mental institution.” Most individuals in these categories are prohibited by federal law from possessing or purchasing firearms.4 Persons involuntarily committed for outpatient treatment are included within the definition of “committed to a mental institution.”5

In 2018, Florida enacted an extreme risk protection order law that authorizes law enforcement agencies to petition a court for a civil order preventing a dangerous person from accessing firearms for up to one year.6 Within 24 hours after a risk protection order is issued, the clerk of the issuing court must forward the order to law enforcement for entry into the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center so that the order can be enforced when background checks are performed.7

In 2013, Florida enacted a law that includes a person taken into custody involuntarily for a mental health evaluation and subsequently voluntarily admitted to a mental institution for outpatient or inpatient treatment in the definition of  “committed to a mental institution” if:  (1) an examining physician has determined that the person poses an imminent danger to himself, herself, or others and has certified that he or she would have filed a petition for involuntary commitment if the person had not agreed to voluntary treatment; (2) the person has been given notice and an opportunity to contest this certification; and (3) a court has reviewed this certification and ordered the person’s record to be submitted.8

For information about the restoration of firearm eligibility for persons previously adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution, please see the Florida Mental Health Reporting section.

In addition, the FDLE must review available records to determine if the buyer or transferee has had adjudication of guilt withheld or imposition of sentence suspended on any felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or expunction has occurred.9 If any of these disqualifying conditions exist, the FDLE must inform the dealer that the buyer or transferee is prohibited from purchasing a firearm and must provide the licensee a nonapproval number.10

The FDLE must also review available records and issue a conditional nonapproval number if the buyer or transferee:

  • Has been indicted or has had an information filed against her or him for a felony;
  • Is subject to a domestic violence protective order, or an injunction against repeat violence; or
  • Has been arrested for one of 22 enumerated “dangerous crime[s]” or for criminal anarchy, extortion, certain explosives violations, certain controlled substances violations, resisting an officer with violence, certain weapons and firearms violations, treason, assisting self-murder, sabotage, stalking or aggravated stalking.11

The FDLE then has 24 “working hours” (3 business days) in which to determine the disposition of the indictment, information, or arrest and inform the dealer as to whether the potential buyer is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm.12 Florida law requires the clerk of court to respond to an FDLE request for data on the disposition of the indictment, information, or arrest as soon as possible, but in no event later than 8 working hours.13 FDLE must continue its attempts to obtain the disposition information and may retain a record of all approval numbers granted without sufficient disposition information.14 If FDLE later obtains disposition information indicating that the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm, FDLE must revoke the conditional approval number and notify law enforcement.15 During the time that disposition of the indictment, information, or arrest is pending, the conditional nonapproval number remains in effect.16

Neither federal nor Florida law requires private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm.

See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

In addition, Florida specifically exempts concealed weapons license holders from the state’s background check requirement.17 However, Florida concealed weapons license holders are not exempt from the federal background check requirement.18

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited Jul. 08, 2015). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(1). Under Fla. Stat. § 790.065(10), a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer is not required to comply with the background check requirements of Fla. Stat. § 790.065 in the event of unavailability of telephone service at the licensed premises, or failure of FDLE to comply with the requirements of Florida law pertaining to firearm purchaser background checks. ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2). ⤴︎
  4. See Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(4)(a), (b). ⤴︎
  5. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(4)(a). ⤴︎
  6. Fla. Stat. § 790.401, et seq. (enacted in 2018 by 2018 FL SB 7026). ⤴︎
  7. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(10(b). ⤴︎
  8. See Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(4)(b)(II). ⤴︎
  9. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a). ⤴︎
  10. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(b). ⤴︎
  11. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(c)(1). ⤴︎
  12. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(c)(2). ⤴︎
  13. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(c)(3). ⤴︎
  14. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(c)(7). ⤴︎
  15. Id. ⤴︎
  16. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(c)(8). ⤴︎
  17. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(1)(b). ⤴︎
  18. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, U.S. Department. of Justice, Brady Law: Permanent Brady Permit Chart (Aug. 26, 2011), at: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/brady-law/permit-chart.html. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Florida

Florida law states that any person who stores or leaves a loaded firearm on premises under his or her control, and who knows or reasonably should know that a person under age 16 is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent or person having charge of the minor, or without supervision required by law, must do one of the following:

  • Keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container;
  • Keep the firearm in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or
  • Secure the firearm with a trigger lock.1

This requirement does not apply when the adult is carrying the firearm on his or her body or within such close proximity that he or she can retrieve and use the firearm as easily and quickly as if he or she carried it on his or her body.2

