Florida Gun Control Laws

Safety is the primary concern, both for gun owners and the general public. But how do states weigh the balance between the two? Here is a brief introduction to gun control laws in Florida.

Stand Your Ground Laws in Florida

In 2005, Florida passed the nation's first stand your ground law. The case of George Zimmerman's fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin then thrust Florida's new law onto the international stage. The law was the first of its kind to remove the duty to retreat before using force in self-defense. The Florida statute generally allows people to stand their ground instead of retreating if they reasonably believe doing so will "prevent death or great bodily harm."

Other states followed with laws specifically affirming one's right to defend themselves, even outside of their homes and with deadly force if necessary. But gun laws go beyond just so-called stand your ground statutes. Florida has a 3-day waiting period (excluding weekends and holidays) to purchase a gun.

Standard Gun Control Laws in Florida

State Gun Control Laws can vary significantly. Florida’s gun control laws are summarized in the table below.

Code Section

790.001, et seq.

Illegal Arms

Short-barreled rifle or shotgun, machine gun

Waiting Period

3 days excluding weekends and legal holidays

Who May Not Own

1. Minors (under 21);

2. Convicted felon (or 3 yrs. after sentence or probation fulfilled);

3. Has been convicted or committed for abuse of a controlled substance within last 3 yrs.;

4. Anyone who chronically or habitually abuses alcohol or other substances;

5. Has been adjudicated incapacitated (or 5 yrs. after restoration of capacity);

6. Been committed to mental institution (unless free from disability for 5 yrs.);

7. Person subject to injunction against committing acts of domestic violence.

Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

Felony. 790.115, 810.095

Floridians should be aware that federal law also regulates gun ownership, including what kinds of firearms may be owned legally. The National Firearms Act and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act both apply to gun ownership in Florida in addition to state gun control laws.

Related Resources for Gun Control Laws

Federal and Florida laws regulating firearms can be complex. You can continue your own research in FindLaw’s gun law section. If you want legal assistance to know your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner, or if you have a criminal case involving guns, you can consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Florida.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.