Constitutional Carry: 3 Reasons to Still Get a Florida Concealed Weapons License
Beginning July 1, 2023, Florida will change to a “constitutional carry” state. This means that a Concealed Weapons License will not be required to lawfully carry a firearm or other weapon in Florida. However, there are still some reasons why you may want to still get a Florida concealed weapons license. Let’s take a look at them. Please note that we are not attorneys, and this article is for information purposes only. It should not be viewed as legal advice.
Who Does Constitutional Carry Cover?
Any lawful resident of the United States, age 21 or older, who is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm is covered under the change. Some reasons one may not be permitted are a felony conviction, a conviction for domestic violence, a current injunction that prohibits it or being adjudicated as mentally incompetent or as a substance abuser. Things that would disqualify you from purchasing firearms would also disqualify you from carrying them. This list goes into more detail.
Also, please note that Florida did not adopt open carry. Firearms in Florida will still need to be concealed when being carried in public.
Florida became the 26th state to enact constitutional carry. That means that in over half the states, you can already carry a firearm. However, there are states that will honor a Florida concealed weapons license (CWL), but will not allow you to carry without a license just because Florida allows you to. This means that if you have a CWL, you can still carry your firearm in states like Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia or Nevada. But if you don’t have a CWL, you won’t be able to legally carry a firearm in those states. Here is an up-to-date list of states that honor Florida’s CWL.
As a side note, Florida’s CWL covers things that some states do not. For example, Florida allows more than 1 gun and the CWL also covers items like knives or collapsible batons. Many states, however, limit their licensees to a single handgun. The list above also contains information on those caveats.
In Florida, when you purchase a firearm in Florida, there is a 3-day waiting period before you take possession. The three days exclude weekends and state holidays and are the period between the purchase and delivery of all firearms. Individual counties and cities have the authority to enact local ordinances extending the waiting period to as many as five days. However, if you have a valid Florida concealed weapons license, you may take possession of the firearm at the time of purchase. No waiting period is required by the state. (Note: Individual counties/cities may or may not honor this.)
More Knowledge and Protection
This is two-fold. First is learning what the law allows and does not allow. A good instructor will go over some applicable laws. For example, even with permitless carry, there are places where you can’t legally carry your firearm. Some, like a jail or an elementary school, are pretty obvious. Others, such as a career center or a meeting of your fire district board are not as obvious. As the saying goes, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Sadly, there are “instructors” out there that just want to get you out the door as quickly as possible, so they skip material like this. Better Protectors instructors never do this. Our goal is to help you not only protect yourself and your family but do it in a manner that protects you legally as well.
The second facet is additional training is its own form of protection. Contrary to what you may hear from internet lawyers or gun store “experts”, quality additional training does not make you look like you are itching for a fight. For example, taking a quality gun safety class demonstrates a desire to be a safe and responsible gun owner. It can also help you avoid mistakes that may land you in legal hot water. Even if you win a case, you will likely spend thousands of dollars to do it. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid spending that money on attorneys?
The Wrap Up
Whether you decide to get a Florida concealed weapons license or exercise your rights under constitutional carry laws, getting quality training is something you should consider. As mentioned earlier, our goal is to help you not only protect yourself and your family but do it in a manner that protects you legally as well. Our standard classes involve not just teaching you how to safely handle a firearm, but things like situational awareness to possibly avoid getting yourself into a situation that requires you to use your gun. Or discussions on how to conceal your firearm safely and effectively. Get in touch with us and start your journey to becoming a Better Protector.