In the State of Florida, individuals interested in carrying a concealed weapon are required to apply (and be approved) for a license. Fortunately, the Florida Concealed Weapons License (CWL) process is fairly simple and straightforward. Our legal experts have compiled a list of the eligibility requirements and basic procedures for getting your concealed weapons license.
What is a concealed weapon?
Concealed weapons or concealed firearms are defined as a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, billy club, or knife, but does not include a machine gun. Individuals must carry the license at all times the weapon is in their possession and must present their CWL and a valid I.D. upon law enforcement officer request. Failure to do so could result in a fine for a violation.
What is a Florida CWL?
Florida is a shall-issue state, meaning that a license is required to carry a concealed weapon. The CWL is issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to those meeting the criteria under the law. While a license is required for concealed carry in the state, there is no permit, background check, or firearms registration requirements when buying a handgun from a private individual.
Additionally, open carry is not legal in the State of Florida. There are some exceptions including: hunting or fishing; firing weapons for target practice at a firing range; or engaging in firearms-related business activities (i.e. manufacturing, repairing).
Who is eligible for a CWL?
To be eligible for a Florida CWL, interested individuals must meet the following requirements:
Be 21 years of age or older at the time of application
Demonstrate competency with a firearm
Reside in the United States
Be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident alien by Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
An individual ineligible for a CWL for the following reasons:
Physical inability to safely handle a firearm
Failure to prove proficiency with a firearm
Conviction for a misdemeanor crime of violence within the past three years
History or conviction of domestic violence
History or record of drug or alcohol abuse
Committed to a mental institution or declared mentally incompetent
If you are unsure of your CWL eligibility, you can answer these Preliminary Eligibility Determination questions.
How do I apply for a CWL?
Individuals can apply for a CWL in person at any regional FDACS office or authorized Florida tax collector’s office in their area. When applying for a license, the following documentation is required:
A photo I.D. (i.e. drivers license, state-issued identification card)
A copy of a training certificate confirming proficiency with a firearm or other weapon
Payment (cash is not accepted at regional offices)
Additional documentation may be required in certain circumstances. Applicants born outside of the U.S. or are a permanent legal resident alien will need to provide official documentation confirming their citizenship status.
The application process takes about an hour to complete. Applicants should expect FDACS to issue a license or deny their application within 90 days of submitting their completed application.
Gulf Coast Gun Law, a division of Doran, Beam, and Farrell, assists responsible citizens and those in the firearms industry safely assert, enjoy, and protect their rights under state and federal law as well as the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Our attorneys provide high-quality legal representation and are committed to providing you with accurate, up-to-date information and advice regarding your firearms-related legal matter. For a free case evaluation, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 727-846-1000.