However, Florida law only makes the person who fails to store a firearm in this manner criminally liable if a minor gains access to the firearm without the lawful permission of his or her parent or legal guardian and possesses or exhibits it either: 1) in a public place; or 2) in a rude, careless, angry or threatening manner.3

For information regarding the warnings that retail establishments that sell or transfer firearms must post and provide to firearms purchasers regarding the safe storage of firearms, see the Florida Dealer Regulations section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.174(1). Minor is defined as a person under age 16. Fla. Stat. § 790.174(3). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.174(2). See also Fla. Stat. § 784.05 (holding an adult culpably negligent for storing or leaving a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor, if the minor obtained the firearm and used it to inflict injury or death upon himself or herself or any other person, unless: 1) the firearm was stored or left in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure, or was securely locked with a trigger lock; 2) the minor obtained the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person; or 3) the injuries resulted from target or sport shooting accidents or hunting accidents). ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Florida

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Florida does not prohibit a person from carrying a concealed firearm on or about his or her person if the person has a license to carry a concealed firearm.1 Florida is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must issue a concealed weapons license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. The Department must issue a license to carry a concealed weapon if the applicant:

  •  Is a U.S. resident and a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien of the United States, or a certified consular security official of a foreign government that maintains diplomatic relations and treaties of commerce, friendship, and navigation with the U.S.;
  • Is 21 years of age or older;
  • Does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon or firearm;
  • Is not ineligible to possess a firearm due to a felony conviction;
  • Has not been committed for the abuse of a controlled substance or found guilty of a crime under the Florida drug abuse prevention and control statutes or similar laws of any other state relating to controlled substances within the previous three years;
  • Does not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. An applicant is presumed to chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages or other substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired if, within the previous three years, the applicant:
    • Was committed under Florida’s substance abuse services provisions or similar laws of any other state;
    • Was convicted of using a firearm while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances;
    • Was deemed a habitual offender for disorderly intoxication; or
    • Has two or more convictions for driving under the influence;
  • Desires a legal means to carry a concealed weapon or firearm for lawful self-defense;
  • Demonstrates competence with a firearm (see below);
  • Has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person, unless five years have elapsed since the applicant’s restoration to capacity by court order;
  • Has not been committed to a mental institution, unless the applicant produces a certificate from a licensed psychiatrist stating that he or she has not suffered from disability for at least five years prior;
  • Has not had an adjudication of guilt withheld or the imposition of a sentence suspended on any felony unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled, or expunction has occurred;
  • Has not had an adjudication of guilt withheld or the imposition of a sentence suspended on any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled, or the record has been expunged;
  • Has not been issued an injunction that is currently in force and effect and that restrains the applicant from committing acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violence; and
  • Is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm by any other provision of Florida or federal law.2

In addition, people subject to risk protection orders that temporarily prohibit them from possessing, acquiring, or attempting to acquire any firearms while the order is in effect are ineligible for concealed carry permits.3

The Department must also deny a license if the applicant has been found guilty of, had an adjudication of guilt withheld for, or had the imposition of a sentence suspended for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, unless three years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or the record has been sealed or expunged.4 The Department must issue a license or deny an application within 90 days after receiving the application materials.5 If the Department receives criminal history information with no final disposition on a crime which may disqualify the applicant, the time limitation can be suspended until receipt of the final disposition or proof of restoration of civil and firearm rights.6

Firearm Safety Training

An applicant for a Florida concealed firearms license must demonstrate competence with a firearm through one of the following methods:

  • Completion of a hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or a similar agency of another state;
  • Completion of a National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course, or a firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
  • Completion of a firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school, utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
  • Completion of a law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement; or
  • Presents evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service.7

Duration & Renewal

Florida concealed firearms licenses are valid for a period of seven years from the date of issue.8 The Department must mail to the licensee a renewal form no less than 90 days before the expiration date of the license.9 A person whose license has been permanently expired may reapply for licensure; however, a full application must be submitted and background investigation conducted.10

Disclosure or Use of Information

Personal identifying information of an individual who has applied for or received a license to carry a concealed firearm held by the Department is confidential and exempt from state public records provisions and access to public records and meetings provisions.11 The Department maintains an automated listing of license holders and related pertinent information, and such information is available on-line, upon request, at all times to law enforcement agencies through the Florida Crime Information Center.12

Reciprocity

A resident of the United States who is a non-resident of Florida may carry a concealed firearm while in Florida, provided that:

