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Felony Weapons

Firearms And Weapons Laws in Florida

What are Florida laws regarding concealed weapons and firearms?

Chapter 790 of the Florida Statutes sets out the law of firearms and other weapons in Florida. It includes prohibitions about explosive or destructive devices, and throwing missiles at occupied conveyances and structures. Some of these offenses are set out below.

CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPONS AND FIREARMS

FSS 790.01 sets out the prohibitions against the unlawful possession of weapons and firearms. While possession of most weapons is a misdemeanor, carrying a concealed firearm without a permit is a felony. The law is set out below:

790.01 Carrying concealed weapons.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person who carries a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device on or about his or her person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 

(2) A person who carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) This section does not apply to a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm pursuant to the provisions of s. 790.06.

(4) It is not a violation of this section for a person to carry for purposes of lawful self-defense, in a concealed manner:

(a) A self-defense chemical spray.
(b) A nonlethal stun gun or remote stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device which does not fire a dart or projectile and is designed solely for defensive purposes.

(5) This section does not preclude any prosecution for the use of an electric weapon or device or remote stun gun or self-defense chemical spray during the commission of any criminal offense under s. 790.07, s. 790.10, s. 790.23, or s. 790.235, or for any other criminal offense.

ENHANCEMENT- WEAPONS IN COMMISSION OF CRIME

The Legislature has elected to enhance the penalties for persons who possess or use weapons during the commission of other crimes. The statute controlling this is FSS 790.07, set out below:

790.07 Persons engaged in criminal offense, having weapons. 

 (1) Whoever, while committing or attempting to commit any felony or while under indictment, displays, uses, threatens, or attempts to use any weapon or electric weapon or device or carries a concealed weapon is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) Whoever, while committing or attempting to commit any felony, displays, uses, threatens, or attempts to use any firearm or carries a concealed firearm is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, and s. 775.084.

(3) The following crimes are excluded from application of this section: Antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, nonsupport of dependents, bigamy, or other similar offenses.

(4) Whoever, having previously been convicted of a violation of subsection (1) or subsection (2) and, subsequent to such conviction, displays, uses, threatens, or attempts to use any weapon, firearm, or electric weapon or device, carries a concealed weapon, or carries a concealed firearm while committing or attempting to commit any felony or while under indictment is guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Sentence shall not be suspended or deferred under the provisions of this subsection.

 

ENHANCEMENT FOR WEAPONS AT SCHOOL EVENTS

To offer further protection to students and school personnel, the Florida Legislature has made it a felony to carry weapons to school property or to school events. See FSS 790.115 below:

790.115 Possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or on school property prohibited; penalties; exceptions.

To offer further protection to students and school personnel, the Florida Legislature has made it a felony to carry weapons to school property or to school events. See FSS 790.115 below:

 

(1) A person who exhibits any sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon, including a razor blade, box cutter, or knife, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, in the presence of one or more persons in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner and not in lawful self-defense, at a school-sponsored event or on the grounds or facilities of any school, school bus, or school bus stop, or within 1,000 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school, during school hours or during the time of a sanctioned school activity, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. This subsection does not apply to the exhibition of a firearm or weapon on private real property within 1,000 feet of a school by the owner of such property or by a person whose presence on such property has been authorized, licensed, or invited by the owner.

(2)(a) A person shall not possess any firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon, including a razor blade, box cutter, or knife, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, at a school-sponsored event or on the property of any school, school bus, or school bus stop; however, a person may carry a firearm:

1. In a case to a firearms program, class or function which has been approved in advance by the principal or chief administrative officer of the school as a program or class to which firearms could be carried;
2. In a case to a career center having a firearms training range; or
3. In a vehicle pursuant to s. 790.25(5); except that school districts may adopt written and published policies that waive the exception in this subparagraph for purposes of student and campus parking privileges.

For the purposes of this section, “school” means any preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary school, whether public or nonpublic.

(b) A person who willfully and knowingly possesses any electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon, including a razor blade, box cutter, or knife, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, in violation of this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c)1. A person who willfully and knowingly possesses any firearm in violation of this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

2. A person who stores or leaves a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor who obtains the firearm and commits a violation of subparagraph 1. commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; except that this does not apply if the firearm was stored or left in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure, or was securely locked with a firearm-mounted push-button combination lock or a trigger lock; if the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person; or to members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or State Militia, or to police or other law enforcement officers, with respect to firearm possession by a minor which occurs during or incidental to the performance of their official duties.

(d) A person who discharges any weapon or firearm while in violation of paragraph (a), unless discharged for lawful defense of himself or herself or another or for a lawful purpose, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(e) The penalties of this subsection shall not apply to persons licensed under s. 790.06. Persons licensed under s. 790.06 shall be punished as provided in s. 790.06(12), except that a licenseholder who unlawfully discharges a weapon or firearm on school property as prohibited by this subsection commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) This section does not apply to any law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9), or (14).

(4) Notwithstanding s. 985.213, s. 985.214, or s. 985.215(1), any minor under 18 years of age who is charged under this section with possessing or discharging a firearm on school property shall be detained in secure detention, unless the state attorney authorizes the release of the minor, and shall be given a probable cause hearing within 24 hours after being taken into custody. At the hearing, the court may order that the minor continue to be held in secure detention for a period of 21 days, during which time the minor shall receive medical, psychiatric, psychological, or substance abuse examinations pursuant to s. 985.224, and a written report shall be completed.

THROWING OR PLACING DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES

The intentional placing or throwing of a destructive device is a felony. See FSS 790.1615 below:

790.1615 Unlawful throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging of destructive device or bomb that results in injury to another; penalty.

(1) A person who perpetrates any unlawful throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb that results in any bodily harm to a firefighter or any other person, regardless of intent or lack of intent to cause such harm, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) A person who perpetrates any unlawful throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb that results in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to a firefighter or any other person, regardless of intent or lack of intent to cause such harm, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) Upon conviction and adjudication of guilt, a person may be sentenced separately, pursuant to s. 775.021(4), for any violation of this section and for any unlawful throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb committed during the same criminal episode. A conviction for any unlawful throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb, however, is not necessary for a conviction under this section.

POSSESSION OF SHORT BARRELED FIREARMS

Florida prohibits possession of short barreled (and therefore easily concealed) firearms. The statute is FSS 790.221, set out below:

790.221 Possession of short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or machine gun; penalty.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or machine gun which is, or may readily be made, operable; but this section shall not apply to antique firearms.
(2) A person who violates this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) Firearms in violation hereof which are lawfully owned and possessed under provisions of federal law are excepted.

POSSESSION BY CONVICTED FELONS & DELINQUENTS

Convicted felons and certain delinquents forfeit the right to own and possess firearms. The statute that sets out this law is FSS 790.23

790.23 Felons and delinquents; possession of firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons or devices unlawful.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been:

(a) Convicted of a felony in the courts of this state;
(b) Found, in the courts of this state, to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age;
(c) Convicted of or found to have committed a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony;
(d) Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year and such person is under 24 years of age; or
(e) Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.

(2) This section shall not apply to a person convicted of a felony whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored.

(3) Any person who violates this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

 Weapons Charges Are Serious Offenses

These charges above are representative of some of the weapons charges in the Florida Statutes, but there are many more statutes that are important. If you are arrested on any weapons charge, you should immediately call The Defense Group at 1-800-INNOCENT and arrange a free consultation with an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney.