What Happens If I Carry a Firearm without a Permit?
The Second Amendment allows United States citizens to bear arms—also known as the right to own a gun. Florida does not require residents to obtain a license to buy a gun, but they need a permit to carry one. If law enforcement charges someone for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, they may face felony charges.
Florida gun laws are complex, so if the police charge you with a gun-related crime in Florida, reach out to The Umansky Law Firm. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the accusations and represent you in court.
Can I Carry a Concealed Gun in Florida?
Carrying a concealed weapon in Florida refers to having a handgun close to you that’s not visible to others while in public. As long as you are not a convicted felon and a court has not revoked your right to carry a weapon, Florida law permits you to own and possess a gun in the state. Statute 790.25(3) lists all the lawful uses for guns in the state. Statute 790.01(2) prohibits carrying a firearm without a permit.
There are some statutory exceptions to this rule, and they mainly apply to law enforcement and security personnel. However, citizens can carry certain types of weapons to and from fishing, camping, and hunting trips, on the assumption all other licenses are in order. Residents can also have a concealed firearm on their property without a permit.
What Are the Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Gun without a Permit?
The prosecution can charge carrying a concealed gun with a Florida permit as a third-degree felony. If a court convicts you, possible punishments include:
- Up to five years in prison
- Up to five years on probation
- Up to a $5,000 fine
If you already have a felony conviction on your record, the state may change the charge to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. This is a second-degree felony. Penalties may include up to 10 years in prison or up to a $10,000 fine.
Defenses to Carrying a Concealed Weapon
To convict you of the crime, the prosecutor must show that you knowingly had a gun on or about your person, and you concealed it from the ordinary sight of others. “On or about your person” means physically on your body or easily accessible to you. This generally includes the inside of a vehicle, such as a center console or glove box. “Ordinary sight of another person” refers to whether a person can see the firearm.
There are several defenses your attorney may be able to use, depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges. Your lawyer may argue that you:
- Have a permit
- Were at home or on your property
- Did not know the gun was in your possession
- Could not easily access the firearm
- Were on your way home from fishing, camping, or hunting
Hiring a Florida criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable in gun laws will be your best chance of successfully negotiating with the prosecution.
Contact The Umansky Law Firm Today
Carrying a concealed gun without a permit is a severe charge, and it comes with harsh penalties even for first-time offenders. Many prosecutors will negotiate a plea, but you might not receive a fair deal without a criminal defense attorney. Protect your future by calling the Orlando firearms attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm.
We have more than 100 years of combined legal experience and will negotiate with the prosecution to reduce your sentence or charge. If necessary, we will aggressively represent you in court. We have worked with hundreds of clients to build a strong defense, and our attorneys will do the same for you. Call us today or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.