  • The non-resident is 21 years of age or older, and has in her or his immediate possession a valid license to carry a concealed firearm issued to the non-resident in her or his state of residence; and
  • The non-resident’s state of residence honors Florida concealed firearm licenses.13
Notes
  1. A person who carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person without a license commits a felony of the third degree, although this restriction does not apply to a person who carries a concealed weapon, or a person who may lawfully possess a firearm and who carries a concealed firearm, on or about his or her person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the Governor or by a local authority. Fla. Stat. § 790.01(2), (3). Note, too, that the license requirements of Fla. Stat. § 790.06 do not apply in various circumstances involving military personnel, law enforcement officers, government employees, security guards, messengers, regularly enrolled members of shooting or firearms collecting clubs (while at or going to/from club events), persons “engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting” (or while going to/from such expeditions), or persons possessing arms at their home or place of business, among others. Fla. Stat. § 790.25(3). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(2). A license may be suspended or revoked per Fla. Stat. § 790.06(3), (10). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(7)(a). ⤴︎
  4. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(3). Application and other license requirements are detailed under Fla. Stat. § 790.06. ⤴︎
  5. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(6)(c). ⤴︎
  6. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(6)(c)(3). ⤴︎
  7. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(2)(h). ⤴︎
  8. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(1). ⤴︎
  9. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(11). ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Fla. Stat. § 790.0601(1). Information made confidential and exempt must be disclosed: 1) With the express written consent of the applicant or licensee or his or her legally authorized representative; 2) By court order upon a showing of good cause; or 3) Upon request by a law enforcement agency in connection with the performance of lawful duties, including access to any automated database containing such information maintained by the Department. Fla. Stat. § 790.0601(2). ⤴︎
  12. Fla. Stat. § 790.06(7). ⤴︎
  13. Fla. Stat. § 790.015. A list of states that honor Florida concealed firearm licenses is posted on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity page of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing. ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Florida

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Florida has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit.

For information about the Florida and federal laws requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, see the Florida Background Checks section.

In addition, upon the retail sale or other transfer of any firearm, the transferor must deliver a written warning to the transferee stating, in block letters not less than 1/4 inch in height:

“IT IS UNLAWFUL, AND PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT AND FINE, FOR ANY ADULT TO STORE OR LEAVE A FIREARM IN ANY PLACE WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE OR TO KNOWINGLY SELL OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM TO A MINOR OR A PERSON OF UNSOUND MIND.”1

Florida law also requires any retail or wholesale store, shop, or sales outlet which sells firearms to conspicuously post the following warning at each purchase counter, in block letters not less than one inch in height:

“IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A FIREARM IN ANY PLACE WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE OR TO KNOWINGLY SELL OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM TO A MINOR OR A PERSON OF UNSOUND MIND.”2

Licensed dealers must observe the mandatory three-day waiting period requirements (see the Florida Waiting Periods section), and must make available any records of handgun sales for inspection by any law enforcement agency during normal business hours.3 Firearms dealers are also subject to state laws governing gun sales generally.

See the Florida Private Sales section for further information. See the Florida Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section above for laws regulating sales to minors.

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.175(1). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.175(2). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.0655(1). ⤴︎

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Florida

Florida imposes no design safety standards on handguns. According to research conducted by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence), Florida’s Attorney General may have the authority to regulate “junk guns,” as well as promulgate other firearm safety standards.1

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Fla. Stat. § 501.201 et seq. For details, see Legal Action Project, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Targeting Safety (2001), at http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/targetingsafety.pdf. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited Persons in Florida

Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Following the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida enacted an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law. The law authorizes law enforcement agencies to petition a court for a civil order preventing a dangerous person from accessing firearms for up to one year.1 Law enforcement officers or agencies may file ERPO petitions when they have information that a person “poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his or her custody or control or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or any ammunition.”2

In order to obtain an ERPO, a law enforcement officer or agency must file a petition in the county where the petitioner’s law enforcement office is located or the county where the respondent resides,3 supported by a written affidavit, signed under oath, containing specific evidence of the respondent’s dangerousness.4

In most cases, the court is required to hold a hearing on the matter.5 If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having a firearm or ammunition in his or her custody or control, the court must issue a risk protection order for a period that it deems appropriate, up to and including but not exceeding 12 months.6 The risk protection order prohibits the respondent from possessing, acquiring, or attempting to acquire any firearms while the order is in effect.7 The respondent is required to surrender his or her firearms and ammunition to local law enforcement and to relinquish any concealed carry permit to the licensing agency as well.8 If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that there are firearms or ammunition owned by the respondent that are in the respondent’s custody, control, or possession which have not been surrendered, the officer may seek a search warrant to search for the respondent’s firearms or ammunition.9

In urgent cases, a court may issue an emergency temporary ERPO, prior to providing notice and holding a hearing, if the court finds reasonable cause based on detailed allegations in the ERPO petition that the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others in the near future by having in his or her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or ammunition.10 The temporary ERPO will generally only be in effect for up to 14 days, before the court holds a full hearing on whether to grant a longer ERPO.11

Florida’s law provides a standard process for respondents to request that an ERPO be lifted12 and for petitioners to request that the ERPO be renewed and extended.13

Upon termination of the ERPO, the agency holding any of the respondent’s weapons will return them to the respondent after performing a background check to ensure the respondent is legally permitted to possess firearms.14

Florida makes it a third-degree felony to make a material false statement, which he or she does not believe to be true, under oath in an ERPO hearing.15

For more information about ERPO laws, visit our Extreme Risk Protection Orders policy page.

