Florida gun owners who wish to exercise their right to carry a concealed weapon in Tampa need to know the law.
WHAT IS FLORIDA’S CONCEALED CARRY LAW?
Florida’s concealed carry law is outlined in section 790.06. Concealed carry is defined as having a firearm on or about one’s person, in public, in a way that it is hidden from view. Concealed carry is legal in Tampa Bay and throughout the state of Florida as long as the gun owner has a valid concealed carry license and follows certain restrictions on where the firearm cannot be carried.
HOW TO GET A CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE.
In order to legally carry a concealed firearm in Hillsborough County, a citizen must complete the application process for an official concealed weapon license. In order to be eligible, an individual must be at least 21 years old and a U.S. resident.
Residents can apply in-person at either a regional office of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or the tax collector’s office. Applications can also be submitted by mail. The application will be approved or denied within 90 days from the date of its receipt by the Dept. of Agriculture.
WHAT COULD PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT?
In the state of Florida, you must be at least 21 years of age, and a legal citizen of the United States, in order to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise. Aside from age and citizenship, there are several other circumstances that could prevent you from obtaining a concealed carry permit in Hillsborough County.
These factors include:
- Being convicted of a felony
- Being recently charged with certain domestic violence or drug related offenses
- Being the defendant in a pending criminal case
- Having an injunction for protection currently filed against you
- Having a history of mental illness, or if you’ve been committed to a mental institution
- Having physical disabilities that may prevent the safe operation of a firearm
- Failure to complete the required safety training for handling a firearm
If you are not eligible for a concealed carry permit due to a prior conviction, please contact the experienced Tampa Lawyers at Hackworth Law to to learn more about sealing or expunging your criminal record.
HOW TO AVOID CONCEALED CARRY PENALTIES
Florida statute 790.01 outlines the laws on carrying a concealed weapon by the unlicensed, and violations of the concealed carry laws can result in severe penalties. If an individual carries a concealed weapon without a license, they are guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor which can result in up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Even after obtaining a Florida concealed carry license, there are still restrictions on where a citizen can legally carry their weapon. Some commonly encountered areas where carrying a licensed firearm is not permitted are schools, courthouses, airports, places where alcohol is served, and polling places.
While driving, handguns must be kept securely encased and not be visible, while long guns used for legal purposes such as hunting are allowed to be visible inside a vehicle. By following these simple guidelines, citizens in Tampa can be confident that they are exercising their Second Amendment rights in a safe way while avoiding potential legal penalties.
If you or a friend or family member has been arrested for violation of any firearm or other weapon related law, contact the experienced attorneys at Hackworth Law for a free consultation.