Although Florida is known for having rather “loose” gun laws (or looser than some other states), and seems relatively liberal gun rights, there are also some very strict gun crime laws throughout the state. In fact, there have been several proposals to loosen gun laws further in Florida.
Florida has a very high number of people who own a gun as well as high numbers of official gun dealers. No matter which category you fall into, you should understand how the rules of the state can impact your rights.
If you're accused of perpetrating a violent crime while using a gun, this type of conviction could haunt you for years to come. You need the insight of an attorney who will do everything possible to understand the basis of these charges and give you an idea of what to expect as your case progresses . It's easy to feel overwhelmed in this situation, but you don't have to be.
Working with a knowledgeable attorney for any gun-related criminal charge is one of the best things you can do to secure your future.
Adults are eligible to open carry firearms if they are participating in the following activities:
- Attending a gun show
- Shooting at an acceptable location (such as a shooting range)
Also, traveling to and from these activities is also acceptable and permitted by Florida laws—and even federal laws.
What is the Stand Your Ground Law?
Florida's “stand-your-ground” law that allows adults to use weapons if they feel threatened, which is in protection and acknowledgment of the second amendment.
However, some adults abuse this right, and end up in trouble. Weapon crimes are very serious in the state of Florida, and convictions on your record related to gun crimes can lead to heavy sentences and other penalties.
In fact, the Florida state attorney's office uses a special gun unit full of prosecutors who have special training all about how to win convictions on weapon offenses within the state.
Federal Crimes and Weapons Laws in Florida
Although there are many different kinds of gun crime charges that you may face—both state charges and federal charges—here are some of the most common types of gun crimes and gun charges you could face if you don't have the proper licensure or if you choose to commit a crime with a weapon:
- Armed burglary
- Armed kidnapping
- Shooting a deadly missile
- Possessing a firearm by a convicted felon
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
- Armed possession of illegal drugs
- Armed trafficking in illegal drugs
- Carrying a concealed firearm without a proper permit
- Improperly exhibiting a deadly weapon or firearm
Minimum Sentences in Florida
Florida has a law known as 10/20 life. This means that there are mandatory sentences when a gun is used while committing a crime. If you are carrying a firearm while committing a crime, then this comes with a 10-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
If you discharge a firearm while committing a crime, this carries a 20-year minimum mandatory prison sentence. If an individual is hurt or killed as a result of your weapon being fired, you could be facing life in prison but you will be facing at least 25 years of a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
What to Do If You Have Been Accused
Because Florida state law affords multiple opportunities to carry a gun and even to use it in your own self-defense, there are also strict sentencing guidelines if you were not carrying or using your gun under the requirements of the weapons laws in Florida.
This leads to many gun owners to feel confused and possibly being charged with a gun crime when they didn't even realize they were committing one.
Florida's gun culture is so unique that a recent study by reveals that there are 3.2 times the number of nationally licensed gun dealerships in the state when compared with post offices. This contributes to an additional statistic which is that more than 99% of individuals living in Florida live within several miles of a firearms store.
Protect Your Future with a West Palm Beach Weapons Law Attorney
Although the state of Florida may seem relatively friendly towards gun ownership and gun rights, it is important to understand that the law also takes any violation quite seriously.
You need to consult with a knowledgeable West Palm Beach weapons law attorney any time that you have been accused so as to minimize the chances of facing serious penalties.