Seizing Firearms Before Involuntary Mental Health Examination

In 2018, Florida adopted a law authorizing law enforcement officers to seize firearms and ammunition from people being taken into custody for an involuntary mental health examination.16 Law enforcement officers may request voluntary surrender of firearms or ammunition from people meeting the criteria for an examination, or they “may seize and hold a firearm or any ammunition the person possesses at the time of taking him or her into custody if the person poses a potential danger to himself or herself or others and has made a credible threat of violence against another person.”17

Firearms or ammunition seized pursuant to this law must generally be made available for return no later than 24 hours after the person taken into custody can document that he or she is no longer subject to involuntary examination and has been released or discharged, unless a risk protection order (see above) directs the law enforcement agency to hold the firearms or ammunition for a longer period, or unless the person has become prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or owning firearms.18

Disarming Other Prohibited People

Florida has no other law requiring the removal of firearms from, or the surrender of firearms by, persons who have become prohibited from possessing firearms, including domestic abusers. Florida does, however, consider it a violation of a protective order to refuse to surrender firearms if the court that issued the protective order ordered the abuser to do so.19

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.401, et seq. (enacted in 2018 by 2018 FL SB 7026). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(2)(e). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(2)(b). ⤴︎
  4. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(2)(e). ⤴︎
  5. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(3). ⤴︎
  6. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(3)(b). ⤴︎
  7. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(11)(b). ⤴︎
  8. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(7)(a). ⤴︎
  9. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(7)(b). ⤴︎
  10. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(4)(a). ⤴︎
  11. Fla. Stat. §§ 790.401(4)(f), 790.401(3)(a). ⤴︎
  12. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(6)(a). ⤴︎
  13. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(6)(c). ⤴︎
  14. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(8)(a). ⤴︎
  15. Fla. Stat. § 790.401(11)(a). ⤴︎
  16. Fla. Stat. §394.463(2)(d). ⤴︎
  17. Fla. Stat. § 394.463(2)(d)(1)-(2). ⤴︎
  18. Fla. Stat. § 394.463(2)(d)(3). ⤴︎
  19. Fla. Stat. § 741.31(4)(a)(8). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Florida

Florida law does not explicitly authorize or require the removal or surrender of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.1

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Florida has no law prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, although Florida law requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to review available records in order to prevent domestic violence misdemeanants who are prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms from passing the background check required before purchase of a firearm at a licensed firearms dealer.2 Florida law also requires FDLE to review available records in order to prevent persons who have had an adjudication of guilt withheld or imposition of sentence suspended on any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from passing the background check, unless 3 years have elapsed since probation or any other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled or expunction has occurred.3

Firearm Prohibitions and Notifications for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Florida prohibits the purchase or possession of a firearm by any person who has been issued a final injunction that is currently in force and effect, restraining that person from committing acts of domestic violence or stalking or cyberstalking.4 The law explicitly states that it is intended only to be consistent with the federal law that prohibits persons subject to certain domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms.5 Florida law requires a final order of protection to indicate, on its face, that it is violation of Florida law for the defendant to possess firearms or ammunition.6

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Protective Orders Are Issued

Florida considers it a violation of a protective order against domestic violence or stalking to refuse to surrender firearms if the court ordered the abuser to do so.7 Florida law does not, however, require the court to include this provision in any protective order. Florida law also does not explicitly authorize the court to direct law enforcement to remove firearms from an abuser when a protective order is issued.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See Fla. Stat. §§ 790.07, 790.08 (requiring the removal of firearms when a person has used a firearm in the commission of a felony). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(2). ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.065(2)(a)(3). ⤴︎
  4. Fla. Stat. §§ 790.233, 741.31(4)(b)(1). ⤴︎
  5. Fla. Stat. § 790.233. ⤴︎
  6. Fla. Stat. §§ 741.30(6)(g), 784.0485(6)(e). ⤴︎
  7. Fla. Stat. §§ 741.31(4)(a)(8), 784.047(8), 784.0487(4)(g). ⤴︎